Hello, Code Lyoko fandom! This is my first CL story. I recently binged watch CL and CL:E and this story has been in my head ever since I finished. The characters have been separated for four years and now back together for college! Now since I live in America, I don't know much about French university so please correct me if I'm wrong. Please enjoy.
***Warning: this story contains signs of PTSD***
Disclaimer: I don't own Code Lyoko or the Mumford & Sons song where the title comes from.
"Daddy?" A little pink haired girl looked around the strange world she just entered. "Daddy, where are you?" Three strange creatures came up to her and shot a weird strange red laser at her. "Daddy!" The little girl yelled running away.
The scene shifted. The pink haired girl was now a little older, back in the strange world. She was running from not monsters but a person. "Jeremey, I can't out run him forever."
"Don't worry, Aelita, help is on the way." A voice said.
As soon as the voice said that, another boy appeared between her and the person she was running from.
"Aelita, run!" The boy yelled, pulling out two swords. "It's just me and you now, William."
Before the boy knew it, his swords were on the ground and the other boy held him above his head.
"Ulrich, no!" Aelita screamed, watching the boy get thrown into the digital sea.
"Aelita, run! Yumi and I got this!" Another boy came running up, trying to bring down William.
The pink haired girl watched one by one as the boy William, knock out her friends and throw them into the digital sea.
"NO!" The pink haired girl jerked awake, sitting up suddenly, her hand going over her racing heart. The girl, Aelita, was now several years older than in her dreams. She wiped her eyes dry and repeated her chant that has become a daily thing now. "It's just a dream, Aelita. Just a dream." She shook her head clear of the images of her friends falling and looked over at her alarm clock that read 5:00. She groaned and kicked off her covers, giving up on sleep.
She made her way downstairs and into the kitchen of her old childhood house. The restorations were finished a week ago and it looked just like it did when she was little, with her own personal touches. In the kitchen, she started the coffee machine. She didn't first get into coffee until she left France to travel around the world. Coffee soon became her new addiction.
When she first left France and Kadic Academy, her friends called her crazy and tried to stop her. They didn't understand. They had their families. Her father disappeared when they shut down the super computer and her mother was taken from her. She decided to find her mother and maybe convince her to leave and if not, she knew she had other family out there. So she started researching then left at the end of her sophomore year in high school. Odd had called it 'soul searching' and he wasn't wrong. During the two years she was out of Lyoko, she had no idea who she was as a person. She was pretending to be Aelita Stones from Canada but that wasn't her. She needed to find Aelita Hopper and during the four years she was away, she thinks she found her.
Aelita dug eggs out of the fridge, cracked one on the skillet, and placed a piece of bread in the toaster. Soon her breakfast was done and she took it with her into the living room. The living room was one of her favorite rooms. When you walked in from the kitchen, there was a door leading to the porch. The doors were decorated with beige and blue chevron pattern curtains. To the left of that was a fireplace. Three windows were above the fireplace but she had one covered up and place a flat screen TV there instead. Around the fireplace and below the two windows was an entertainment center with DVDs, CDs, a radio and books from all around Europe. A piano stood on the wall facing the door. The room was painted a light blue. A beige L shaped couch set across from the TV with the shorter part on the wall beside the doors. The couch had some blue chevron pattern pillows to match the walls. A glass coffee table sat in front of the couch. On top of the table set Aelita's pink MacBook and several opened books. A picture hung above the short part of the couch and it was Aelita's favorite picture. It was a black and white sketch of her, Jeremy, Odd, Ulrich and Yumi before Aelita left. She smiled every time she saw it and she did again as she seated herself in the couch.
She turned on the TV and settled in for some bad early morning programs. Another habit she picked up traveling was TV. She was never into it at Kadic unlike Odd but as soon as she left she picked it up. Now she couldn't go a day without watching some corny show.
