Author Anonymous

Part 5

No Songs this time. Sorry!

"Whoa whoa, take it easy, Princess," Odd said, pushing my hands from his shirt. "What are you talking about?"

"The letters! Letters! Jeremy! Him!" I said, slowly leaving my state of hysteria.

"What?" Odd asked, raising a brow. "Look, let's go get Ulrich and sit down."

I traveled the rest of the way to Odd and Ulrich's dorm room in complete silence.

"Now, tell us exactly what's going on," Ulrich said after I sat down and took a deep breath.

Day faded into night; I fell a sleep watching my TV. At about 3 in the morning Sissi came in complaining about how loud it was (since I accidentally feel a sleep on the Volume UP button) and I turned it off. I completely forgot about Jeremy returning home 'today', and was startled at first when Yumi asked if I was excited before the bell rang for class. I could hardly sit still at all during class, and was asked once by a teacher if I had to use the restroom. I was just so excited and ecstatic; Jeremy was coming back! I'd finally be able to see him again!

And then….. He never showed.

I waited all through school, Xana's attack (we kicked his butt again), after school, dinner, even Jim's rounds of turning everyone's lights out.

He never came.

I was awoken at 4:45 AM Tuesday morning by my cell phone chirping Jeremy's favorite song. I pushed my arm from the side of the mattress and groped around for the phone. Finally finding it, I tiredly put it to my ear and answered. "'elloo?"

"Aelita. Get up."

I blinked at the unfamiliar male voice, sitting up suddenly. It had a strong American accent, and sounded tired and out of breath. I listened for a moment, then put my feet on the floor. "Ok…"

"Go.. And turn on the light…"

I did as the voice told, walking swiftly to the light switch and flicking it on. "Alright……"

"Unlock your door….."

"Who are you?"

"Unlock your door…" the person on the other line repeated.

"Tell me who you are and I might!"

"If you stop.. Contradicting me you'll know."

I gritted my teeth and knew I'd probably regret unlocking my door, but did so anyway. He obviously heard the click, because he spoke the next direction.

"Close your eyes…. And open the door."

"Why would I do that?" I asked, getting a little irritated. This had BETTER not be one of those stupid calls people get in those slasher movies.

"Just do what I say…" the male sounded a great deal more tired, and not wanting to have to repeat himself. I groaned loudly, closing my eyes and feeling for the doorknob. I twisted it, and stood silently in the doorway. I waited silently, half expecting something to tear through my skin and kill me or something.

"Now, open your eyes," this time, the voice sounded clearer and double-track. I opened my eyes, blinked once, then squealed.

"JEREMY!" I yelled, throwing my arms around my friend's neck and pulling him into a tight hug. "Welcome home!" Jeremy chuckled tiredly and wrapped his arms around me.

"It's good to be back," he said. I released him and pulled back, looking him up and down. He was wearing two-layer long-sleeved shirt, dark blue and white to be exact, with 'NYC' stitched into the front, and a pair of loose fitting blue jeans that almost completely covered his blue shoes.

"Wow. A couple of weeks in America can really change a person," I stated, motioning to my friend's clothing. "I mean, you have one thick American accent and you're wearing something completely different than usual!"

We chatted for a moment longer before we heard Jim coming. I quickly shut off my light and headed back inside as Jeremy quickly started for his dorm on the floor below. I shut my door and crawled back into bed, setting my phone on the end table. With a sigh of relief that Jeremy was finally home and just down the stairs, I shut my eyes and drifted into a light sleep.

"Welcome back, Einstein!" Odd greeted Jeremy (who was back in his trademark turtleneck and capris) in the morning as we walked to breakfast. He slammed his hand onto Jeremy's back and sent him forward a step or two.

"Thanks, Odd. I missed your hand in my back," Jeremy said sarcastically, still with an American accent.

"Whoa, dude, you sound American," Odd stated, pointing out the obvious.

"I guess that's what happens when you kinda LIVE there for weeks," Ulrich said, snickering.

"You're really quiet, Ai. Something wrong?" Jeremy asked, leaning over to look at me. I took my eyes from their focus of the floor and looked at him. Nothing was really wrong, but I glowered at him. My male friends gave me a bewildered expression, and I continued onward after they stopped.

"What did I do?" I heard Jeremy ask the others as I got father away from them. I felt a grin curl at my lips. Us three had conspiracized the night before, and we had it all planned out. I'd act all mad at Jeremy and such, then make up with him at the end of the day, tell him I knew the letters were from him, and hopefully express my feelings for him. Geeze I hope he feels the same…. The others had tried to reassure me, but I didn't know whether to believe them or not.

