Ask Me What It's Like to Never Win

By: Leelei

Disclaimer: I don't own Code:Lyoko

Author's Note: Basically, I tried to capture a high-school aged Herb falling in love with Aelita until the point where he becomes maniacal. Maybe a little out of character, but I like to think that, in this fic, the time that has passed has really changed the characters in many different ways.

Okay, that was the old Author's Note…Hey guys- sorry it's been so long since I've posted. Originally, I had written this story over a three or four day period about a month ago and planned to put it up during Spring break, but I have to admit that I had gotten caught up in life. I missed out on all of this writing and coming up with plots that I love so much…it feels like I have fallen from grace. I can't really justify this story; when I read it now, I can't really remember every single emotion I had intended. I really loved this, although now all I can say is that I hope you enjoy it (I know I'm trying to again).

Chapter 1

It's not fair. She's so beautiful. She's so sweet and caring, everyone knows and loves her. And she knows everyone in return, god she has a million friends, but she never notices me. I would do anything for her, and yet sometimes I wonder if she even knows my name. It isn't fair. I love her.

'Aelita,' I write the scrolling cursive letters of her name in my notebook during class as I sit in the back of the room. She's in the front, next to Jeremie Belpois, her supposed boyfriend. I don't know what she sees in him. I'm a lot smarter, and at least a year older, than that geek. But she's always near him. Always next to him. They hold hands, kiss in the hallway, and I've never once seen them work in another pair besides each other during class. All that will change, though. All that is going to change…

"Okay, class, get together with your Science Olympiad teams and work for the remainder of the period on your projects," the teacher announced. I feel a grin come to my features as she pulls out a list from her desk. "I'll read off the groups again."

The Science Olympiad is for the brightest students in each grade at Kadic High. Only the top honors classes are able to compete in the country-wide competition of chemicals, procedures, labs, and complicated math and formulas. This year, I'm finally a freshman, and I'll be competing with the top students in France for all the scholarship money I can dream of. Well…my class and I will be competing. But they can't do it without me!

The teacher reads through the names of all the students, dividing us into groups of four, "Paul, Romain, Tania, Thomas, biochemistry. Azra, Claire, Matthieu, and Jeremie, you'll be working on astronomy. Heidi, Herb, Aelita, and Julien, I'll have you work on biology today. And everyone else will be the last group, physics." A groan came from the students not named as everyone stood and shuffled their desks around to sit in their groups. I stayed at my own, smiling, knowing and waiting for what would happen. Aelita would come over…we would work together with no Jeremie…then she would get to know the real me, and I would finally have her as my own.

Now that we are all in high school, we were able to take placement tests into honors classes. Sissi and Nicholas didn't make it in, and I know for a fact that Ulrich definitely didn't pass to be in our upper level science course this year, and that Odd kid stayed in the regular class with him. So now it's just me, Aelita, and…Jeremie.

What's he doing up at the desk with her? I swear, if he thinks that he's going to sweet talk the teacher into switching groups to be with Aelita, then he's pathetic. This is a major competition! The teacher isn't going to bend over backwards to put him with her…

…But wait, she's taken out her list again. She's checking it over…She's moved over to the computer in the corner of the room and logged on to her own account on the school network. After a few moments of checking through some documents, I hear the printer and she pulls out a new slip of paper and stands up, posting it on the wall for the class to view.

"All right class, there's been a mistake," she announces and everyone looks to her. "Claire, I was supposed to have you in the biology group, and Aelita you were right, you should be in Jeremie's group working on astronomy. I'm very sorry for the mix-up. Please continue."

I can feel my jaw nearly hit my desk. What the hell just happened? She said at the beginning of the week that no changes were going to be made in the groups! How…how did that little bastard slip under her and do that?

But worst of all…how did he take Aelita away from me again? I watch as they smile at each other and she giggles. He pulls over a desk for her near his group and they sit down, her pulling out a text book and starting to read to the other three from it to discuss their portion of the project. I grip my pencil tightly in my hand. What…happened…

"Excuse me," someone calls to me with an attitude. "Are you coming over here or what, Herb?"

I turn to the catty new girl from my group and glare. "Just wait a second, okay?" I snap as I keep my staring even. She rolls her eyes and turns around, facing the rest of my group on the other side of the room. I slowly put my notebook in my backpack and pick it up.

As I stand up, I take my time walking over to the small cluster of desks. I realize that they haven't pulled one up for me, and I take a detour to the upper corner of the room to retrieve a chair. As I walk more directly, I soon notice that I'm going to pass by Aelita. Oh, how I feel an urge to just grab a hold of her and jerk her over towards me. But instead, all I can focus on was that beautiful, bright pink hair of hers, and that pale, perfect skin…

She had taken her sweater off during class, and her short hair has left her neck and the very top of her back open to the air. Then I just wanted…I just wanted…

Before I know what I'm doing, I feverishly switch hands with my bag and quicken my pace. As I near their group, I walk closer and closer to their chairs until…

I lift my hand and brush it so gently over the back of her neck, my fingers gliding over her skin and just missing the touch of her lovely hair. She immediately stops reading and whirls around in her seat to look at me.

"Oh, I'm sorry," I mumble, passing it off as an accident as I point to the chairs. "Just getting a chair."

She smiles, always being so forgiving she almost appears naïve, and returns to her reading position. But Jeremie, on the other hand, I can see him glare at me from the corner of his eye, just behind those thick glasses of his. He didn't startle or turn when I touched her, but I can feel that he knows what I've done. He hates me because of my love for her, and I know he'll try anything to keep me from having her. I don't care. He should know by now.

I finally find a chair and lug it back over to my group. As I sit down, the girl from before sighs loudly in disgust at seeing that I've parked myself right next to her. "About time," I can hear her mutter, but I shrug it off.

Looking back to Aelita, I gaze at her again. Seeing her skin from my distant position, I grin at the thought of my accomplishment. I had touched her…and she didn't seem to mind.

See Jeremie? She's not completely yours.

Chapter 2 coming shortly. Please leave a review. : )