Aelita finished her breakfast and placed her plate on one of the books on the coffee table. She picked up her laptop and turned it on, finding an email from the University about classes starting in a few weeks. She smiled, opening a new email and typing in the familiar email addresses. She decided when she got back to France two months ago that not only was she going to restore the Hermitage but she was also going to reconnect with her friends. She knew what she was about to send was a long shot but she had to try.
Before you start yelling at me, just let me say I don't regret leaving four years ago. I found what I was looking for and now I need something else. As you know, University starts in a few weeks and I have a proposition. I've been back in France for two months restoring the Hermitage and I would like to invite you, my dear friends, to come live with me. This place gets so lonely for one girl and I miss you guys! If you accept my invitation, you know where to find me!
Yumi Ishiyama had to read the email twice just to make sure she understood it correctly. Aelita was back and she wanted them to come live with her. This was too good to be true. It's been four years for God's sake and all the sudden she wants them to move in. That girl had some serious explaining to do.
Yumi closed her laptop and stood up. After Aelita left Kadic, everything changed. Jeremy was devastated and threw himself into his studies. Ulrich's father pulled him out because his grades were so bad. And just like that, five became two. She and Odd tried to hang out but because she was a year older, it didn't work. Soon Yumi had lost connect with her former good friends. And now Aelita wanted to fix that. There was no way this would be easy.
Yumi looked out her window, noticing the sun was finally coming up. She had been up for about two hours now due to another nightmare. It was the same thing as the night before. She was in Lyoko and she watched as Aelita, Odd and Ulrich were thrown into the digital sea by William. Sometimes the nightmares were different but they always ended the same with someone ending up in the digital sea. Yumi rubbed her hands over her face, trying to get the image out of her head.
"Yumi, dear, breakfast is ready!" Her mother called from downstairs.
She sighed and threw on an old Kadic sweatshirt before heading downstairs. Her father was already there, reading his newspaper. "Morning, Mom. Morning, Daddy."
"Morning, sweetie," Her father answered. "Sleep well?"
"Yes," She lied like she did every morning.
"Is your University schedule sorted out?" Her mother asked.
"Yeah, I finished it last night. About University, do you remember my friend Aelita from Kadic?"
"The pink haired girl that left to find her family four years ago?" Her father recalled.
"Yes. She's back and she- well; she invited me to come live with her."
"Live with her? Where?" Her mother looked at her, shocked.
"Her dad left her a house when he died. It's paid for and everything. And it's really close to University. Closer than we are actually," Yumi explained.
"Well, I think it's a great idea." Yumi and Mrs. Ishiyama looked at Mr. Ishiyama.
"Yumi is in her second year of college and college is a time of independence. She needs to find her independence and it's not going to be with us," Mr. Ishiyama told them. "Yumi should move in with Aelita."
Yumi stared at her father in shock then squealed, "Oh thank you, Daddy! I'll go call Aelita right now and tell her!"
Ulrich Stern stared at the email that just popped up. Aelita. Aelita Hopper. The girl he hadn't seen in four years. He sighed and clicked on the email. He continued to stare at it after he read it. Was she serious? She wanted all of them to move in with her? He shook his head as a flash tried to take over his vision. Not now. He stood up, pulling out a pack of cigarettes and lightening one.
After Aelita left, his dad decided his grades weren't worth the tuition he paid so Mr. Stern pulled Ulrich out of school and into homeschooling. His grades certainly improved but after everything they went through on Lyoko, his mental health did not. Ulrich started seeing flashes of Lyoko and XANA's attacks. Each flash was different but they all gave him the worst headache. It got to a point where Ulrich couldn't tell what was real. That is, until he started smoking. Once he started, his flashes became less of a problem but it also brought on insomnia.
Every time he closed his eyes at night, the flashes started. He would watch Yumi fall into the digital sea over and over again, Aelita being grabbed by the Scyphozoa, Jeremy being attacked by one of XANA's puppets, and Odd in a coma. It got to a point where Ulrich just gave up sleep altogether. He would sleep a few hours in the morning then go about the day.
