Disclaimer: I don't own Code Lyoko.
Chapter 5: Moment of Truth
"Hey, you gonna share that?"
"My Kit Kat. Get your own."
"Come on, please?"
Aelita gently whacked Odd's hand, which was trying to creep over to her Kit Kat bar. Sitting on his other side, Yumi discreetly shifted away from him, holding her Snickers bar close possessively. It was not unusual for the Japanese girl to sneak candy into school from home. It also wasn't unusual for Odd to beg for seconds long after he finished his own.
Normally Aelita didn't mind letting Odd steal some of her candy, but today she wasn't in the mood to share; apparently he sensed this as well, for he gave up, sulking a little, before putting on a bright smile and turning to Yumi. "Hey Yumi, you gonna eat all that?"
Aelita chuckled as Yumi groaned, still holding tight to her Snickers. The pink-haired girl broke off a piece of Kit Kat and popped it into her mouth, closing her eyes as the sweet chocolate melted against her tongue. The warm, sweet taste soothed her and made her jittery stomach grow still.
It had been some time since Aelita had snuck into Jeremie's room and left her note in his backpack. At the time, she had been perfectly calm; but as the minutes passed, butterflies had fluttered in her stomach and second thoughts had begun to form. Determined not to think like that, Aelita took another bite of Kit Kat.
She'd done what she felt was right. She would deal with whatever happened.
All other thoughts, however, were cut clean off when Jeremie emerged from the school building. He paused, slowly scanning the courtyard, smiling when his eyes fell on her. Slipping his hands into his pockets, he began to walk toward her.
Her heart skipped a beat when the sunlight caught something around his neck, shining. He was wearing the second wedding ring.
Her chest constricted painfully, then loosened. A glorious warmth and exhilaration surged through her in a great wave. She glanced briefly at the half-eaten Kit Kat before shoving it into Odd's hands. "Here. You can have it," she murmured, rising and beginning to walk toward Jeremie.
Odd blinked in confusion. "Uh…. Thanks?" He frowned, shrugged, glancing at Yumi as he bit into the Kit Kat. "What brought that on?" Yumi just shrugged, smiling, as she took a bite of Snickers; she had seen the look in Aelita's eyes when Jeremie came out. Something was going down.
With a great deal more confidence then she felt, Aelita stopped in front of Jeremie, smiled. "Hi."
He'd grown a little, she noted as she tilted her head back to meet his gaze. When had that happened? She hadn't noticed. She swallowed, took a leap of faith. "You're wearing the ring," she said, trying to keep her voice casual and failing miserably; there was a trembling note of hope and uncertainty in her voice despite her effort.
Jeremie couldn't help but smile. "Yeah, I am."
"I guess that means you also read my letter."
His smile widened. "Yeah, I did."
It certainly wasn't a confession, but Aelita realized at that moment that she didn't need one; she could see the truth written on his face. He was smiling, his eyes sparkling like twin sapphires behind his glasses, and she realized that was all she needed to see, all she needed to know.
Her heart—which had begun to beat erratically upon seeing him—calmed. Warmth and love surged through her in a great wave, and she smiled slightly, gasping softly as Jeremie gently cupped her chin in his hand. For a long moment, they simply gazed at each other, ignoring the kissing noises Odd was making at them.
Aelita's heart was pounding again, because somewhere in the back of her mind she knew this was it, this wasn't like when XANA had been running around kissing everyone, this was really happening…
…. And then she felt Jeremie's lips gently brush hers, and her mind clouded over. Everything seemed to fade except for the feeling of his lips against hers as she slowly closed her eyes, keeping her hands on his chest. His hand continued holding her chin.
In the background Yumi whooped loudly. "About time!" she laughed, before turning to Odd. "Pay up."
"We made a bet, remember? You betted Jeremie would never be brave enough to kiss Aelita. I betted he would be. You owe me twenty bucks."
"Oh, come on! Can I pay you tomorrow?"
Odd and Yumi continued bickering over this as Jeremie slowly pulled away. Aelita opened her eyes. He was blushing faintly, she noted with some amusement; ignoring his discomfort, she gently rested her head on his chest and listened to his heartbeat. After a moment, she felt his arms go around her, holding her close, and her heart made a lovely bounding leap at the feeling.
The rings they both wore now clinked lightly against each other at the close contact, before settling together and fitting together perfectly. For a brief moment the sunlight found its way between the two, glimmering across the joined rings and making them glow like twin beacons; but slowly the light faded.
After a moment, Aelita stepped back, tilting her head to study Jeremie. He smiled at her. She smiled back.
Without hesitation, she stood up on her tiptoes and pressed her lips once again to Jeremie's, her arms coming around his neck.
And after three to five seconds, she decided the second kiss was just as good, if not better, then the first.
In the hermitage, sunlight fell across the bedroom in broken rays. The rays cast their light weakly, dancing across the room in dappled shades, alternating between light and darkness. One of the rays managed to splash across an old photograph, dusty but not quite as far gone as the others.
Aelita had not seen it. Perhaps because it wasn't meant to be seen.
The photograph was on the dresser right beside the bed, hidden by the shadows. In the picture were two people—a young woman, and a man. They were standing almost nose-to-nose, both smiling. The woman had her arms around the man's neck; he had his arms around her waist and was holding her close. Their foreheads were touching, and it seemed as though they were about to kiss.
Around both their necks hung a single wedding ring.
So, um... yeah. That's it. The end. The moment with Aelita and Jeremie, and then at the very end with the photograph of her parents is my crappy attempt at creating some link between the two relationships...
This won't be my last chapter fic for Code Lyoko.
Read and review, please!