I don't own Code Lyoko, or this would have been an episode.
Okay...this takes place during the second season.
A little background, it was inspired after I saw the second Lilo & Stitch movie (where the title came from, actually), and the legend that played a big part of that movie, as well as the song at the end.
Note: This story's grammar/etc was fixed September 2010
Ulrich cursed to himself as he jogged to class. Stupid alarm clock breaking…stupid Odd not waking me up…stupid me for even thinking for a moment that Odd would wake me up…
Beside him, Odd was running just as fast. "You know, I usually depend on you to get me up!"
"Yea, well, how was I to know that our alarm clock would stop working!" Ulrich shot back.
"It's your fault for not making sure the batteries were fully charged!" Odd panted as he ran alongside the boy.
"Clocks aren't like cellphones, Odd! They don't have a 'low battery' symbol that flashes when it's time to change it!"
"Well, if the plug was in the wall…"
"You know we can't plug it in because Kiwi messed up that outlet!"
"Hey, leave Kiwi out of this…!" Odd started, then yelped and collided with Ulrich when the boy stopped short.
The two fell to the ground.
"Ow…hey, Ulrich, what's the idea…?" Odd started.
Ulrich clapped a hand over the boy's mouth after wiggling out from under him, then dragged him behind the shed and peered out.
Odd pulled free and hissed, "I don't know what you're doing, but need I remind you that we're going to be late for that test you stayed up all night to study for?"
Ulrich pointed around to the side.
Odd peered over, and blinked.
Yumi was standing under one of the trees, talking to William. Since her class didn't start yet, they had time.
"They've been hanging out a lot these days…" Odd commented.
Ulrich hissed a 'shh' at him, and watched.
Odd watched as well with a sense of foreboding.
William had whispered something to Yumi that made her eyes go wide, then soften.
Yumi looked at the ground, neither she nor William realizing they had two spies. She looked up, but found she couldn't say anything. "William…I…"
William shook his head. "You don't have to say anything now. I know you and Ulrich like each other, but…"
Yumi frowned. "We're just friends. That's all we are. But…do you really mean it? What you said just now?"
William smiled as he put his hands on her shoulders. "Want me to show you?"
The instant their lips met was the instant that Ulrich turned and started to storm off.
Odd blinked, then stayed long enough to glance at Yumi and William in disbelief before he followed his friend.
Jeremie looked up when they entered the classroom and took their seats.
The bell rang about five seconds later.
"You two almost missed the test," Aelita told them.
"Something came up," Ulrich muttered.
Jeremie raised and eyebrow, and looked at Odd.
Odd shook his head, then whispered to the genius, "Did you and Aelita meet up with Yumi this morning?"
Jeremie nodded. "Yea…but she said she had to go somewhere, and left. You and Ulrich didn't show up, so we headed for class…"
Odd glanced over at Ulrich, who was moping. "She was with William."
"That's all?" Jeremie raised an eyebrow. "Ulrich doesn't mind, usually…"
"No, I mean, she was with him." Odd shook his head.
Jeremie sent him a confused look.
Odd rolled his eyes, then whispered lowly, "They were kissing."
"You're kidding…" Jeremie's eyes widened, and he turned to open his laptop under the desk since the teacher had walked in.
"What are you doing?" Aelita asked.
"Checking for activated towers," Jeremie whispered back.
Mrs. Suzanne Hertz was explaining the time limits and such for the test, then started to hand them out.
"Nothing." Jeremie shook his head as he frowned a bit. "No activated towers detected."
"Maybe," Aelita spoke quietly, "it has nothing to do with XANA."
"For Ulrich's sake…" Odd spared a glance at his friend. "…I hope you're wrong."
Ulrich disappeared after class instead of going to lunch with them; not that Odd blamed him.
Jeremie was running another scan in the cafeteria as Odd sat down with his lunch tray.
Aelita was looking at the computer.
"Still none?" Odd asked.
"Nope." Jeremie shook his head.
"Then…Yumi's behavior was her own?" Aelita bit her lip.
"Afraid so." Jeremie sighed and closed the computer.
Just then, Sissi approached them. "Hey! Where's Ulrich?"
"Dunno." Odd shrugged, then smirked. "And even if we did know, there's no way we'd tell you, Sissi!"
