Disclaimer: Nope.

Author's Note: It's been awhile since I've written anything new. I'm currently watching Season three on youtube because I don't get home in time to watch it on television. My school gets out at four thirty but I have to stay after for tennis…anyway, I'm super bummed about Yumi and Ulrich, but a little confused. Did they hook up or something before season three started? As said before, I haven't had a chance to watch many of the newer episodes. So, here's this. Also, OTVOLG will be updated soon, I promise! Computer problems made me have to rewrite it, but that's all explained in the author's note for that story. Also, I think my writing style has changed a bit…not sure. Hope it's still okay!

This takes place after episode 53, since I haven't watched all of the episodes for the new season yet, this dilemma (the "just friends" thing) might have already been sorted out, but, in this story it isn't.

Time

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In the tranquility of his room, with a fan swirling nonchalantly overhead and the radio playing some song he'd heard before in the distance (he was thinking too hard to concentrate on the words), a boy sat on his firm bed, his back against the wall, staring out the window in deep thought. His brow furrowed in anger, causing deep wrinkles on his forehead, and he had to tear his eyes away from the world outside. She was out there.

Her. Yumi Ishiyama. She smiled in that way-the way Ulrich wished she would smile at him but didn't anymore. She tucked a loose hair behind her ear, the way she used to with him. The only problem was-he wasn't out there. It wasn't him.

"You've been staring out that window for an hour now? You'll burn holes in it soon."

In his surprise of hearing his best friend's voice, Ulrich jumped. The blonde was staring at him in a peculiar way, head cocked slightly to the side, eyes growing in worry. "Is what she wanted to talk to you about really that bad?"

"Lay off Odd!" was his sullen, half-assed reply. He never looked up at the boy before him; he was staring just left of the window so he wouldn't have to see the beautiful Japanese girl outside.

"What'd she have to say?"

Ulrich braced himself to yell again, then realized it would do no good. Odd was trying to help him and he needed to talk about it.

"She…said that she wanted us to work out our relationship; it's too much like a roller coaster…"

"That's not bad!" Odd said almost happily, smiling a little in a strong attempt to cheer the other up.

"That's not all," Ulrich replied half heartily, letting his eyes wander back to her before he closed them. "She says we can be friends and nothing more."

"Well what'd you say?"

The German boy sighed. "I said 'Great, fantastic'…"

"Well that's the problem!" The other boy collapsed on his bed, petting Kiwi's stomach as he thought, it was habit for him. Anytime he wanted to seriously think (which wasn't often in his case), he'd lie on his bed and rub his dog's stomach.

"Why don't you just tell her how you feel?"

Ulrich sighed. "Even if I did it wouldn't work…she's tired of it…I don't really blame her. If I…if I didn't love her so much I'd be tired of it too. I'd be tired of being constantly confused, of going from happy to jealous back to uncertain. It's not fair for her," he muttered, almost to himself, as if he had forgotten the other boy was there.

"It's not fair. You're right. And you wanna know why it's not fair? She's uncertain, because you won't tell her."

X

"Yumi! Time for dinner!"

She barely heard the sound of her mother announcing dinner. She was lying on her stomach on the futon in her bedroom, staring around though not really taking anything in. She'd just gotten home a few minutes ago; William had walked her.

"I'm not hungry!" she weakly yelled, hugging a stuffed animal close to her, realizing it was the one Ulrich had won for her at the fair. She'd wanted it so he had tried almost all night to win it.

"I…" she muttered weakly, unsure of how to figure her words. Her mother knocked on her door.

"Yumi…you shouldn't miss dinner. You didn't eat anything all day…"

"I'm fine. Just tired."

Her mother sighed from the other side of the white, pine door separating them. She invited herself inside and sat down at a chair.

"Is this about that Ulrich guy? I haven't seen him around lately."

Yumi sighed, biting her tongue to hold back tears. "It's not about him!"

Her mother flinched. "Gomen…is everything alright?"

"I just need time."

X

"Hey Yumi!"

"Hi Aelita…"

Aelita stared suspiciously at her best friend. "What's the matter?"

"Nothing…why?" The Japanese girl replied, trying to keep it unnoticeable that something was indeed wrong…and failing miserably at it. She couldn't get her mind off of Ulrich. She wondered what he was thinking right now, what he was doing…who he was with.

"You seem upset. Did something happen with your parents?" The jade orbed girl asked again, staring at Yumi as though she was an alien.

She shook her head, some ebony locks falling in front of her face. "No…everything's fine."

Aelita didn't let her eyes wander from her best friend. "I get it," she muttered weakly, finally looking away. "You're sad because of Ulrich, right?"

"Why does everyone assume this is about him!?" the other girl exploded. She sat down on a nearby bench and clenched her fists into tight balls to calm down.

Aelita sat down beside her, putting a hand gingerly on her shoulder. "Because it is."

Yumi sighed; Aelita was right.

"You…love him, don't you?"

She looked away. "I just need time." She muttered. She didn't wait for Aelita's reply, just walked into the school for breakfast. Class was going to start soon and they'd return to their days of school, food, fighting Xana, hanging out….it didn't really matter if Yumi and Ulrich were "together" or not. He'd probably be happier this way. At least, that's what she told herself. How could she just come out and say she loved him? It would ruin everything. He was obviously tired of this roller coaster too…he…he didn't love her.

