Title: Secrets

Author: Scarlet Pencil

Pairing: Ulrich/Odd

Disclaimer: I do not own Code Lyoko. It's the property of Cartoon Network and other people.

Summary: Almost everyone hides secrets at Kadic. The size of those secrets is the only thing that differs.

AN: I wrote this for a friend. It's certainly not my best work, but I've gotten tired of wrestling with it, so this will be the final form. Concrit is always wanted though. I hope you enjoy reading it.

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It was surprising, what the students hid in the dorms of Kadic.

Jeremy, for a long time, had hidden an AI in his computer. He loved the way Aelita had always been there waiting for him, smiling and cheerful. No matter how hard the day had been, he always felt better after talking things over with Aelita. Her curiosity about the simplest details of human life put life in perspective for him, in a way.

Jeremy still can't help glancing at his computer whenever he wants to start a conversation with Aelita, only to remember that she is probably asleep over at Yumi's.

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Sissy has hidden in her room a picture of her mother. Not even her father knows about it. It's an old picture, with her mother smiling gently at the camera, holding Sissy in her lap. In the picture, a young Sissy is grinning widely, proudly displaying her missing teeth. It's one of the few pictures Sissy has of her mother that wasn't cut out of a magazine, for shortly after that Sissy's mother became busy with her work and social life. Sissy doesn't mind, really. She understands that you have to make sacrifices in order to be the center of attention, in order to keep people's eyes on you.

It doesn't quite stop Sissy from being lonely, though.

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Odd keeps Kiwi hidden in the room he shares with Ulrich. He knows it's a risk to keep a pet in there, but he can't imagine letting Kiwi go. He isn't sure he likes the idea of Kiwi staying at his home, and he knows that Kiwi wouldn't stand a chance in the real world. People only take pity on cute things, and Kiwi on a good day is the anti-thesis of cute.

Besides, Odd likes having something depend solely on him. Something that isn't the fate of the world or Ulrich's sanity. Because Ulrich does depend on Odd. Odd is the one who manages to crack jokes in the (almost omnipresent, nowadays) face of death. He's the one who nags Ulrich to lighten up and have fun even when it seems like the world is going to hell. Still, it makes Odd uncomfortable.

Ulrich is the steady rock of their team, and it not only hurts Odd to know that he can be shaken, but also that Odd is the one who has to pull Ulrich back together.

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Ulrich has no physical item that he hides. Rather, he hides his feelings, especially from himself. He's afraid of losing the people he cares about and of disappointing his father. So he ignores the quiet voice that tells him to hold onto Odd, the voice that tells him that he'd be lost without the cheerful boy. Instead, he forces himself to chase after Yumi (because she's safe, and it's alright to hold her hands in public) until it becomes a habit.

Sometimes, on nights when he listens to Odd's quiet breathing (a stark contrast to the cheerfully loud voice that Ulrich is used to), he wonders if Yumi has figured it out. And he decides not to say anything, because right now he's comfortable, even if he is teetering on the edge with no way back. Right now, as Odd rolls over and begins snoring, everything's fine.

At least, that's what he tells himself.

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