Title: A Token of Gratitude

By: Chibi/Warlordess

Genre: General, Odd/Aelita romance

Dedication: A special fic for Ulrich, since I've owed her something ever since she created the forums page "Code:Lyoko, Fans Unite"!

Kudos to you, Ulrich!

Warning: Don't expect anything serious (especially cause I'm mostly an Aelita/Jeremie fan). This is just an excuse to use fluff, mediocre WAFF, and humor in an attempt to make someone feel good.

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"It's all right, Jeremie. I know that you tried as hard as possible to get out of that technical seminar. Don't worry about it. I know that Yumi or someone could show me around town." Aelita smiled into the receiver as she tried to make Jeremie stop apologizing.

After she'd finally hung up, she sighed. She all ready know that Yumi couldn't do it. Ironically enough, she and Ulrich had what people normally called a "study date" and would be gone for the afternoon.

But Jeremie had promised that she could get a chance to see the main city area after she'd finally been materialized. She was currently staying at Yumi's house, just as they'd all planned. She'd finally been given a record, birthday and birth certificate, an enrollment in their boarding school, and, over all, an existence.

There was only one more person that she knew she could count on... She saw the number lying on a piece of paper (which Yumi had left behind so that she'd be able to call one of them if something happened) and picked up the phone again.

Dialing the number and hearing it ring, she waited and sighed. She didn't know how she'd feel about this.

"H-hello..?" The yawn of an anonymous male was heard from the other line. Finally, Aelita smiled, sure of her actions, "Is someone there..?"

"Uhm... Hello, Odd..." There was something appearing on her cheeks, and she turned to the mirror standing right in front of the small foyer table on the wall and watched her reflection. Her face seemed to be going scarlet with embarrassment and... Possibly something else.

"Oh; Princess!" There was slight laughter now, "So glad to hear Her Majesty's voice from something other than a computer terminal! So... Wha'cha calling for? Because I'm sure that it's not just to wake me up on this fine Saturday morning."

"Oh, no! I was hoping that you could... Uh... Do me a favor? I really just wanted to know if maybe, possible-because Ulrich and Yumi are out, and Jeremie has some last-minute plans-could you... Take me sight-seeing around town?" There was silence for a moment and it seemed that it was not going to be possible through Odd's weekend plans of sleep, sleep, music, eating, and more sleep.

"Sure, Aelita. Give me about a half-hour to get ready and I'll show you around ALL the best places."

"Ok..." She was smiling again now, but she didn't know why, "I'll see you, then. And thanks, Odd, for doing this for me!"

"Oh, no. It's always a pleasure to assist the dear Princess in her duties!" One last laugh, and the line went dead.

-

Odd whistled nonchalantly as he marched in the direction of Yumi's house. He really had no idea what was going to happen that day, but he knew that it'd be something great.

On the way there, he spotted something that looked suspiciously like a small rose garden. Making sure that no one saw him, he back towards it and plucked the most beautiful of the bush, and held it safely in his hands.

"Perfect!" He looked at it and made his final assumption, "I'm sure she'll like it!"

After walking down the street for a few more minutes, and passing by a couple of traffic lights, he arrived at Yumi's front door (Note: Wow, saying it like that almost makes it sound like an Odd/Yumi fic... WEIRD.) and knocked. It was a few seconds before someone answered, and of course that someone just happened to be Aelita.

"Hello there, Princess. You might wanna grab a jacket; it might get a bit chilly while we're out." Her being materialized from Lyoko hadn't stopped his protective, 'Always-there-for-you' personality from flowing so abundantly.

"Um... I don't have one yet. Yumi was going to take me shopping for one next weekend." She could feel that prickling, embarrassment beginning to show its visual effects.

"Oh. Well, it's just smart of me that I brought an extra." He removed a light coat from his waistband, where he'd tied it to keep it out of his way, "There you go... Oh, and here." He handed her the flower, "A token of gratitude for waking me up before the Apocalypse. Thanks so much for that."

She giggled, "You're welcome." She seemed to catch herself. The only other person who'd ever made her giggle like that had been Jeremie. There was something wrong with this... But what could she do to stop it? Turn around and slam her friends door in Odd's face?

Naw, somehow that seemed like it'd be much less effective now that they were acting on such good terms with each other.

"So, shall we go?"

"Sure." She nodded and let him lead the way.

"Please remember to keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times!"

-

"And that's the park. It's really nice to go lay back on the slide after dark and watch the stars shoot across the sky..."

"And how would you know, Odd?"

"Hey, I have hobbies other than eating, sleeping, and saving the world from some creepy Super Computer!" He stated defensively, making her laugh again.

It had been about an hour and a half, and things were going pretty well. They'd seen the harbor, the local supermarket, the neighboring schools, and some of the finer high-sky buildings. Such architecture fascinated Aelita to no end, but Odd was so used to it that he only stood back and yawned some more while she looked at her reflection in the glass panes of the wall facing her.