She walked into the school, making herself seem happy like normal. She didn't want anyone to know she was upset, and she was a rather well liar. The day faded into everyday life, an everyday that didn't result in returning to the past, and even in the everyday life, she was being eaten away at. It wasn't everyday, because Ulrich hadn't spoken to her…hadn't even acknowledged her.

X

"Did you find out?"

The girl nodded. "She says she 'just needs time'…"

The other boy, the silent one, rested his chin on his hand in thought, not minding that his glasses had slipped down his nose slightly. His eyes were adverted to something on a wall; a poster of some sort, it didn't really matter.

"This is going no where, and very slowly at that," he finally replied. "Odd, tell me again what you told Ulrich."

"I told him he should tell Yumi that he loves her…maybe that's what she was tired for. Maybe she doesn't wanna sit around and wait for him any more."

The girl on the bed next to the spectacular-eyed boy nodded. "Makes sense. I told Yumi the same thing…why do they both have to be so stubborn?"

"As far as I see it, this really is Yumi's dilemma. She obviously wasn't happy with what things were like before…" the genius muttered.

"Jeremie's right. So, what are we gonna do?" The other blonde, the true blonde, asked.

X

"Hey Yumi!"

Yumi looked up from her locker and saw William smiling at her. "Hi William."

"You alright?"

"Yeah, fine...just a little tired."

William leaned against the locker next to hers. "Oh, well I have tickets for that concert tonight…do you wanna go?"

"Um…sure. That's sounds good…" she muttered. Technically, she and Ulrich were only friends so she shouldn't feel guilty about this…

Yet she did.

X

Ulrich was lying on his back on the bed, staring at the monotone white ceiling overhead. His cell phone vibrated on the table beside him but he didn't want to pick it up. After a minute of hearing it's buzzing, he grabbed it.

"Ulrich speaking."

"Ulrich! Where were you? There's been a Xana attack! Meet us at the factory! And hurry!"

Ulrich sighed but agreed, slipping on his shoes and pocketing his cell phone. He rushed from his room and outside of the school, running to the park as quickly as he could and down the manhole.

"Okay Jer, I'm here. What's the problem anyway?" he asked, gasping out of breath.

"Xana's activated a tower in the Polar Region. Odd is stuck here fighting his monster, so go help Aelita."

Ulrich nodded and went to the scanner room. The feeling of being scanned was something he'd never be used to, even if he lied and said he was alright. It made his stomach jump and flip. He landed on ice and stood up.

"Hello Ladies," he muttered, smiling weirdly. Yumi sighed. "About time."

Aelita smiled then it grew to a gasp. She pointed behind them and they turned to see four crabs, three hornets, and something else; something new, never before seen.

"Jeremie! What is that?"

"I'm not sure," Jeremie's voice drowned into Lyoko. "I'll get information; just hurry and get Aelita to the activated tower! Odd just called and it's getting pretty bad here."

Yumi jumped into the air and threw her fan down at one of the crabs, slicing the Xana mark. It blew up and she landed, catching her fan as it returned to her.

"Triplicate!" Ulrich yelled, three of him appearing. One was shot by a crab, but the other two took care of two hornets.

They fought a few minutes longer, noticing that the monsters looked different, but decided not to worry about it, then began to run in the direction Jeremie told them too. The slick polar region ground was hard to run on and Yumi almost slipped a few times.

They got to a tower, but it didn't appear activated.

"Jeremie, this tower isn't active…" Ulrich muttered, hand on the hilt of his sword, looking around nervously.

"Yes it is. Xana must've found a way to cloak whether a tower is active or not. Aelita, it's your turn."

Aelita nodded and walked into the tower. Yumi looked behind her, almost expecting more monsters to come; they didn't. She was walking closer to the tower when she slipped. She braced herself to hit the ground.

When she exposed dark eyes to the world, she noticed she hadn't hit the ground; strong arms caught her. She looked up and saw Ulrich smiling down at her.

"Ul…rich?"

"Nice one Yumi. You could've fallen into a digital void…be careful." He said, helping her back to her feet. She nodded and stood, never looking at him, realizing how close to the edge she actually had been. Her cheeks were burning, and she knew it, but she didn't know why.

Ulrich opened his mouth to say something but he suddenly devirtulized. Yumi looked back in surprise, then she was devirtulized as well.

"Nice work gang," Jeremie announced when they met back in the computer room. "Xana wanted to take control of children and turn them into his monsters…glad we got that one finished."

"Yeah," Yumi and Ulrich agreed simultaneously.

"Well, Aelita…We should…" Jeremie muttered. Aelita looked at him in confusion then understood. "Yeah," she agreed, and they left the factory.

"What's up with them?" Yumi asked, pretending to not know what was going on.

"What's up with us Yumi? I really think we should talk about this," Ulrich muttered quietly, staring at the ground below his feet.

"About what? You seemed fine with it yesterday."

"Well I wasn't, and I…won't be…what's wrong? What happened that made you suddenly change your mind?"

She sighed. "I…I just need time, alright?"

He thought about this for a moment. "Yumi…I…I love you too."

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Yes, I know. People are going to be mad at the way I ended it, but I kept writing and it came out all crappy and so I decided this was the best way to end it. Sorry! Hope you liked it though! Oh, btw, a tower wasn't actually active, they made it up to get Ulrich and Yumi together, in case you were confused. That's why the monsters looked different, Jeremie had made them.

Anyway, guess that's it. Please review and I hope it didn't suck as bad as I think it did!

Fox Kitsune