Sissi scowled at him, then stuck her nose in the air and walked away.
"She doesn't know about it?" Aelita blinked. "I thought Sissi was on top of all school gossip."
"Ulrich and I were the only ones to see it…everyone else was in class," Odd responded after he swallowed a mouthful of food. "And we didn't say anything yet. As far as the school goes, we're the only ones who know about it. Plus you and Aelita. And Yumi and William…though, they don't know that Ulrich and I were watching."
"Do we bring it up to Yumi?" Aelita asked.
Jeremie shook his head. "I like living…it's their problem. I'm not going to get in the middle."
Odd nodded absently, but he couldn't get the scene out of his head. After William had kissed Yumi (and Ulrich ran away angrily), it looked like Yumi had kissed him back. That was something that Odd wasn't about to tell his friend.
He was insensitive a lot of times, but there were some things that were either private, or not worth getting killed by a best friend over.
What he saw fell into the latter category.
Yumi walked over to them with her tray a moment later, then looked uneasily at the scrutinizing looks she was getting. "What?"
"Um…nothing." Jeremie looked at his own tray.
Odd stood up. "I'm going to feed Kiwi." He quickly ate the rest of his lunch, then walked out. Before I get angry…
"Okay…what's going on?" Yumi frowned.
Jeremie sighed. "I said I wasn't going to get into it…but aren't you planning on telling Ulrich, at least?"
"Tell him what?" Yumi looked sharply at him.
"You two like each other, right?" Aelita blinked. "It's obvious to see that Ulrich likes you, and that…well, we thought you liked him back."
"We're friends…that's all." Yumi looked at her lunch.
"Then, as a friend, you should tell him if you change your mind about liking him…"
Yumi stood up and glared at Jeremie. "My personal business is none of Ulrich's…or yours! I don't know how you found out, but you can't tell anyone!"
Jeremie nodded, almost sure he was going to be pummeled by the girl.
Yumi picked her tray up and walked away from them, to a table where nobody sat.
"This can't end well," Jeremie muttered.
Aelita nodded mutely.
Ulrich didn't look over when his door opened and Odd came in.
"Hey." Odd closed the door behind him, going over to his drawer where he kept Kiwi's food. "Um…Jeremie's doing a scan to see if it's XANA…"
"He already tried that tactic. And besides…he can't possess you, me, or Yumi. Don't even bother trying to cheer me up." Ulrich rolled onto his side to face the wall.
Odd sighed and plopped down on the floor after setting out some food for Kiwi, who munched at it. "What if you just told her? How you feel, I mean…"
"What's the point, now?" Ulrich frowned. "She likes William. Not me."
"Are you sure you aren't possessed?" Odd blinked. "You usually get angrier than this…you're just…giving up."
"Why not give up?" Ulrich grunted. "I was too late. Don't you get it? I lost, Odd. If I tell her now…it'll just be worse. Even if we go back in time…I don't now if I can tell her. I don't even know how long she's felt that way."
Odd frowned. "So, that's it? You're just quitting? Just like that?"
"Yea, I am. What's it to you?"
Odd shook his head.
Just then, there was a knock on the door.
"Guys? It's me. Jeremie…"
Odd was incredulous as he stood in Jeremie's room.
The boy had wanted to talk to him alone, which suited Ulrich just fine, since the boy was still depressed.
Aelita sat on Jeremie's bed, looking at the floor.
"She wasn't even going to tell him?" Odd exclaimed.
Jeremie shook his head. "I know…it doesn't sound like Yumi. I've launched about five super scans, and found nothing. And, I launched two scans on this machine. Still nothing."
"Maybe she just doesn't know how she feels," Aelita suggested.
"You might be able to convince Ulrich with that…" Odd shook his head. "…but not me. Ulrich had turned around before he saw the rest of it. Yumi returned the kiss."
"Maybe it was involuntarily?" Aelita said, "She got really edgy when we mentioned it…then she stood up and went to an unoccupied table. William was at another table…she could have gone over there, but didn't."
Odd sighed. "Yea…sure. I'm going back to the room. Ulrich being angry, I can handle. I usually go somewhere else. Ulrich sulking, same deal. Ulrich depressed…I'd rather not leave him in the room by himself. Thanks for telling me." With that, he left.