Not only did he have these flashes but he was lonely. He missed soccer. He missed his friend. Hell, some days he missed Lyoko and XANA's attack. Although, Aelita might be crazy with her idea, Ulrich thought it was brilliant and he was definitely taken up her offer. The only problem was his dad.
He put out his cigarette then made his way to his dad's office. He knocked on the door and waited until his dad told him to come in.
"I thought I told you no smoking in the house, Ulrich," his father said, looking down at his papers rather than his son. "You know your mother doesn't like it when you smoke."
"Sorry," Ulrich replied, casting his eyes down at his feet then back up to his father. "My schedule is ready for University. I have 14 hours, all basics."
"Good. Good. Have you heard back from the soccer team?"
"No, not yet. I should hear back from them in a few weeks."
"Well, they better tell you soon. Anything else?" Mr. Stern asked, finally looking up.
"Yeah, I-I-uh found a place to live," Ulrich stuttered.
"Really? That's great. Where?"
"You remember my friend that left Kadic to find her family? Right before you pulled me out?"
"That pink haired girl?" his father asked.
Ulrich nodded then continued, "Yeah, Aelita. When her father died, he left her a house and she doesn't want to live in that big old house alone."
Mr. Stern nodded. "Makes sense. I don't think a young girl should be by herself and I know how much you missed your friends. I think it will be good for you as long as you keep up your grades. I will make you come back home if your grades drop below a C average. Do you understand, Ulrich?"
"Yes, sir. I promise I will keep up with my school work."
"Good. Now go pack, son!"
Ulrich grinned and ran out of the room. His father had definitely softened up in the last four years. When Mr. Stern pulled Ulrich out of Kadic and hired a tutor to homeschool him, Ulrich's grades really did improved. Ulrich knew it was because XANA was finally defeated thus he had more time to study but Mr. Stern thought it was because of being less distracted. After a year of being homeschooled, Mr. and Mrs. Stern realized just how lonely Ulrich was. His grades started to slack again and because of it so Mr. Stern let him join the Kadic soccer team again (mainly to stop Jim's constant phone calls where he was crying his eyes out over losing Ulrich). Even though he was back at Kadic for soccer, he never saw Odd, Yumi and Jeremy. He was still lonely but not as lonely. And now after four years, the gang was getting back together.
Jeremy Belpois was confused. Correction, he was beyond confused. After four years, Aelita finally decided to contact them. Four years! Did she think they could just pick up where they left off? Did she really think he waited for her after abandoning them? He loved her. At least he thought he did. Now he wasn't so sure. Of course he wanted to see her again along with the others but live with her? With them? Not only did she abandon him but so did his others so called friends. Ulrich 'I'm so great' Stern, Odd 'I'm so funny' Della Robbia and Yumi 'I'm the mature one' Ishiyama. God, he hated them.
After Aelita left, Ulrich's dad pulled him out which caused Yumi and Odd to be depressed. Odd started focusing on film while Yumi decided to throw herself in her school work. Jeremy being the odd one out also threw himself into his studies. His grades were seriously slacking. To make matters worse, Odd started to avoid him. Every time he saw the boy, he would turn the other way. And Yumi would never come over and talk to him. Then when Ulrich came back just to play soccer, he also avoided Jeremy. It's like they totally forgot about him after everything they've been through.
Jeremy shook his head to get rid of all the bad thoughts. Maybe he should see everyone first before he made a decision but he couldn't tell his dad. His dad has been on his case for finding a place to live or else he would be living in the awful University dorms.
Jeremy sighed and looked around his old childhood room then back to his computer that still had the email open. 'You know where to find me!' Aelita had said in her email. That's right, he did. He looked at the boxes that were packed up for wherever he would live. He stared at the boxes for a long time then finally made his decision and pulled out his suitcases.
Two hours later, everything he needed was packed and in his car his parents gave him for graduating high school. The boxes were stacked so high he could barely see out the back window but he was ready to go. He told his parents goodbye and that he would call them when he got there and off he went. Back to the place that had some of the happiest and the worst memories of his life.
