Disclaimer: I do not own Code Lyoko.
Author's Note: So, here I am again. Although I didn't get many reviews last chapter, the reviews I got inspired me to hurry and write more! So, enjoy this chappie!
A.I. Need You
Chapter 9: Propositioned
"I love you," Ulrich whispered, his thumb stroking Yumi's cheek.
She flushed, looking down at her feet. She was so adorable when she blushed, he couldn't help but think. "Oh, Ulrich," she whispered back. "But…this is wrong. I'm a computer program."
"Shh," he cut her off, pressing his fingers lightly against her lips. "Yumi, it doesn't matter. I don't care. You're you, and that's everything to me."
Before she could argue again, he moved his fingers and pressed his lips against hers. One of his arms wrapped around her thin waist, the other hand cupped her cheek. At first, she seemed to resist him, but after only a second, she was kissing him back. She wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him closer. It was amazing; it was passionate; it was everything he'd ever wanted.
At least until Ulrich bolted up and looked around. He was lying on the floor in Jeremie's dorm room, and his back was screaming in protest. Slowly, and painfully, he sat up and looked around. Why was he in here?
Jeremie was asleep at the desk, snoring lightly. The flashy screen saver reflected off his glasses, and his eyelids fluttered.
"Hey, Jer," muttered Ulrich, throwing a pillow at the blonde's head. Jeremie bolted up, muttering under his breath angrily at Ulrich.
"What am I doing in your room?"
Jeremie looked confused. "You tell me."
Realization dawned on them. They had fallen asleep. But, where were the girls?
"We have to find them!"
"Maybe William or Odd knows. I mean, they were out with Jenn and Daisy earlier," suggested Jeremie, pulling out his cell phone. "Oh wait…I don't have their numbers."
Ulrich dialed Odd's number and waited. Every ring made his heart skip a beat. What is something had happened to Yumi? She was smart, but she was a naïve A.I. with memory loss. Someone could have easily taken advantage of her…
"Her…ro…" muttered a sleepy voice from the other end of the phone. The German boy let out an audible sigh of relief.
"Odd! Oh good! Look…Jer and I fell asleep…Yeah, well, we've been working like crazy to get this whole mess sorted out…Well, that's good to know…"
Jeremie was going crazy, only able to hear half of the conversation. Where was Aelita? She was okay, right? His heart was hammering against his chest, his teeth clenched together. God, if anything happened to her, he was never going to forgive himself.
"So, you don't know? Yeah, that'd be awesome…Okay, meet us at the stairwell. Kay, bye."
Ulrich flipped his phone closed with a little too much force. Jeremie could swear he saw steam coming from the other boy's ears. "What did he say?" the blonde asked impatiently.
"Neither he nor William have seen Yumi or Aelita…He said that Daisy and Jenn are in their room, but they all got back late, so they both went back to their dorms. He has no idea where Yumi and Aelita are, but he's gonna help us look. He said he'd get William on his way."
Jeremie's blood ran cold. They had no leads, and this school was huge. He didn't even know where to start. Having these A.I.s was turning into a lot of trouble, but Jeremie didn't regret it. He'd never regret Aelita.
"This whole thing would be so much easier if we could just keep them in our sight all the time. Too bad we don't have a girl on the inside…"
"Trust me, Jer, if anyone else knew about this secret, we'd be committed. No one who hasn't experienced it firsthand would ever believe us."
The blonde shrugged in agreement. "Let's go find our girls." Ulrich nodded, and they slowly ventured into the hallway.
It was late, way past curfew, and the hallways were dark. Ulrich pulled out his cell phone and used it as a lame flashlight. "Where could they have gone?"
"Let's check their room first," suggested the genius.
"We have to meet Odd and William at the stairwell anyway."
They slowly traveled down the long corridor, alert for the sound of Jim monitoring the halls (Did he ever sleep? wondered Ulrich), or any other students walking around. They turned the corner that led to the main hallway, with nothing guiding them but the pathetic light emitted from Ulrich's outdated cell.