"And that's Jerald's. It's a local diner, with some of the best American food around. Which reminds me..." He stated sheepishly, as he felt his stomach churn in hunger, "What say you and me catch a quick meal before continuing on this little extravaganza, huh, Princess?" Aelita, hearing his middle area grumble again, nodded with a smile.

"Yeah, I think your Kiwi impersonation would like that." And she pointed at his stomach, which was indeed growling like a dog.

So they turned and walked in the doors, hearing the little bell jingle as they did. Odd waved to the waiter standing at the counter waiting for the food to be passed by the chef beyond their view, and he waved back. It seemed like Odd was a familiar face here.

"Just pick yourself the usual table, Odd. I'm sure your little friend there can't wait to sit down, if she's anything like you."

"Got'cha, Mr. Adams." Odd winked and led Aelita to the back, next to the windows overlooking the back of the building.

Having expected something like a parking lot extension, Aelita was pretty surprised to see a deck with five or six outside tables path and garden area to look at while eating. It looked so relaxing out there...

"If you don't mind it being a bit cold, we could go outside. I think that's what you want, right?"

"Kind of..."

"Okay, then!" Odd put his arm around her shoulder and led her outside. It took her a moment to notice that they were being followed, now, by that same waiter that Odd seemed to be so friendly with.

"Here's a couple of menus for you two. What would you like to drink? I'll be back with them in a few moments, and to take your order!" He sounded very... Jovial was a good word for it, Aelita decided. It was obvious that this man and Odd knew each other VERY well.

"Just a cola for me, thanks."

"I'll have a carbonated, artificially flavored fluid as well." There was a quirked eyebrow, but Odd waved it off with his hand and the waiter disappeared inside again.

"You know, Princess, it's okay to talk like... Like me, if you want. It could save you a lot of brain power."

"I'm sorry; I'm just so new at this. In Lyoko, all of the programs and files had specific and, well, complicated documentation and formatting... Things are just so much simpler here... But I'm afraid that I'm still so used to my old home..."

"...Do you miss it?" It was a pretty close-to-home inquiry, and Aelita wasn't going to lie.

"Sometimes... I feel that it would all be a lot easier if I was still there... Things would be what we would used to call 'normal'. It's great being here with you guys, and I love Earth so much with all of these new senses and feelings... But I feel like I'm some doll that was just given to a new family... I don't really know what's going on, or how to handle it."

"I'm not going to lie and say that I understand... But I'm glad that you could talk to me about it. If purpose serves, I'm glad that you feel you can trust me enough to tell me these things. I know it can bother you a lot. Just know that you've got four friends right here who are more than willing to talk if you have something to say."

"Here ya go!" They were interrupted by Mr. Adams slapping down their soda's in front of them, and then he pulled out a small notepad and a pen, and looked expectantly at them.

"Oh, no! We didn't even have a chance to look at the menus!" Aelita stated in worry, "I'm sorry, Odd, I--"

"--You don't have to apologize. Besides, I've had everything on this menu at least four times each. So, we'll just have two burgers and fries please..." He winked at Aelita, "Because we've still got so much to see; am I right, Princess?"

She smiled warmly now, finally realizing that the last thing she needed to be at the moment was apologetic after Odd was trying so hard to treat her to a good time.

"Right."

-

"Well, I believe that's the complete tour of this lovely European town. I hope that you enjoyed it." Odd was walking backwards with his arms behind his head in restlessness.

"A lot more than expected, actually. I like going out like this." Aelita tucked the coat around her more comfortably in order to keep warm. After all, it was nearing sunset and the wind chill factor was picking up for the night.

"Ah, we're here all ready. Guess it's time for us to say goodnight."

There seemed to be an extended silence at the thought. It seemed that neither of them wanted the day to be over. Aelita didn't know what was going on. So many likenesses to Jeremie that she couldn't place, and yet, there was such a touch of "Odd" in this whole matter than it confused her... Why did she feel so awkward?

Odd was feeling the same way. He had Sam, he really LIKED Sam, and here he was, evidently pining over another girl all together. He didn't know when or why or how this had happened... What was he supposed to do now?

"So... Are we going to end this here?"

"If you want to... I really should be going in... And don't they lock the gate entrance at eight o'clock?" Odd checked his watch at the question.

"NO WAY!" He had under ten minutes to run the seven blocks back to Kadik boarding school.

He felt something that interrupted his scene of panic, and his eyes widened as he saw Aelita falling back.

She had kissed him on the cheek.

She put the flower he had given her earlier into her bright hair and he noticed how well it accented her figure and complexion.

"W-what was that for, Princess?"

She giggled a bit at his stutter and began walking away, back toward the Ishiyama home, "A token of my gratitude."

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THE END FOR NOW!

REVIEW!

Also, should I continue this at all?