I own it not

Odd couldn't move, he couldn't breathe, and he couldn't see. He couldn't fight, even if the only thing his entire body was screaming at him was to fight. He didn't look at Ulrich. He didn't open his eyes. He wanted this to end.

He wanted to die.

He was aware of Ulrich defending him. Aware of his friend getting hit twice. Before the things started coming after him. He didn't even put up his hands.

Then everything was white.

Odd felt no pain. Did that mean he wasn't dead? Or was dying just not as painful as he'd thought? Compared to everything else he'd been through the past couple of days, anything that could lessen the pain was okay with him.

Then he started to remember...Ulrich, who had tried to save him...Yumi and Aelita, racing for the tower...Jeremy, helping out by doing everything in between.

Tears squeezed out from Odd's eyes. Could you cry when you were dead?

Then the whiteness parted. A boy was in front of him, so it couldn't have been St. Peter. It looked an awful lot like-

"Ulrich?" Odd's voice came out thin and wobbly, tears running down his cheeks. His friend pulled him into a hug, and it was only after a few minutes that Odd realized Ulrich was crying, too.

Behind Ulrich, Jeremy, Aelita, and Yumi were standing, looking happy and immensely relived. Odd smiled at them, and realized that smiling hurt.

He wished that he wouldn't hurt again.

Odd managed to get a few words out, "Xana? Lyoko?" it was the same thin, scratchy voice. Ulrich smiled a real smile, holding him at arms' length and inspecting him.

"We won." He said simply. "And we didn't have to give you up to do it."

Yumi jumped in. "We were so scared...if you'd died, returning to the past would have done no good, would it?"

Odd finally took in their surroundings. They were in his and Ulrich's room. He glanced at the clock and gave a strangled laugh. It was seven o' clock in the morning. And he wasn't dead.

And that was definitely something to be proud about. He felt like Luke Skywalker, King Arthur, and Harry Potter all rolled into one. He had won against pure evil, and he was alive.

At least for now.

Another one done!