"Ouch, that was my foot," he hissed.
"Sorry," whispered Jeremie. The stairwell was just ahead…
"Shh, Odd! You'll wake everyone up!"
"I can't believe you idiots lost them," growled William. He had a low-beam flashlight in his hand, Jeremie noticed. Thank goodness someone managed to own one.
"So, where will we look?"
"Let's split up," suggested Odd. "We can cover more ground that way."
"Good idea," agreed Jeremie, pushing his glasses to the brim of his nose. "We were thinking of checking their room first. Hopefully they just went to bed…but, it's hard to say."
"Alright, you guys check the second floor and Odd and I will look around the first floor. Call if you find anything."
With the plan agreed upon, the teens separated. William and Odd hurried down the stairs, Odd whispering too loudly at the older boy, probably making a stupid joke. Ulrich could hear him from the top of the stairs. "We're doomed…" he sighed.
They took the stairs two at a time, and Ulrich was surprised with how in-shape Jeremie was, especially for a computer nerd. They ran as fast as they could down the hallway, until they came to a screeching halt when Ulrich rammed straight into someone.
"Owwww…" whined Millie, whose gaze fell on the German boy on the floor. "Ulrich Stern, what are you doing on the girls' floor?"
Crap… he thought. What could he possibly say? Yeah, Jer and I here are looking for Yumi and Aelita. See, we kinda lost them when we fell asleep after trying to figure out how to restore their memories. Oh, let me explain- see, they're actually Artificial Intelligence programs that somehow were brought to life. Say, have you seen them by the way?
One way ticket to a padded room and a straight-jacket.
Thankfully, Jeremie was a much quicker (and smarter) thinker. "It's kind of embarrassing. I let Aelita borrow my notes for chemistry and, seeing as how there is a test tomorrow, Ulrich is freaking out because he has slept through that class since he transferred here. So, I came to grab my notes really fast so we could get some late night studying done."
She seemed convinced. Or sleepy. Probably both, Ulrich figured. He turned his eyes back to her. "So, don't tell anyone you saw us here, okay? Please, Millie. My dad will kill me if I fail chemistry."
Millie rubbed the sleep from her eyes and pushed some of her red hair back from her face. "Alright. But you should hurry. Mrs. Pierce always monitors the girls' floor around this time."
"Thanks; you're a life saver!" Ulrich exclaimed. They were close to Yumi and Aelita's room anyway. They walked the rest of the way with a quickened pace and labored breathing. The door was unlocked, which seemed to be a bad sign.
The inside of the room was completely dark, and Jeremie fumbled for the light switch. When he finally located it and switched it on, they were greeted with a meticulously clean room with still-made beds. No sign of either of the girls, though.
"Dammit," groaned Ulrich. "I hope William and Odd are having better luck."
"I swear to God I am going to kill you Della Robia."
"Why? I thought that was a pretty funny one myself."
"Are you even taking this seriously? Do you realize how much trouble Aelita and Yumi could be in?"
Odd nodded, finally quiet. He didn't want to mention that the reason he was talking so much was to keep himself distracted. If he thought about the dangers that awaited Yumi and Aelita, he grew terrified. He'd grown attached to the crazy group of friends he had now.
Plus, what if Daisy was the one missing?
Woah, woah, woah! Where had that thought come from? He shook it stubbornly from his mind and instead focused on where to search next. They'd already raided-um, searched-the cafeteria (of course, since they were there, Odd felt the need to sneak whatever food wasn't frozen), the locker room, and the front desk. They'd even glanced around outside quickly. There was no sign of anyone.
"Well…we could try the library. I mean, didn't that Jeremie guy make Aelita to be the right girl for him? I bet she's all brainy and stuff."
It made sense, Odd had to agree. So they circled back around and headed for the library. Of course, Odd, being Odd, had never actually been to the library at Kadic, so William, annoyed as ever, led the way.