Breakfast was quiet at my end. The others were happy and chatty and really glad Jeremy was back. Don't get me wrong, I was REALLY happy Jeremy was back too, but I was being forced to retain my enthusiasm because of my plot. I just quickly ate through my breakfast and went to find Yumi, to tell her the good news and fill her in on the plan.

Three-quarters through the day, a welcoming committee showed up.

We were sitting in Math when I heard Jeremy's laptop beep. I was probably the only one who heard it, since the class period was unofficially dubbed, "Party Day" and everything was loud and hectic. I told the others, and we slipped out of the mess and into the hallway.

"We better hurry," Jeremy said. I nodded and waited for the others to start running before I did. I eventually passed them, and waited at the manhole to the sewers for them to arrive. Ulrich and Odd arrived shortly after I did, but Jeremy wasn't with them. We waited. Yumi showed a couple of moments later. We still waited.

"Where's Jeremy?" I asked, turning to my friends.

"I thought he was with you guys; he was the one who called me," Yumi responded with a shrug. This isn't like him… Jeremy doesn't ditch out like that on us, especially when it's a XANA attack. I silently panicked. What if something happened to him! "Guys we have to go find him!"

We searched for about 30 minutes, although it felt more like 2 hours. What we found completely terrified me.

There he was….. Suspended between four widely spread apart trees. A mass of vines blocked our path from him, as well as kept Jeremy in place. A vine was wrapped around each wrist and ankle, as well as around his neck. He looked to be in one massive amount of pain, probably because each limb was pulled tight, as if to stretch him. The mass of vines around him (and blocking us) waved through a nonexistent wind. The vines around his wrists pulled his arms to the front of his body, making the two vines connect. After a brief moment the vines snapped back, and Jeremy's left shoulder began to fade from blue to crimson.

"No Aelita come back!" I heard Ulrich call after me as I jumped over a vine to get to my friend. I didn't respond. I leapt over another vine before tripping and slicing open the sleeve of my long-sleeve pink shirt. I pushed myself onto my hands and put a hand to my head. I looked up in time to see a vine curl threateningly before launching itself. I think I screamed, but force exerted on my neck from someone snatching me backwards by the collar caused loss of breath.

I was lying just outside the mass of vines, with three of my friends standing over me. Yumi pulled me up by the arm and pulled me in the direction of the sewer entrance to the factory. I opened my mouth to protest, but Ulrich shushed me.

"Odd's going to stay and try to get Jeremy out; we're going to Lyoko to deactivate the tower," he said, breaking into a run. I nodded and ran after him, followed by Yumi.

I stepped into my scanner just in time before the doors shut. A light scanned my body and the sensation of bubbles popping overwhelmed me. Wind rushed through my ears…. There was a loud snap, a quick jolt of what could have been described as pain, and everything went numb. I heard the faint noise of pixels before I dropped onto the mountain region's hard ground.

"Where's the tower?" Yumi asked from the right side.

"Just beyond that rock," I said, pointing. "Sorry, I couldn't bring up the vehicles."

"No problem; we'll go on foot," Ulrich said, bursting into a super-sprint.

I think XANA was too pre-occupied with hurting Jeremy or something, because he never sent out one monster. Not even the Scyphozoa. It was like he just really wanted to kill off Jeremy so much he completely forgot about Lyoko. But that's ok, because I deactivated the tower without any problems; although I really hoped Jeremy was still alive. I was materialized, and Ulrich, Yumi and I headed up the elevator and out of the factory.

We met Jeremy and Odd back at school. The sun was already setting, so Yumi had to depart home. Odd told me Jeremy was in the infirmary, getting his shoulder bandaged. I ran inside, ignoring the fact that my friend was shirtless, and engulfed him in a hug.

"I was so worried! Are you ok?" I asked, pulling back after he flinched with pain.

"Yeah.. A lot better," he responded quietly, rubbing his shoulder. I chuckled nervously.

"Some welcoming committee, huh?" I asked with a lopsided smile.

"If only it hadn't been so painful," Jeremy chuckled.

"I guess Xana just really missed torturing you; he didn't send us even one monster."

"Now, you shouldn't use that shoulder for a while," Yolanda said, exiting the back office with a piece of paper in her hands. "This means no P.E., and if you're left handed, no writing as well." I saw Jeremy roll his eyes.

"Might as well put me in a sling while you're at it," he mumbled.

"That's a great idea," Yolanda responded, obviously hearing. I giggled quietly at Jeremy's sigh.

"I was only joking…" he murmured, slipping his turtleneck back on. Raising his voice for Yolanda to hear, he said, "I only popped the joint out of the socket for a moment and cut myself, no need for a big production. It's not that bad."