Jeremie sighed and took his glasses off, then cleaned them with his shirt. "Well…I'd say, this is a nice mess…"
A beeping had them turning to look at the computer.
"How about we go take Kiwi for a walk?" Odd suggested.
"Don't feel like it."
"Play a game? I know a bunch!" Odd continued.
"Okay, how about…painting! That's fun to do!"
Ulrich sighed and sat up. "Look, Odd…I know you're trying to cheer me up, and I appreciate it, but…"
Just then, Odd's cellphone rang.
"Jeremie?" Odd blinked, picking it up.
"XANA attack! Meet at the factory!"
"Gotcha." Odd nodded, and then hung up and looked at Ulrich, "XANA attack. How about taking out some of your emotions on some Blocks or so?"
Ulrich stared at the ground, then sighed and stood up. "Okay."
Odd was surprised. He didn't expect Ulrich to agree…when the boy would get angry, depressed, or in a sulking mood, he didn't go to Lyoko until the very last minute.
"Well? I hope XANA prepared a good welcoming committee," Ulrich stated a bit darkly as he started out the door.
Odd got that strange sense of foreboding, but just hurried after his friend, hoping that he was wrong.
"Okay," Jeremie explained as they met up in the factory, "I haven't been able to figure out what XANA is up to…there are no possessions at school…"
"Maybe he did something to the scanners again?" Odd suggested. He was standing on one side of the chair, with Ulrich and Aelita.
Yumi stood on the other side, not quite understanding the dirty looks Odd was shooting her.
"It's possible…" Jeremie frowned. "I just don't understand…what's the attack? We're all here, no clones…but there's an activated tower. I don't see any damage to the scanner programs…"
"There's nothing on the screens, either…" Aelita blinked.
"This reeks of a trap," Jeremie mumbled, and called up some data programs on the computer.
They were quiet as he worked.
"In any case." Jeremie shook his head, "I'm not sending any of you to Lyoko until I know what XANA's attack is. The last time we went with no apparent attack, it was a trap that caused the scanners to function so that if one of you were devirtualized, you'd disappear. XANA doesn't seem to repeat tactics, but I wouldn't put it over on him to do so just to throw us off."
"What if we just went on a recon?" Odd asked, "You know…to check it out?"
"Too dangerous." Jeremie vetoed the idea. "I'm not sending Aelita and you guys in there…"
"You mean, you're not sending Aelita in there." Ulrich crossed his arms.
"What?" Jeremie spun around.
"I'm up for some recon." Ulrich didn't clarify. "Just send me. You don't have to send Aelita with me. If there's no problem, then send her and we'll go deactivate the tower. We can't just leave an activated tower alone."
"Great idea!" Odd agreed, "Send us, first…!"
"No, Odd." Ulrich pulled the boy's arm off his shoulder. "Not 'us'. Me. No point in all of us going if it's a false alarm. Or if something's wrong."
"But…going alone…" Yumi frowned.
Ulrich stared at her a moment, then jammed his hands in his pockets and walked towards the elevator. "Well, Jeremie?"
"Ulrich…anything can happen, you know…" Jeremie shook his head.
"There's an activated tower," Ulrich responded, "and no attack. Don't you find that suspicious?"
Aelita spoke up, "I have to agree with Ulrich. XANA has never done something like this before. If we ignore it, and things get worse…remember that XANA had once sent his monsters into this world. There's nothing stopping him from doing it again if he can infect a scanner to use. For that, he needs some time with the tower."
"But…" Jeremie protested, then sighed. "Okay…but stay here until I get Ulrich there…"
"Jeremie…" Aelita frowned at him.
Ulrich was waiting in the elevator. "She can take care of herself, Jeremie."
"Who are you to talk!" Jeremie snapped back. "How would you feel if you might never see someone important to you again!"
Ulrich's eyes shone with an unreadable emotion.
Jeremie realized his mistake, and bowed his head.
"Nice move, Einstein," Odd hissed.
Yumi looked at them in confusion.
Jeremie looked back up. "Ulrich…I…I'm sorry…"
"Don't be. Let's just get this over with," Ulrich stated.
Aelita walked to the elevator. "Please send me, Jeremie."