"Oh boys," sang a sickly annoying voice from up the hallway. "I think I know what you are looking for."
"Sissi?" asked Odd. "What are you doing?"
"More importantly, what do you mean?"
Sissi danced over to the two teenage boys. "Hello again, William." She glanced at him with flirtatious eyes. He was cute, and that silent, brooding look was in right now.
"Are you gonna answer our questions?"
"Come, and I'll show you." She grabbed them both by their arms and walked them into the library. Aelita and Yumi were passed out on the floor, eyes closed, unmoving.
"What happened?" Odd exclaimed, rushing over. He lifted Aelita up and shook her softly. Her head lolled limply, but she didn't respond. He softly laid her back down and pulled out his cell phone to text Ulrich. "U, we found them n the library. Sissi is here. Hrry."
"So, I saw what happened to them, and I want answers. I knew that Ulrich and you guys were up to something."
William tried not to show her she was on to something, but the surprised look on his face gave him away. "What happened?"
Ulrich and Jeremie rushed in at that time. Their gaze fell first to Sissi, who was standing the closest to them; then, it landed on William and Odd, who were standing next to two girls lying on the floor.
Ulrich's heart stopped; he had never felt so scared or defeated in his entire life. "Yumi!" he yelled, not caring that they were supposed to be staying quiet. He ran to her, cradled her body in his arms.
Jeremie was right behind him. He cupped Aelita's face, stared intently at her, and held back sniffles as a few tears rolled down his cheeks.
This was looking very bad.
"What happened?" Ulrich's voice was like acid. His gaze darkened as it fell on Sissi. "What did you do?"
"I didn't do anything. But, I did see what happened. You guys better start explaining, or I'll tell Daddy everything."
The boys' blood ran cold. Things were getting worse. Not only did they have two downed A.I.s on their hands, they also had the worst person ever as a possible witness to some not-normal behavior.
"We have no choice," muttered Jeremie, who had managed to pull himself together.
"Fine," William agreed. "You first."
"Gladly." Sissi flipped her hair over her shoulder as she sauntered over to Yumi and Aelita. "They just waltzed over to the computer and Yumi started typing all this weird stuff. I couldn't read it from back there, but it doesn't really matter. Anyway, all of a sudden, the computer sparked and the sparks landed on her, then on that other girl. I started to run in, because I figured they'd catch fire or whatever people do when struck by lightning, but instead, their eyes got all weird. It was like, these strange letters and numbers were scrolling through their eyes. I don't know much about computers, but I know that that's not normal. So, tell me what they really are."
"What makes you think you are even right?" questioned Odd. "How do you know what people look like when struck by lightning? Huh?"
"Give it up Odd, we'll never dodge our way out of this one," muttered Ulrich. "Einstein, you wanna explain?"
"I suppose…" Jeremie sighed. This was a horrible idea. Telling William and Odd was one thing; sure, at the time, Jeremie had been against that too. But, it had been good to have other guys on the inside, especially now that Jenn and Daisy were there too. Hopefully, that was all that would come out of his computer. But, telling Sissi was the stupidest, worst, and all-around most awful idea ever.
But, what choice did he have?
"Look…You can't tell anyone… This is going to sound really crazy."
"Just tell me."
"Aelita and Yumi aren't…human. I mean, they are, but not like you and me. See…I kind of created them. They are Artificial Intelligence girls I made on my laptop. But somehow, they managed to create human forms and come to life. We're not entirely sure how that happened yet."
Sissi stared at him, eyes squinted in confusion. Then, she looked around the room at the other boys, all looking at her with that same, serious look in their eyes. She doubled over in laughter, gripping her sides. "Oh…my gosh. You guys…really expect me…to believe…all this…" She couldn't even finish her words, she was laughing so hard.
"Look, we don't really care whether you believe it or not. Just keep your big mouth shut, got it?" threatened William, crossing his arms defiantly over his chest.