For the first time in years, Odd Della Robbia was speechless. Then the shock sunk in and a loud yell was heard throughout the Della Robbia household. The hyper boy immediately grabbed his suitcases and started packing. His dog, Kiwi, looked up at him from his spot on Odd's pillow.
Odd grinned. "Don't worry my little diggity dog, I would never leave you." The dog barked, satisfied with his owner's response. Odd continued to pack while trying to look up an earlier flight. His flight to return back to France was schedule for later that week but he had to get there sooner.
He couldn't wait to see his friends again; he missed them like crazy. After Aelita left, it was hard at Kadic. Ulrich left and Jeremy locked himself up. The age difference between him and Yumi made it hard especially when Yumi started getting into harder courses. Soon he was alone and trying to find new friends. But none of his new friends could compare to the ones he lost. Now they were finally going to be together again.
Finally, Odd found an earlier flight for that afternoon; he just had to finish packing and was off. It didn't take long for him to finish packing seeing as he could only take one main bag on the flight. He just had to get his parents to send the rest of his stuff. Soon, he was at the airport with Kiwi in a kennel. His parents didn't even say anything when he told them he was leaving early. They just nodded when he asked them to send the rest of his stuff. That was one of the many perks of having super supportive parents.
A few hours later, he was back in France and on his way to the Hermitage. He was bouncing with excitement as the cab got closer to the secluded house. As soon as it stopped, Odd jumped out and screamed, "AELITA!"
The cab driver was helping him with his bags when a pink haired girl and a Japanese girl came out of the house. The girls grinned and ran towards him, pulling him into a hug.
"Ladies, ladies. There's enough Odd Della Robbia to go around," Odd joked as he hugged them back.
Aelita and Yumi rolled their eyes as they pulled away from the hug.
"Still the same old Odd, I see," Aelita smirked, crossing her arms.
"What, did you really think he would change?"
The three turned to see Ulrich Stern leaning against a black Mercedes-Benz coupe with a cigarette in his hand. "Did you miss me?"
"Ulrich!" The three yelled, running to hug him.
The four were soon laughing and trying to talk over one another after being away from each other for so long.
"I can't believe you guys are here! All we need now is Jeremy!" Aelita squealed when they finally calmed down a little.
"Don't worry, princess, I'm sure Einstein will be here soon. Now, let's go see this house you just fixed up," Odd reassured, grabbing his bags.
Aelita smiled and led them up to the stairs to the new restored Hermitage. The entrance hallway was a major improvement since the last time they had went in. There was no broken furniture, pieces of paper or ripped wall paper. Now the walls were fixed and painted a light beige. A book case was placed in between two doors on the right. There was a painting of the mountains on the wall by the stairs leading to the basement. A long pink and beige chevron rug started at the rail of the basement stairs and ran to the bottom of the stair case leading upstairs.
"Wow, Aelita, this place looks great," Odd complemented.
"Thank you. It took awhile to finish but I'm pleased with it," Aelita smiled. "My room is on the second floor so there leaves two more bedrooms on the second floor with one bath and three bedrooms on the third floor with one bath. You guys pick whatever room you want."
"Let's look at the rest of the house so maybe by the time we get done, Einstein will be here," Yumi suggested. "Plus I really want to see what you done."
"Come on, then, and I'll show you the living room." Aelita smiled and led them into the living room.
"Wow, Aelita, it looks fantastic," Yumi gasped, looking around. "Aww, the picture. Aelita, this is so beautiful!" Yumi went over to Aelita and hugged her.
Odd walked over to the TV and entertainment center, checking them both out. "This flat screen is sweet. All we need now is an even sweeter gaming system. Luckily I have one that my parents are sending me."
"What did you do in the basement? Did you add anything or just updated it?" Ulrich asked.
"There wasn't much I could do down there with the boiler room. I did put the laundry room down there and did some painting. Let's go see the kitchen."