Jeremie sighed, then nodded. "Okay. Odd, Yumi…stand by. If nothing happens, I'll send you two as well." He put the earpiece on.
The elevator doors closed, and headed down.
Aelita glanced over at Ulrich, and was surprised to see that his eyes looked a bit wet. She reached over and placed a hand on his shoulder.
Ulrich jumped a bit and bowed his head, hoping she didn't see him close to tears.
Aelita didn't know what to say, so she just smiled at him and then let go of his shoulder.
The elevator stopped, and they got out.
"Thanks," Ulrich whispered as he walked past her to his scanner.
Aelita smiled and nodded to him, then went into the middle scanner.
"We're both in, Jeremie," Ulrich stated.
Jeremie nodded, and brought up their cards. "Okay. I'm sending you to the Polar Sector. That's where the activated tower is. Get ready."
Odd and Yumi watched from opposite sides of the chair. Odd would occasionally throw Yumi a dirty look, which she would counter with a confused look that turned into a glare.
The card came up on the computer.
Aelita's card came up.
Jeremie typed in a few commands, then hit a button. "Scanner; Ulrich!" More typing, followed by: "Scanner; Aelita!"
He watched the screen carefully, but couldn't detect any abnormalities in the program, so he went ahead. "Virtualization!"
Aelita and Ulrich materialized in the icy area, then looked around.
Ulrich blinked and flexed his fingers.
"Did you two make it alright?" Jeremie's voice floated up.
"We're both here." Aelita smiled.
"I'm materializing the Overbike…"
Ulrich waited as he watched it start to materialize. Then, he felt a pain in his left shoulder-blade, that made him yelp and stumble forward before he managed to spin around.
There was a Block there, and two more were coming up behind it.
Ulrich's shoulder was burning, but he ignored it and charged the things. "Triplicate!"
Aelita took cover as he raced in and split himself into three.
One of the doppelgangers got shot down, but the other two made it.
"Impact!" Ulrich shouted, and with a flying leap, landed on the Block and jammed his sword right into the XANA symbol. His clone did likewise with the second Block.
Then, the third Block shot his clone, which made it vanish.
Aelita blinked when she saw something strange.
"I'm sending over Yumi and Odd…"
"Wait," Aelita spoke, "Jeremie, wait. Don't send them in yet."
Ulrich yelped as he took a hit to his right knee, which caused him to stumble and fall, then slide a bit as the next laser missed him due to the difference in height now. Ignoring the pain, that by all rights shouldn't have been there, he brought his sword up and held it horizontally as he headed past the Block, which he managed to cut it in half by the XANA symbol to destroy it.
Ulrich was then aware of the acute pain in his shoulder, and the stabbing pain in his knee. He looked down and his eyes widened when he saw a bloody, smoking hole where the laser had hit him with burned skin around it. "Jeremie…don't send Odd or Yumi. I think I know what the 'attack' is…"
Odd and Yumi were waiting in the scanner room, so they could only hear Jeremie's end of the conversation.
"Aelita was starting to say something, too…" Jeremie frowned. "What's the problem?"
It was Aelita that spoke up, "The lasers of the monsters are more powerful than they should be. XANA increased the strength and power of his monsters to actually physically harm Ulrich. Since the injuries are showing up on Lyoko…his physical body will more than likely end up with the same damage."
"What?" Jeremie exclaimed.
"That's why you can't send Odd or Yumi," Ulrich picked up on it. "If anything happens to me, we'll need them to stop future XANA attacks. And you know how often Odd is devirtualized."
"But…if one of those lasers hits you in the chest…" Jeremie stammered, "Even if it doesn't devirtualize you, you can still…"
"So, I'll just be careful," Ulrich responded, "But you know that Odd isn't as careful."
"This is insane…" Jeremie shook his head, "I'm bringing the both of you back. Maybe I can fix the problem from my end…"
"Jeremie…we're already halfway to the tower," Aelita interrupted. They were taking the Overbike as they spoke, since the minions were defeated.
"We need to do this, Jeremie."
Jeremie sighed in frustration. "You'd better be careful! Both of you!"
"You got it, chief," Ulrich stated.
"Okay." Aelita nodded.
Jeremie spoke so Yumi and Odd could hear him, "Odd, Yumi…come back up. I'm not sending you two in. I'll explain when you come up here." He didn't like this. Not one bit.
