AN: Alright, kiddies. Things get a bit rough from here on, so if you're under the required age for this story, you'll want to turn around. Sorry about that. Thank you all for the support you guys have shown me! Hopefully things will speed up after this and I can get this story finished! As always, read, review, and enjoy!
Ari knew something was wrong. She hadn't seen Yumi or Ulrich all day, and Theo was missing as well. By the end of the day, she decided to talk to the principal and tell him what had been going on between Yumi and Theo. As she walked along the edge of the forest towards the camp's office, Ari felt the hairs on the back of her neck stand up. She was being watched. As she turned her head to look behind her, she was struck on the head and crumpled. Theo heaved her onto his shoulder and walked into the trees.
"Where's Ulrich? It's not like him to go missing all day and not even come to supper," Odd mused aloud. The idea of anyone skipping a meal was cause for worry in itself. When it came time to do night rounds, Principal Delmas' face was lined with worry.
"Please stay close together and check back in at the mess hall every half hour. There will be teachers patrolling as well, so find them immediately if you see anything at all suspicious."
Odd and Jeremie sat together; the silence between them was deafening. Odd was supposed to be partnered with Yumi tonight, and Jeremie was supposed to be partnered with Ulrich. Because they were both missing, Jeremie and Odd got paired up. After most of the counselors had dispersed, Jeremie spoke up.
"What do you think happened to them? Aelita hasn't noticed any big changes on Lyoko, so we can probably rule out X.A.N.A. this time."
"Yeah. Plus, Ari is missing, too. I saw her this morning at breakfast, but she didn't show up for our counselor's meeting." Odd frowned. "Let's look for them tonight when we go on patrol. Who knows, maybe they ran away to elope or something. It'd be about time, too!"
Jeremie cracked a small smile, but he wasn't reassured. There was a nagging feeling in the back of his mind like he was missing something. Something important.
When Yumi next opened her eyes, she saw Ari slumped on the platform across from her. There was a bruise slowly forming on the left side of her head, above her temple. Yumi bit her lip, and her heart clenched. Another one… he got another one. Please make it stop…
The sun was setting so Yumi did not see Theo as he finished climbing up the rope ladder. Once he got up, he curled the ladder up and laid it carefully on the edge of the platform. The long branch he used to hook and unfurl the ladder laid on the ground, hidden in the bushes. Theo crouched beside Yumi.
"Thought you could use some company. Too bad one of you won't be around for long." Theo grinned at her maliciously and pulled out his knife, flicking it open and closed. "If you two don't keep quiet, I'll kill you both. Now, it's supper time." Theo pulled some raspberries from his pants pocket and carefully unwrapped them. They were a little squashed, but he held one to her lips after popping a few in his own mouth first.
Yumi glared at him and kept her lips tightly shut. She could see him growing angrier. Theo grabbed her jaw roughly with his other hand and prized her mouth open, then stuck a berry inside. Just as Theo started to look triumphant, Yumi spat the berry out, some of it landing on Theo's hand.
"You bitch!" Theo slapped her with his berry-stained hand. "Fine then, starve to death. Hunger will make you friendly soon enough." With that, Theo wiped his hand on Yumi's shirt and climbed down the side of the tree as to not disturb the ladder.
Yumi had a brief feeling of triumph, then reality hit her. Theo said one of us would die soon… which one? If he kills me, will he let her go? Would he kill me if I asked him to spare her? Yumi's growling stomach interrupted her thoughts, and she half-wished she hadn't turned down the food. It was weird; the look on his face when he was offering me the berry was almost kind. He couldn't love me, not with all he's done to me. So, why did he look at me like that?
"Alright, Jeremie. Time to go!" Odd popped up from his seat and pulled Jeremie up. Jeremie fumbled with his laptop and managed to stick it in his backpack.
"Aelita still hasn't found anything," Jeremie said, a hint of worry in his voice. "I don't like this at all."
"You worry too much, Einstein." Odd collected their flashlights and walked out into the night air. Mrs. Hertz and Jim were already out walking around. Jeremie's hand felt the lump of his cell phone in his pocked and felt slightly reassured. He pulled the phone out of his pocket and groaned.
"No service," Jeremie said to Odd as an explanation.
"We're at a camp in the middle of a forest - of course we don't have service! I think you're losing your touch, Jer!"
"At least they have Wi-Fi in the buildings," Jeremie muttered. The two wandered around the camp, chatting idly. As they walked, they got closer to the edge of the forest. Once they got close enough, a dark shape lunged at them and swung at Odd's head with a branch. Jeremie stepped back and yelped. Because of the slight warning, Odd was able to sidestep and the blow only glanced his head. Pain exploded as the back of Odd's head, but he turned to face his attacker.
"Theo!" Odd gasped. "What are you doing!"
"Removing competition," Theo said menacingly. He took a step forward and swung again. Odd tried to block it, but the branch met with his arm and there was a sickening crunch. Odd gasped in pain and fell to his knees, clutching his right arm. Theo raised the branch again and struck him over the head with it.
Jeremie was frozen in shock. He took a hesitant step forward, his hands up in fists as if to defend himself.
"Stop it, Theo," Jeremie said, his voice shaking as he took another step. "What've we done to you?"
"You're trying to take my Yumi away from me," Theo growled. "She loves you guys more than she loves me!" Theo rushed at Jeremie, brandishing the branch. Jeremie let out a small cry and turned to run, but Theo was too fast. He threw the unconscious genius over his shoulder and carried him to the edge of the forest and hid him in the bushes. Then he went back for Odd and carried him off into the forest.
AN: I hope you liked it! Tune in next time to see if our heroes survive their new adventure! Leave a review and/or ask me a question if you'd like! Thanks!