Aelita led her friends into the kitchen which was across the hallway. The kitchen was painted a tan color with white cabinets and gradient countertops. There was an island in the middle with three white stools on one side and three more of the other. Along one wall was built in book shelves with several cook books from all around the world lined up. "I picked most of these up on my travels," Aelita told them, running her fingers over a few of the books. "I learned I love to cook too."
Next, she took them upstairs where the hallway had the same look as the downstairs hallway. Aelita opened the first door on the right and showed them her room. It was painted white with white desk and bookshelf lined up on the wall across from the door. The desk has pink drawers with a white stool and a pink cushion. Above the desk was a collage of pictures. Next to the desk and bookshelf was a cabinet with two pink doors and a mirror in the middle of the door. On the wall to the right of that wall was another cabinet and drawer, both with pink doors. On the drawer was a white lamp with black lamp shade. On the wall across sat Aelita's twin size bed which was decorated with a white comforter with a pink fuzzy blanket laying across the end of the bed. Several pink fuzzy pillows were propped up to complete the look. Above the bed was a canvas picture with a diagonal pink, white, orange and red swirl pattern.
"Tada!" Aelita held out her arms to present her room.
"This is so you, princess," Odd approved, nodding at all the pink.
"Thanks, I worked really hard on it," Aelita smiled. "You guys can do whatever you want to your rooms. It's your house too."
"Thanks, Aelita." Yumi gave Aelita a side hug.
"I call a room on this floor!" Odd yelled, raising his hand like he was in a classroom.
"Does it really matter?" Ulrich wondered.
"Yeah, I'm closer to the kitchen."
Ulrich and the girls rolled their eyes, walking out of the room.
"I'll take one of the rooms upstairs," Yumi said.
"So will I," Ulrich offered. "That way Einstein can be on this floor."
Aelita blushed and turned away as Odd ran into the empty room across from hers and started muttering what he was going to do with it.
"Hello? Is anyone here?" A voice cried from downstairs.
"Jeremy?" Aelita gasped, running downstairs, the others following. She stopped at the foot of the stairs and saw Jeremy Belpois stood in the doorway with his laptop bag hanging on his shoulder. "Jeremy!" Aelita ran towards him and hugged him. "Jeremy, I missed you so much!"
Jeremy let his arms hang awkwardly to his side for awhile then finally he wrapped his arms around her. "I missed you too."
"Hey, what about us?"
Jeremy and Aelita broke apart and looked at the others.
"Hey, guys," Jeremy waved, awkwardly.
"'Hey, guys'? That's all we get after four years?" Ulrich asked, crossing his arms.
"Group hug!" Odd screamed, grabbing Yumi and Ulrich by their wrists and pulling them over to Jeremy and Aelita. "It's so nice having the gang back together."
"Yeah, great but you're choking me." Ulrich pulled away from the group hug, rubbing his wrists.
"Now that you all are here, let's get you unload and unpacked," Aelita said, motioning for them to go back outside to unload the car.
A few hours later, everyone had picked out their room and was unpacked but not completely organized. While the others were getting settled, Aelita was downstairs cooking a huge meal for them with all their favorites. She had spaghetti and meatballs, sushi, crepes and more random food that didn't flow together but Aelita didn't care. She was just glad to have her friends back.
"Yum, what smells good?" Odd asked, hopping into the kitchen with Kiwi at his feet.
"Just about anything you want," Aelita motioned to the counter full of food. "I cooked all your favorites."
"When did you learn how to cook?" Odd sat down on one of the stools by the island, propped his elbows on the counter and put his chin on his hands.
"I picked up a thing or two while traveling." Aelita twirled the spatula she had around.
"It's amazing how much you've changed," Odd observed.
Aelita pushed back her now shoulder length hair. "Really? How so?"
"Well for one thing, look at you." Odd motioned to her longer hair and her outfit. "That's not the Aelita I remember."
Aelita looked down at her denim shorts, white tank top and an oversized white and gray cardigan with white knees socks. "So I got a better taste in clothes; so did you."