…And neither did Yumi or Odd.
"So…you're telling us that a hit to the chest can be fatal!" Yumi exclaimed.
Jeremie nodded grimly. "We decided not to send you two in."
"But…" Yumi shook her head, then looked at the screen, tears in her eyes.
Ulrich and Aelita were almost there, and it looked like they might reach the tower without further incident…
…at least, until Jeremie's voice shouted over the headset to them.
"Watch out! The Tarentule is guarding it! Two of them!"
"I see it," Ulrich said grimly, able to make out the two monsters. He pulled his bike to a stop behind a snow bank, and the two got off, then looked over.
"Hey, Jeremie," Ulrich spoke, "Will those lasers effect Aelita, too?"
"Most likely, yes. But I doubt XANA would risk hitting her in a fatal spot…probably just to incapacitate. XANA really outdid himself this time…"
"Stop complimenting him," Ulrich muttered without taking his eyes off the two Tarentules.
"No choice." Ulrich shook his head. "I'll use the Overbike to pull them out, then use Triplicate again. Draw their attention. Aelita, you'll have to make a run for it as soon as I pull them both away."
Aelita frowned, but nodded.
"That's crazy, Ulrich!" Yumi's voice came over the speaker.
Jeremie had yelped a bit when Yumi grabbed the earpiece and all but shouted into it.
"You can't do that!" Yumi shook her head. "It'll be suicide! Their lasers are more powerful…!"
"I have to. It's the only way."
"You can't!" Yumi bit her lip. "Ulrich…"
It was silent, then Ulrich spoke up, "One way or another, things will work out."
This time, it was Odd's turn to grab the earpiece.
"Hey!" Jeremie yelped. "I'll have you know that this thing is still kind of on my head…!"
"Don't say things like that!" Odd ignored the bespectacled boy. "You were never a quitter before! Okay, you sulked a lot and everything, but never quit! You better not quit now! Who'll pull pranks on Sissi with me! Come back alive, you hear me!"
"I hear you."
Jeremie reclaimed his earpiece (and his ear). "I'm in agreement. Be careful, Ulrich."
Ulrich smiled, and created two clones of himself. "I'm always careful."
"You're sounding like Odd." Jeremie's voice floated in.
Odd's voice came next, "Are you saying that's bad?"
Ulrich grinned, and nodded to one of his clones, which got onto the Overbike.
Ulrich thought a moment, then had his other clone wait. He whispered to Aelita that the first clone would try to draw them, and the two would try to fight. He would go with her as they snuck around the back of the tower to get there.
"Go." Ulrich signaled the clone on the Overbike.
The clone revved up the engine, and soared out towards the monsters, being careful to avoid the shots that were fired. He then swerved, pulling one of them away.
"Go." Ulrich nodded to his other clone.
The clone rushed out using Super Sprint, and was able to get near the second one.
Ulrich then grabbed Aelita's hand and pulled her around the other side of the snow bank, in a mad dash for the tower.
Jeremie rubbed his head. "Huh…"
"Hey…that's a good plan." Odd nodded. "Which one is the real Ulrich?"
"Uh…" Jeremie blinked, then shrugged.
Ulrich winced as the Overbike was shot out from under the clone, but continued on. It didn't hurt him when his clones were shot, so this was the best way.
The clone fighting the second Tarentule was trying to strike at it, but was having a hard enough time dodging.
They were just a few paces to the tower.
"Ulrich, when you reach the tower, you'll have to take cover until she deactivates it. I'll trigger a return trip to the past."
"Got it." Ulrich panted.
Just then, the far clone was hit, and vanished.
Ulrich noticed and gritted his teeth, but just Aelita along with him faster. His right knee felt like it was burning, and his shoulder throbbed steadily. As his second clone was destroyed and both Tarentules were zeroing in on their position, he knew he had to hurry.
The first shot hit the ground near them, but Ulrich kept on going.
"Aelita!" Ulrich skidded to a halt. "Run to the tower! Go! I'll cover you!"
Aelita nodded, and took off.
Ulrich deflected the incoming shots with his sword. He winced as the fourth shot caught him in the arm. He felt the familiar burning sensation, but ignored it. "Come on, you giant freaks! I'm all here! Come and get me!"
