Disclaimer: I do not own Code Lyoko. If I did, Sissy would accidentally fall off a cliff (looks innocent), William would grieve her being gone and stop chasing after Yumi, and Yumi and Ulrich would make out…

Author's Note: Not really sure where I got this idea…just got in the mood for a Code Lyoko writing spree since yesterday, and since I updated On the Verge of Letting Go, I had nothing else to write that was of course CL. Anyway, hope you all like and please review.

Summary: Ulrich has given up on his expectations. He's tired of Sissy always around him, his father never being satisfied, and is feeling so alone. But, one night, at half past midnight, his perspective might change because of a certain girl...

Half Past Midnight

It was cloudy, overcast, cold, windy. The sun with hidden, as well as all possible hopes of the day being warm. Ulrich and Odd were playing at a soccer game, the wind nipping and biting at their legs, just below their knees.

Of course, Ulrich had a lot on his mind. So much that it took his focus off of things. He found it hard to follow what was going on, to play to his full potential as he normally did. He wanted nothing more than to go to his room and sleep for the rest of the dreary day.

There was only a minute on the clock, something that made Ulrich smile. Somehow, without the fantastic playing of their best team mate, Kadic had been able to keep the score close, and, if they wanted to win, they needed to score again.

Ulrich put on his mask, the mask he'd been wearing lately, that hid the pain that his heart held; the mask that no one had noticed him wearing. He smiled at his teammates as they ran by him, dribbling the ball or trying to get open. But everyone but him was guarded.

The ball came flying towards him, and out of reflex Ulrich ran down the field with it, dribbling it just far enough so he wouldn't trip. Odd was blocked by someone from the other team, but tried to get free to help Ulrich out, but it was up to him now.

He kicked the ball, and it sailed towards the goal…and completely missed by about three feet. It flew to the right and almost to the street. The buzzer rang and the other team celebrated.

Kadic had lost the last game of the season, and had to rely on being the second best team. The teammates held looks of disappointment on their faces, but, even though Ulrich knew they all blamed him, they didn't say it.

There was a party that Sissy had thrown, because she had been so sure that Kadic would win, and wanted Ulrich to like her. Even though they lost, the school still wanted to go to the party. But suddenly Ulrich wasn't interested.

Why should he be? Why should he be happy? He had finally realized that he was nothing but a burden to everyone else. All he did was cause other people problems. He knew why his dad never told him he loved him. Suddenly it all made sense.

Before people could come talk to him, he snuck off the field and to his dorm, closing the door roughly behind him. He collapsed on the bed and sighed.

Odd hadn't come up yet, and Ulrich concluded that he was still at Sissy's party. He was glad for the silence; he was glad that he could have time to think. Suddenly, he started to cry, just a little, but it suddenly made him feel calmer.

He fell asleep, a deep sleep that didn't haunt him with any dreams-something he was happy about. He slept on and on, and suddenly, it felt to him that he had been surrounded by that darkness for forever.

When he finally woke up, the clock read 11:03 and Odd was asleep and snoring. Ulrich looked around the dark room until his eyes became accustomed to the darkness.

His cell phone suddenly rang, making him jump and he pulled it open quickly so it wouldn't wake the snoring Odd.

"Hello?" He was confused. The only people that ever called him were his three friends, and usually at this time it was only because of Xana.

"Ulrich! Hi! It's Mom!" the voice on the other side replied happily.

"Oh…uh, hi mom. What's up?" he hadn't heard from his parents in six weeks. He didn't say a thing after that. It felt too-awkward.

"We wanted to say hi…oh, your father wants to talk to you!" she said, her voice bubbly and perky. Ulrich shook his head.

"No wait!" but the phone was already being handed over to his father.

"Hello Ulrich…" he said, not sounded mad, but also not sounded happy to talk to his only son.

"Hi Dad. How's everything?"

His father sighed. "Well, not very good. We just got your report card in today…"

Ulrich felt his blood run cold. This happened every grading period, when his awful grades were reflected to his parents. He really couldn't tell them that it was because he was fighting a virtual being and trying to save the world from time to time.

"Every report card it's the same, and you always promise to do better next time…"

Ulrich sighed. "I know Dad…it's just…hard. Listen, my room mate is asleep and I don't wanna wake him up."

And he hung up his phone, even while his dad was trying to tell him something. Sighing, he threw it to his bed with force and had to keep himself from punching the wall so he wouldn't wake Odd.

He felt his eyes get hot with tears, and quietly left his room to go for a walk. He went to the park, sitting up in a tree, holding back tears that threatened to fall. He stayed there for over an hour, the wind biting at him and giving him chills, though he didn't notice.

"Activated towers, Xana, Lyoko battles, grades, tests, report cards, angry parents, a stalker, and a hopeless love…can my life get any worse?"

"I hope you don't mean Sissy as the hopeless love…" a voice replied from the ground, startling him. He looked down from the tree and saw Yumi looking up at him.

"What are you doing here?" he asked. It must've been past midnight.

She smiled, "Can you come down so we can talk face to face?"

He nodded and jumped down, landing in front of her.

"I couldn't sleep…decided to go for a walk. You?"

He nodded, saying that that was his same reason. He was really embarrassed now. "How much of that did you hear?"

"Enough," she replied easily, still looking at him with those eyes that always could read him.

"Please don't tell the others…if they knew that I was tired of Lyoko, they might take it the wrong way…"

She smiled, "I won't say a thing…will you tell me what's wrong though?"

He filled her in, since he didn't have much choice and she would know if he was lying or not. He told her about how since he was always fighting Xana, that his grades were getting worse and worse and his parents were nagging him, and how he was sick of Sissy never getting the hint and following him around like crazy. He left out the part about Yumi.

