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Chapter 9: After
Jeremie slowly retrieved his glasses from under the desk, wincing; he paused and waited for the ache to fade before sitting up, leaning back in his chair and blowing out a long breath as he put his glasses back on.
His time in the scanner had rid him of the wolf DNA and completely healed his wounds. It had not, however, cleansed him completely of pain caused by said wounds. Chances were that he'd be a little slow for a few days, but he was still alive.
And that counts for something, definitely.
He heard the door creak and swung around, masking his pain with a smile. "Hello?"
"Hey, Einstein." Odd shot into the room like a bullet, bouncing around Jeremie like a terrier with a chew toy. "Ya think you can let me copy your notes? Please? We have a test tomorrow and I'm totally doomed if I fail. Again."
"Yeah, hold on…"
Turning around again, Jeremie leaned down, reaching for his folder; and froze, gritting his teeth as pain sang through his side and stomach like a melody. "Ow," he managed weakly.
"I'm okay." Deftly he retrieved the folder and handed it to Odd. "There you are."
"Thanks, you're a pal. I'm going to bug Ulrich now for the English homework. See ya tomorrow!"
And with that, Odd was gone. Jeremie couldn't help the smile that curved his lips. He had forgotten how much of a whirlwind Odd could be at times. He slumped back into his chair, deciding it would be best not to move around for awhile. Despite the healing he was still in a great deal of pain, though he'd managed to keep it successfully hidden from his friends.
He still felt awkward and clumsy in his normal human body. He'd grown so accustomed to his wolf form in such a short amount of time, the speed and power even when ripped to bloody shreds. His human self felt… weak in comparison.
And the pain was enough to kill someone. But Jeremie was an expert at blocking it out.
Almost, as a sharp burn coursed through him again as he reached for a pencil.
Ow. Ow, ow, ow…
Aelita's voice broke his concentration, and he yelped and nearly fell out of the chair, bracing his hands against and cursing mentally as pain ripped mercilessly through his battered system. "Hey, Aelita," he managed, turning back around to face her.
The pink-haired girl managed to smile, though she could see the pain in his eyes. She had always been able to pick up on vibes the others sometimes missed. "Hi. I was just looking at the security footage at the factory."
"I saw you fighting XANA."
Jeremie's stomach dropped. "Ah." He shifted uncomfortably in his chair, wincing again. "And…?"
"You're still in pain, aren't you? I can see it in your eyes."
His shoulders slumped a little; he didn't have the heart to fight her, of all people. He never had been able to, even before he'd become a wolf. That was probably something that was never going to change, no matter what he went through. "Yeah," he muttered. "But it's not so bad once you ignore it."
"You should probably get some sleep," Aelita murmured, noting his bed was still made. "I read somewhere that sleeping helps the pain ease a little."
"Your body heals while you're asleep, yeah. But I don't have time…"
Whatever excuse he'd planned flew right out the window as Aelita took his hand and gently pulled him out of the chair; he winced and staggered unsteadily on still wobbly legs, but followed her and lay on the bed, more to please her than anything. Once she left, he'd just get back up…
… And apparently she could read his mind, because she curled up next to him. Jeremie's heart flew into his throat. "Aelita?"
"Why are you…? I mean, shouldn't you…?"
"Jeremie." Aelita propped up on her elbow, gently kissing his cheek. "Go to sleep. I'll stay with you so you won't be in so much pain."
"Uh… okay." His cheeks heated. "Thanks."
Smiling, Aelita snuggled against Jeremie again, closing her eyes. Slowly, despite his pain, Jeremie rolled over and gently wrapped an arm around her waist, pulling her closer, and with a soft sigh she rested her head beneath his.
After a moment, he slowly closed his eyes and joined Aelita in sleep.
Oddly enough, he wasn't in as much pain anymore, either.
Some nice, old-fashioned fluff after all the blood and gore. If these two don't admit their feelings before the show ends, I'll scream.
Read and review, one last time! And thank you all for reading this far, you're all awesome.