Jeremie's voice came overhead, "Don't look back, Aelita. Keep running."
Ulrich deflected a couple more beams, then took a hit to his leg, above the knee he was injured in before. His right leg gave out, and he fell to his knee, wincing but keeping the sword up. With effort against the pain, he pushed himself back to his feet, and continued to block the laser fire from the two Tarentules.
Then, just as Aelita was about to get to the tower, one of the Tarentules caught onto the plan, and aimed its guns at her.
"Aelita! Watch out!" Jeremie shouted.
Ulrich spared a glance, and ran over as fast as he could as he saw the glow of the lasers charging up.
Aelita's eyes widened when she saw the incoming lasers, aimed at her legs.
"Keep running!" Ulrich shouted as he jumped over. He managed to block the first one with his sword, but the second one hit him in his middle. He gasped in pain and started to dematerialize as he fell.
Aelita prayed he would be alright, and managed to dodge the final two shots aimed at her, then finally entered the tower.
Yumi was already in the elevator, taking it down, while Odd and Jeremie could only stand (or sit) rooted to their spots, crossing their fingers that they'd be in time.
Yumi ran into the scanner room and saw the opened scanner, with Ulrich laying on the ground in front of it, blood on his leg and back. The scariest part, though, was that most of it was pooling around the middle of his fallen body.
"Ulrich!" Yumi gasped as she ran over to him, then knelt down despite the crimson that surrounded the boy. "Ulrich, can you hear me! Ulrich? Ulrich, please answer me!"
Ulrich winced and opened his eyes as he gasping for breath against the pain. The world seemed to be spinning and going out of focus, but he felt his head on something soft, and realized that he was on Yumi's lap.
"Please…you can't die…just hold on for a little longer…" Yumi sobbed.
Ulrich smiled a bit, then slowly lifted his right hand up.
Yumi sniffled and looked at him, then blinked when he lightly touched her cheek.
Aelita traveled up the shaft of the tower, and landed on the second pad.
"Hurry up…" Jeremie was biting his lip.
Odd had his fingers crossed.
Yumi sniffled and placed a hand over his that rested on her cheek, and stared down into his chocolate eyes.
Ulrich was feeling weaker. He could vaguely see his life's liquid all over the floor, and still coming out. "I told you…that…one way or another…things would work out…"
Yumi felt tears run down her face faster, then shook her head. "No…Ulrich, NO!"
Ulrich smiled back at her. "I saw…you and William. He'd better…take care of you."
Yumi blinked, and suddenly, all the strange looks (and Ulrich's avoidant behavior) added up. She shook her head. "Ulrich…but he was the one who said he loved me…I didn't respond…"
"It's…okay," Ulrich whispered, then coughed, blood spraying a bit. He looked back up at her, his eyes sliding shut. "But…you know…"
Aelita put her hand on the screen that came up.
"I'm going to start up a return trip to the past…get ready, and pray we're not too late, guys," Jeremie's voice held a slight waver, but he managed to get it out.
"…I've always loved you," Ulrich smiled weakly up at Yumi, darkness now clawing at his vision as his eyelids started to slide shut.
Yumi's eyes widened, and she shook her head, causing tears to fly. "Ulrich…please…"
His hand started to grow slack under hers, and his breathing was starting to slow down.
"Ulrich, no! You can't die! Ulrich, I love you!" Yumi sobbed, cradling him to her as the white light started to envelope them.
"How could the alarm clock still not work!" Odd ranted. "I mean, come on! We already went through this! It couldn't have brought us back to the night before…nooooooo…it had to bring us back to the morning! When the alarm clock didn't go off!"
"Stop complaining and just keep running."
Odd grinned at his companion. "Hey…just trying to bring a sense of normalcy back to our lives!"
"Odd, I'm just glad to be alive."
"You're blushing!" Odd teased.
"I am not!"
"Yea you are! What happened when Yumi went down there? Did you two kiss or something?"
"Then how come you're blushing?"
"Let it go, Odd!"
"Are you kidding? You're turning as red as a tomato!" Odd laughed, then dodged a swing from his friend's bag as they passed by the shed. He slowed, and noticed his friend do the same.
Yumi and William were standing by the tree, but it was different.