And she didn't say a word until he was finished, "Don't worry about your parents Ulrich, you've got us, your friends, and we'll always be here for you. No matter if your grades are falling and Xana is being a pain in the ass and Sissy is stalking you…"

He smiled slightly, but it didn't make him feel any better. "I just feel like a mistake, you know? My parents don't even love me. My own parents…maybe I wasn't supposed to ever be here…"

"Don't talk like that! You always do wonderful things for people! You always help me when I have a problem, and Odd would be dead by now if you weren't there to control him, and what about Aelita? If not for you, she would probably be destroyed by Xana, then think about how Jeremie would take it."

She made him feel a little better, but for some reason, his depression still stuck. Then she asked him the one question he was dreading.

"Who's the hopeless love?" she asked quietly, staring at the boats on her feet.

He didn't reply and Yumi didn't prod. It wasn't her business anyway.

She looked at him with a pain-filled heart. How could he think that he wasn't important to anyone, when he was the most important thing to her? "Listen, you might not think you're important, but you really are…"

"I'm sorry Yumi, I'm just stressed," Ulrich sighed, hitting his head against the tree, "I'm always wearing some sort of mask, like I'm always trying to do the right thing... but I just mess up,"

"Everyone does that, Ulrich," Yumi placed her slender hand on his shoulder, "Who cares if you didn't make one goal? Its just one goal, and it's just a game. You tried your best."

"Maybe you're right, but my best is never good enough…" He hit his head on the tree again.

"Stop it! It is!"

Her eyes adverted to the sky.

"Aren't the stars beautiful?" she asked, staring at the sky. She hoped that if she acted more normal and changed the subject, that maybe it would help Ulrich out somehow. But truthfully, she didn't know what to do. She felt helpless…

He wanted to say, "yeah, but not as beautiful as you," but that would've sounded too corny, and he didn't have the courage too, especially now.

"Yeah, they are," he muttered. He stayed quiet.

"You're best is enough for us, and it always will be," she said suddenly, then grew quiet.

"But it's not enough for me!" Ulrich replied, staring at the sky with her as he thought out loud, "Why can't I ever please myself?"

"Stop discouraging yourself," Yumi suddenly turned around to glare at him, "Before long, you'll think of yourself even worse. And I don't want anything to happen to you,"

Her look softened as a moment passed as she quickly added, "You're my best friend; I can't let anything happen to you. What would I do then, huh? What would happen to Kadic? To Aelita? To me?"

"I'm not thinking of suicide, Yumi,"

"I know..." Yumi's look was pained, as she thought about how stressed Ulrich was.

He felt like such a fool. He knew that his friends didn't think of him as a burden or a screw-up, but still, he had to bring Yumi in. Now, it was just awkward. He stared at his feet. 'Why'd I have to go for this walk…?' he asked himself.

"You know, most guys would love to have the life you have," Yumi said suddenly, another attempt to cheer him up.

He shrugged; it didn't matter if he didn't love his life.

"Think about it, you have every girl at school chasing you, you're the star of the soccer team, and you're kind to everyone, well, except Sissy."

He shrugged again, "I don't care if every girl in the world was chasing after me, it wouldn't matter if she didn't love me…"

He tried to make it so she would figure it out without him having to say anything. But she didn't say a word.

Yumi checked her watch, it was 12:25. "Wow, it's so late, I better get home. Will you be okay?"

He stood up with her. "Yeah, I'll be fine. Thanks for helping Yumi…"

She gave him a quick hug, in which both of them were blushing like mad. "What are friends for?" she asked, trying to change the subject.

He didn't reply. "Yumi," he whispered, as she was about to walk away. She turned and smiled.

"What's up?"

He walked towards her. 'It's now or never Ulrich', the thought to himself, trying to build up his courage.

He looked into her eyes. "What if I told you I was in love?"

She looked at him with dark orbs, dancing with confusion. "I'd say I'm happy for you."

"But, what if the girl I love doesn't love me back?"

"Then I'd tell you to join the club…"

Ulrich looked up at her, trying to fathom what she just said. "Y-You're in love?"

She nodded, and he looked glum.

"I'm in love with a fantastic boy that just doesn't realize what he means to me," she whispered, crimson staining her cheeks.

"William?" Ulrich asked dryly. Of course it was William; they had so much in common.

She shook her head. "He's a boy that knows all of my secrets and helps me when I'm sad. In fact, he even saves me in Lyoko from time to time."

That narrowed it down. He didn't say anything. It could have been his two friends.

"Who do you love?"

He didn't answer. "I can't even describe her…she's just too wonderful."

It was now 12:29 and Yumi looked at the sky. "Well, then I guess even if I confessed my love to you, it wouldn't matter would it? Since you hear it all the time from other girls…"

He froze, his blood ran cold. Yumi just realized what she said. "Oh shit…"


Yumi didn't say anything.

"Y-You love me?"

She nodded meekly. "I wish you'd realize just how wonderful you really are…"

He didn't know what to say, and instead pressed his lips to hers, not sure where the courage came from. She kissed him back, both blushing but enjoying the one thing they had wanted for so long-each other.

They pulled away only twenty seconds later, and Ulrich looked away from her. "I…I love you."

He realized now that he was important, that his life mean so much to his friends, and that maybe he wasn't hopelessly in love.

At half past midnight on a Tuesday morning, Ulrich was finally happy.


That's it. The characters might be kinda OOC, but only because Ulrich was sad and stressed and Yumi wanted to cheer him up. Well, please review! Flames will be used to roast marshmallows! (grabs bag of marshmallows). Hope you enjoyed!

Fox Kitsune