Her laughter dried up, and she was, at once, all business again. "Okay, fine. I'll keep your stupid, crazy secret. But, what do I get out of it?"
Ulrich sighed. Of course she would want something. They just couldn't catch a break. "Fine, what do you want?"
Sissi pursed her lips, and pressed her finger against the bottom of her lip in thought. Then, she strode over to Ulrich and kissed him full on the mouth.
"I want you. You have to be my boyfriend."
He backed away, gagging and wiping his mouth against the back of his hand roughly. "You can't be serious!"
"If you don't agree, then I'll tell Daddy about these strange girls… Hmmm…" she walked over to Yumi's still body and glanced down at it. "I wonder what they look like when you cut them open? I guess the authorities could always find out."
"Fine!" He was backed into a corner. Being Sissi's boyfriend was one of the worst things he could imagine. But, Yumi being hurt, especially because of him, was far, far worse. "We have a deal."
"Oh…not quite." She spun on her heels and looked to William. "You. You're rather rough around the edges, rather…dark. That's in right now, and you are pretty attractive."
"Get to the point," he replied laconically.
"You have to want me."
"That will never happen."
"Well, whatever. You have to pretend. You have to want me, to pine over me. I want you and Ulrich to fight over me. That would put that snooty Becky in her place. She thinks she's so hot."
William was growing more and more annoyed. "Don't drag me into your stupid cat fights."
"Whatever. Do we have a deal?"
The four boys looked at each other, defeated. "Alright…" whispered Ulrich.
She clamped her hands together in delight. "Yay, goodnight boyfriend!" she squealed, giving him a kiss on the cheek. "Oh, and you and William better come pick me up from my room in the morning. I want escorts for class."
She danced out of the room and back up the stairs. Ulrich spit grotesquely next to a book shelf. "If she ever kisses me again, I think my lips will rot."
"This sucks," agreed William.
"Hey, what's wrong with me, anyway?" whined Odd. "I used to be popular, you know. Why are the girls going after you two now?"
"Trust me Odd, I'd gladly trade you places."
"Ugh, no thanks. You can keep nasty Sissi all to yourself Ulrich."
Jeremie cleared his throat loudly. "We need to get the girls back upstairs and figure out how much damage we're looking at."
Agreeing, William scooped up Aelita rather easily, holding her bridal style, while Odd and Ulrich teamed up to get Yumi. As Ulrich was holding her wrists, he stared down at her beautiful face. I love you. Please come back to me.
(A/N: I just picture William being really strong, haha).
"Did you get my notes?"
"Yeah, right here," replied Ulrich, dropping a spiral on Jeremie's bed. The blonde's gaze didn't even leave the computer screen. Normally, he would've questioned Ulrich's notes, made sure he wrote down every word the teacher said, and even corrected the grammar. Today, however, he was so focused on the A.I. program he was running, he could focus on nothing else.
"Any luck?" asked Ulrich as he flopped down on the bed. He wasn't expecting much.
"No…" Jeremie looked even more distressed than Ulrich felt. "I really don't know how this happened…"
"It'll be okay Jer. We'll get the girls back." If only the German boy felt as confident as he sounded.
The room was quiet minus the clicking of keys as Jeremie typed quickly on his laptop. Ulrich stared at the ceiling, mind running away from him. Yumi. Never in his life had he been more terrified of losing anyone.
"Do you think we're crazy?" asked Jeremie suddenly, yanking Ulrich away from his thoughts.
He sat up on the bed and stared at the genius. "What do you mean?"
"Ulrich, look at us. We're sixteen and instead of doing what normal kids would do, we are spending our weekend locked in my bedroom trying to revive A.I. girls that we have fallen in love with!"
No one had ever said the words out loud, and it scared Ulrich. Love? Okay, so he did love Yumi. That was obvious. He had to. How else could he explain the beats his heart skipped when she simply walked by? Or how he caught himself thinking about her all the time? Or those crazy butterflies in his stomach that felt more like pterodactyls? He knew Jeremie felt the same way about Aelita.