"I'm sorry, William," Yumi was saying, a smile on her face, "I know what you're going to say…but don't. We can be friends. We're friends, and only friends."
William looked a little disappointed, but nodded with a sigh. "He finally admitted it, huh?"
Yumi blushed. "You knew?"
"It's a bit obvious." William grinned. "Hey, being friends sounds cool. Speaking of friends, you have two of them standing there." He pointed to his side.
Yumi looked over and smiled at the two boys standing there, then waved to them. "I'll see you guys at lunch!"
"Okay!" Odd called.
The other hesitated, with a slight blush, then winked at her and continued after his friend.
Yumi watched him go, then turned to William. "We should get to class, too. Or we'll get detention for being late. This would be the third time for both of us."
William blinked and counted, then blinked again. "Huh…you're right. Didn't know you were keeping track…but, oh well."
The two headed for class.
"Wow…you two managed to get here on time." Jeremie grinned at the two that came through the door, huffing and puffing.
"Yea, well…you couldn't have programmed that thing to go back to the night before? Say…when our alarm clock worked?" Odd groaned as he all but collapsed into his chair.
"Sorry…it was programmed to go off before the XANA attack…and I didn't have the time to program in anything farther…"
"Jeremie, I'm just glad that you made it in time. Aelita, too."
"Give yourself some credit, Ulrich." Aelita smiled at him. "I never would have made it to the tower if you hadn't done that."
Ulrich smiled a bit.
"Damn crazy, but great!" Odd nodded, and jokingly slapped his friend on the shoulder.
"Quit it!" Ulrich smirked as he gave Odd a playful punch back.
"Hey, Jeremie…" Odd spoke up, "Make Ulrich tell us what happened down in the scanner room!"
Ulrich smiled and placed a hand on Odd's shoulder. "Let's just say that things are going to be much better from now on."
Aelita smiled. "I'm glad to hear it."
"Ulrich and Yumi, sitt'n in a tree…" Odd started to chant.
Ulrich blushed and pulled out a candy bar, unwrapped it, and stuck it in his friend's open mouth.
"First comes love, then…mmph-mmph!"
Jeremie snickered and Aelita giggled.
"Hate to break it to you, Odd." Ulrich grinned. "But the 'love' part already came."
That almost made Odd choke on the chocolate bar…and it had nothing to do with the fact that it had been shoved in his mouth without warning. His eyes were wide, then, he grinned.
"Keep munching on that," Ulrich warned him. He eyed Jeremie and Aelita, daring them to say something.
Jeremie just smiled and whistled.
Aelita smiled as well. "Glad to have you back, Ulrich."
"Glad to be back. A couple seconds later…" Ulrich shook his head. "I actually think I was dead for a moment or two. But I heard Yumi's voice…it was strange. I heard her, and I wanted to come back to her…and for a moment, I was back, I think. Then, Odd and I were scrambling to get ready for school."
"Just like how you and Yumi finally got together," Odd stated, "I'm not about to question a miracle!"
"Keep eating that, Odd, or it'll end up on your head," Ulrich warned his friend with a blush.
Odd snickered, but munched the bar again.
Ulrich smiled and took in a deep breath as he glanced out the window. "Either way, it's a good day to be alive."
Just then, Mrs. Hertz came in, and held up a stack of papers. "Okay…time for the test."
Ulrich groaned, which caused Odd, Jeremie, and Aelita to snicker and giggle.
"Still think it's a good day to be alive?" Odd poked him teasingly.
Ulrich grinned. "Despite the test…yea."
"You know, I wouldn't be too grief-stricken if all tests were to die…" Odd stated as he was handed his paper.
"They're not that bad." Jeremie smirked.
"For you maybe…" Odd mumbled.
Ulrich grinned. "Try studying next time, Odd. Because I'm not changing my opinion on the day." He thought of Yumi for a moment, and blushed as he took his test.
Everyone fell silent as Mrs. Hertz called a start to the test. "You have until the end of class. You may begin now."
Ulrich stared at his paper, then smiled, remembering the last three words he heard Yumi say; words that meant the world to him. Words that had brought him back. He spared a quick glance out the window again, towards the building where Yumi was having her class, then smiled and looked back at his test. It really is…a great day to be alive.