"I was joking, Mr. Belpois," Yolanda giggled, shutting a cabinet. "Just be careful, ok?"

Jeremy nodded, and the two of us walked out of the infirmary building and into a pouring rain. We stood in the doorway for a moment, then broke for the cafeteria.

We ate dinner in an awkward silence. Ulrich and Odd had obviously eaten and headed back to their dorm, since they weren't there. We both seemed to be lost in our own thoughts. I picked boredly at my mashed potatoes as I thought about Jeremy, and the end of my plan. Well… The step of making-up was complete… All I have to do now is tell him I know he sent me the letters and that I like him.

Unfortunately, this was easier said than done. If fact, it took me one great amount of energy to tell him. If I remember right, it went a little something like this.

"Jeremy? May I… speak to you in private?" I asked timidly, grasping my hands behind my back. The said boy looked over from his computer, then sent Ulrich and Odd a look that probably meant to say, 'leave'. He nodded, and the two other males left, giving me a thumbs up and a wink. The door shut, and Jeremy turned around in his seat and leaned back, resting his arms on desk behind him.

"What is it?" he asked. I felt my cheeks flush slightly and I reached into my dress pocket. I withdrew the lyrics, and held them out. Jeremy gave me a look of confusion, instead of taking them.

"I know what you did, Einstein," I murmured, shaking the glossy papers when I called him by his nickname. "For someone as smart as you, I would have made it a little less obvious."

Jeremy flushed a bright red; the same way he always does if I get my face to close to his. I couldn't help but grin, although I found myself shaking. He looked at me with concern, but it changed to denial when he crossed his arms.

"Make what a little less obvious? I didn't write those letters," he said. He was lying again. Why does he keep lying to me? I felt tears sting at my eyes and I threw the papers at his feet.

"You wrote them!" I said, raising my voice. "Don't deny it, Jeremy; I know it was you! The blonde hair, the words in the lyrics ALL OF IT CONNECTED to what was happening!"

"Aelita, calm down," Jeremy said, leaning forward and putting out his hands.

"Why should I calm down when you keep LYING to me?" I yelled, feeling salty liquid escape from the eyelids that blinked over my green eye muscle. "You lied about Gabbie, you lied about all of it!"

"Listen to me Aelita!" Jeremy said calmly, standing and taking me by the upper arms. "So what if I wrote you those letters! Gabbie and I were just friends; wouldn't you be heart broken when a close friend of yours dies! I wasn't in love with her; I'm in love with you!"

I sniffed and stared at Jeremy's flushed face. He… Loved me? He really wasn't in love with Gabbie? I can't believe it.. Ever since he called me about her having Cardiac enlargement, I turned down the wrong path.. I was jealous of a dying girl, who my best friend really wasn't in love with..

"Do you… Really love me?" I asked, looking into the ice-blue eyes behind Jeremy's glasses.

"Ever since I first saw you," Jeremy murmured. I threw my arms around him, pulling him into a tight hug. He stood motionless for a moment, and then returned the hug warmly. I sniffed.

There it was; that sweet scent. Why hadn't I smelt it before, when he arrived back from the US? It was like he washed his clothes here in chocolate and strawberries or something, because his American clothing didn't smell so wonderful… I took a deep breath, taking in that wonderful, calming scent before I let go. I realized I was still crying when Jeremy reached out and wiped away a tear from my cheek.

"Sorry.." I murmured, laughing slightly. "I just thought you…"

"Sh…" Jeremy hushed, leaning forward and planting his lips on my cheek. I blinked, a little confused at what had just happened. Jeremy had never even gotten his face that close to mine on his own will, much less kissed my cheek. When he pulled away, I could feel my eyes watering again for a reason I didn't even know.

"Would you hug me again please?" I asked. Jeremy blinked at me, then smiled.

"Yes," he responded, pulling me back into his arms.

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The rest of the page was worn with age. I sighed quietly, wishing I had kept better care of my diaries. I shut the cover of the old red book, looking around the large room. It contained a number of bodies; my husband was a sleep in the reclining chair and my two daughters were a sleep on the couch bed. At the foot of the couch were two young children; my grandchildren. My daughter Rya's kids, to be exact. Bella was not married, and did not have any children. I stood up, grabbing my cane as I did so. I looked at my husband, his hair still a light shade of blonde, despite his old age. I hobbled over to him, moved hair from his forehead, and kissed it lightly.

"Goodnight, Jeremy…" I muttered with a smile.

OK! I really hope you liked my story, and I probably would have extended it just a bit farther if I was going to use the ending as a Short Story project for my English class. BUT, I think it turned out well, and I am sad to see myself finish this. –cry- Well, Please drop a review and I hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed writing!