However, in his shock from the moment, Ulrich instead said, "I don't love her!"
The clicking of the keys stopped, and the blonde pushed his glasses higher up his nose as he turned to glance at Ulrich. "You're joking, right?"
"Why is that so hard to believe?"
"Ulrich, I've seen you. You fell in love with Yumi the second you saw her, so don't try to pretend like you don't love her."
"Whatever," muttered Ulrich. Why was he pretending? It really made no sense, the more he thought about it. He was just embarrassed. Jeremie of all people should've been the one person Ulrich could trust with news like that, but he didn't. "I just…I'm gonna go for a walk."
"Alright…" replied Jeremie. "Check on Daisy and Jenn while you're out."
"Hello…Sissi dear." Shoot me now.
"I'm sorry William dear. Did you say something? I couldn't hear you," replied Sissi, hugging his arm.
"You heard me," he hissed beneath his breath.
"Yeah, and I also saw those freak friends of yours short-circuit," she hissed back. "So, what were you saying?"
William gritted his teeth. "I said hello, Sissi…dear."
"Oh William," she cooed. "You know that I'm with Ulrich." Her voice progressively carried until she was practically yelling the last sentence.
"Oh?" asked Becky, halting in her trek across the cafeteria. "You're dating that new guy now?"
Sissi spun around to look at the blonde. "Yeah. He's crazy about me. Isn't he William?"
"Hmm," said Becky. She shrugged her shoulders and walked off.
Sissi's eyes narrowed in a glare as she looked at William. "You have to be more convincing!"
"Look, I'm not the one that's supposed to be your pretend boyfriend. Take up your romantic interests with Ulrich." He pushed past Sissi and went to sit with Odd, Daisy, and Jenn at their table.
"Jeremie and Ulrich working still?" asked Odd around a mouthful of food.
"Looks like it..."
"It must be a pretty serious problem if Jeremie is having this much trouble figuring it out," said Jenn, swirling her food around on her plate.
William was cut off from any reply as Sissi stalked over to the table.
"You tell Ulrich that he owes me big or your crazy secret it out."
Ulrich, trying to clear his head, was walking around the campus. At least, until he was cornered by Sissi.
"Listen up Ulrich," she spat, backing him against a wall. "William is sucking at this whole deal, so you better be convincing."
"Alright, Sissi, whatever," he replied. He started to walk around her, but she moved back into his way.
"No, not yet, Ulrich dear. I have an idea. I know how you can show everyone how much you love me."
He didn't reply, waiting for her.
"Take me on a date."
He hadn't even really been on a proper date with Yumi, let alone this controlling, obnoxious girl. "No way."
"Yes," she replied. "Take me to the fair. Don't forget-you're stuck playing by my rules."
They had already made fair plans, but now he wasn't sure what was going to happen until Aelita and Yumi were fixed. But, what choice did he have?
"I thought you'd see it my way."
"Oh, thank God!" yelled Jeremie, throwing his arms around Aelita and pulling her into a tight hug. "Are you alright?"
She nodded, but stayed quiet, hugging her knees.
Yumi was looking around slowly. "I…remember everything again." She remembered Ulrich, her competition with Sissi, the craziness that had entered their lives the last week. She remembered how he'd claimed to be her boyfriend…was he?
"Aelita? Are you okay?" asked Jeremie, staring at the pink-haired girl in concern.
Her eyes slowly fell on him. "Jeremie, I think…you woke her up."
So, no fair this chapter. I didn't realize how much stuff I wanted to cover in this chapter, and cramming the fair in seemed like a bad idea (this chapter is like…12 pages long already.) So, fair next chapter. Anyway, what's going to happen with Sissi? How will the fair adventure go? And…who is the girl that Aelita is worried about?
Leave a review on your way out! Thanks for reading!