Odd laughed and tugged at his gray sweater. "What? This old thing?" Aelita giggled and shook her head. "No, I meant you're more mature, wiser almost."
"No, I just found myself," Aelita smiled and handed him a plate.
"See, different." Odd took the plate and started filling it up. "This looks amazing, princess."
Aelita grinned at the old nickname then walked out of the kitchen and to the bottom of the staircase. "Ulrich, Yumi, Jeremy, dinner time!"
A few minutes later, the other three came into the kitchen. Aelita and Odd were already eating when they walked in.
"Wow, Aelita, you went all out," Yumi commented, noticing all the food.
"Yeah apparently soul searching includes learning how to cook," Odd told them, showing them his plate that was loaded up.
Aelita rolled her eyes and handed them plates. "Soul searching also includes fashion taste according to Odd."
Yumi and Ulrich snickered as Jeremy shook his head. The three fixed their plates and joined Odd and Aelita at the island.
"Tomorrow we can go out and buy paint for your rooms," Aelita suggested. "I know white can get boring."
"You don't have to do that, Aelita," Yumi protested.
"I don't have to but I want to. My father left me a lot of money; more money than I need. Let me do this for you." The others looked at her then nodded in approval.
Later that night, Yumi stood in her new room trying to organize her closet. She had just finished putting up her shoes when she heard a knock on the door. "Come in," She called, coming out of her closet.
Ulrich came in and smiled at her. "All settled?"
"Not really. I don't see the point of unpacking completely when we are just going to redo the rooms," Yumi shrugged, throwing the shirt she had in her hands on her bed.
"Yeah, I know what you mean. I just organized my boxes into a corner."
Yumi giggled and sat down on the bed, motioning for him to join her. "I really missed you, Ulrich."
"I really missed you too. It's good to be back. All of us together again brings back so many memories, you know?"
"Those were the days. Late nights, Jim chasing us, Sissi chasing us, trips back in time," Yumi named off a few.
Ulrich chuckled. "The good days." He stood up and stretched. "Well I'll let you get some sleep. Night."
"Good night." Yumi watched as he left and closed the door behind him. She smiled as she stood up and got ready for bed.
She was running, trying to avoid the lasers that were shooting at her. She ducked and jumped behind a rock. She tried to catch her breath then looked to see if anyone was behind her. Instead the monsters spotted her. She took off running again, trying to hit the Krabs with her fan but missed and fan fell into the digital sea.
"Yumi!" Ulrich came dashing towards her, blocking the lasers with his sword. "Go find Aelita; I'll take care of them."
She nodded and took off in the direction of the tower. When she arrived, she gasped. The Scyphozoa was placing Aelita back on the ground. Aelita stood up, took one look at Yumi then threw herself into the digital sea.
"NO! NO! DON'T GO!"
"Yumi! Yumi, wake up!"
Yumi jerked awaked, trying to adjust to the darkness. She slowly made out a figure sitting on her bed. She pulled her sheets up to her chest.
"Yumi, it's me, Ulrich," The figure said, placing a hand on her shoulder.
Yumi relaxed, recognizing the voice. She sat up, turning the lamp on that was by her bedside. Ulrich was sitting on the edge of her bed, watching her. "I'm sorry I woke you up."
"It's fine. Are you okay?" He asked worriedly. "You were screaming mine and Jeremy's name."
"Yeah, it was just a nightmare. I'm okay, you can go back to bed, Ulrich."
Ulrich watched her for a minute until he decided she was fine then stood up and went to the door. Before he left, he turned to her one last time. "I get them too."
Yumi stared at the closed door, trying to understand his words. He had nightmares too? Of course he did. She wasn't the only one who fought in Lyoko and witnesses the things they did. She wasn't the only one with ghosts.
So how'd I do? I haven't decided on William. He will most likely make an appearance so will some of the CL:E stuff and yes this includes Laura. Let me know what you think!