Hey everyone! Sorry about this long wait. I sort of forgot about my fanfictions since the end of the school year was approaching, but I saw that this story was still supported and people wanted me to finish it, so here I am. I always wanted to finish it, but could never really bring myself to sit down and actually finish it. Anyway, not a long chapter, but I wanted to update just so people remembered this Fanfic and so everyone can check up on it now. Expect the next chapter to be a big one, so it might take about a week or so. I'm done rambling, so here we go! DISCLAIMER: I do not own Infinite Stratos or any of its Characters

"Don't worry, I'm really sore, but the pain isn't too bad surprisingly." Laura's eyes shot open faster than ever. She shot up from the chair and looked at Ichika. His eyes were open and he had a small smile on his face. "I'm just glad that you aren't hurt. Right?" He asked her. She couldn't even make an intelligent reply. She stood there with her mouth wide open, but couldn't form any words. The only thing she could do was jump into his arms.

"Ahhh!" He screamed quickly when she jumped on the bed next to him and wrapped her arms around his chest. He looked at her with a smile. "Be careful, I don't want any of these stitches popping out."

"I'm sorry…" She said, still sounding sad.

"It's no big deal; I think all of them are still intact." He told her.

"No," she said. "For everything. I'm sorry that you had to go through all of this because of Charlotte and I. I shouldn't have fought her. Handling a situation like this as an adult is what I should've done."

"Well, think about it this way," Ichika said, still smiling at her, "I think you've proved that you are committed to this relationship." She was amazed that he could turn a situation like this into one of happiness.

"So have you." She said. Taking so many hits like that had to have proved his loyalty for her. "Hey," she said, about to ask a question. "How did you get that slash on your chest?"

"This?" he said looking down at it. "Judging by where it is, I would say one of your beam swords did it."

"Yes!" she said, jumping onto her feet and off the bed. "I knew that I won! I bet what happened to your arm is of my doing as well; the Schwarzer Regen is unbeatable after all." She said braggingly. She looked down at his face, while still celebrating her victory to see his smile had disappeared and he was just looking at her. She realized that she had just been bragging about injuring her boyfriend. She felt sick to her stomach. Like before, she stood there not knowing what to say. The silence was long and awkward. Eventually, it was broken by Ichika.

"Bwahahaha!" He laughed loudly. "Only you would celebrate at a time like this." It felt like a rock was dropped into her stomach. "But it's fine, because it is why I like you." Her spirits were immediately restored. She walked back over there and laid down on the bed next to him carefully.

"Thank you." She said, with her eyes closed. She wrapped her arms back around him and his one arm around her. They were all alone.

"Hey Laura." Ichika said.

"Yes?" she asked him. She opened her eyes and looked at him.

"What is it?" she said,

"Yeah….." Ichika said.

"So…." She said, in an effort to incite something "How long are you going to be stuck in here?"

"I'm not quite sure," he said, but it was clear he was focused on something else, "but I have something else I want to say." Laura looked at him. She was a mess of emotions and had no idea what to think or say or even react, she was just going to listen. "You came into this school hating me. The first interaction we ever had was when you slapped me. I never once thought that we could be friends because I didn't even know why you didn't like me. Over time, I started to understand more of you and was able to be more in-tune with you, even though you didn't like me. I don't like having enemies though, so I tried everything possible to become your friend. Once I was there, I had no idea where it was going to go, but I was willing to try anything you wanted to." She stared at him. It was all she could do. "Once I got to know you, I saw that there was much more to you than a tough outer shell. There was a person who was robbed of something priceless: their childhood. And while I couldn't give that back to you, I could do everything in my power to help you fit in and learn things that the most of us already know. So I started to talk more with you, connect more with you, and to even go as far as to pretend to date you. I thought this was going to be a great experience for you; not once did I think that I would gain anything from this other than trouble. But I was wrong." Laura's facial expression began to change. Her eyes slowly widened and her breath rate increased. "What I gained is something that I don't want to lose. It was an amazing friendship that blossomed into something great. I know I'm not one for speeches or being deep or anything like that, but you, Laura Bodewig, make me proud to say that there is someone in my life who means much more than any stupid grade or IS could. My feelings may be jumbled and I'm coming out with a lot of things here, but dammit, I'm going to say what I feel and I'm not going to regret one bit of it. Laura," Laura held her breath as he paused. She felt his hand grab hers. Despite his newfound confidence, Ichika made a big gulp. "I love you."

She was at a loss for words. She had never been told that genuinely by someone. 'Could he finally be the one?' Her lip began to quiver. Would she just be hurt again? She tore her hand from his grasp and slowly stepped away from him, looking horrified. "Is something wrong?" he said, worried that he had scared her away. Without a word, she turned from him and ran out of the room. "Wait!" he exclaimed, but it was no use.

Tears began to run down her face as she ran down the seemingly endless hallway. Her steps were all wobbly and she could barely run in a straight line. The echoes of her footsteps bounced all around the hall until they came back at her, as if they were mocking her. It was only a matter of time until she came crashing to the ground. She mustered the strength to get back on her feet and walk towards the beginning of the stairs. Her hair hung over her face as she stumbled into the railing. She grabbed it and slowly pulled herself to the ground to sit. It was unsure if she was still crying or not.

"Get down from there, you incompetent waste!" A woman with a loud voice screamed at a young Laura. She had climbed up to the third floor of the academy that she trained out and was standing out on the ledge of the 5th floor.

"Please! It's dangerous up there!" the woman with the soft voice called out to her. "You have to come down." The woman looked around at everyone. "Someone go up there and get her!"

"No." a woman with a sinister voice said. "We must not interfere. This situation must work itself out. This will be a learning experience for all of us."

"Stop treating her like she is some sort of experiment!" the woman with the soft voice retorted. "This is a human life we are talking about. She obviously feels alienated and we need to make her know that she is welcome here. She is going through things that we can't even imagine."

"Exactly." The woman with the sinister voice retaliated. "We don't know what she is going through. We need to see what she does to see if there is a problem with the product."

"She isn't a product! She is a girl just like you and I, wishing to live a normal life. Why can't we give her a chance at a normal life?"

"Don't let your connection with the young experiment get in the way of your profession, or else we will find a better position for you." The woman with the sinister voice threatened her. The woman with the soft voice could do nothing but be silent. This was her only way to remain close to Laura. She looked over to the woman with the loud voice. She was standing there yelling at Laura through a megaphone.

"...And after that, I will make you wish you were never born unless you get down from there this insta-" She was cut short by the woman with the soft voice. She ripped the megaphone out of her hand and put it up to her own mouth.

"Laura," She began to say, preparing to pour her heart out to her. "What you are going through is extraordinary. None of us can even begin to imagine what you are going through. However, we all appreciate what you are doing for us and we wouldn't know what to do without you. You must come down. Everyone loves you down here. I love you. Know come down please, we are all worried sick…" she said, pausing to see her reaction. Laura looked down at everyone down on the ground floor. She saw everyone looking up at her and suddenly felt frightened. She was afraid to fall. She turned around and walked in through the window. Everyone held their breath for a minute while they waited for her to emerge from the building. After a few minutes, they saw a silhouette appear in the hallway. It was of course Laura.

"Laura!" The woman with the soft voice called out to her. Laura began to run out towards her. The woman got on her knees to hug Laura. Just when Laura exited the building, the woman with the loud voice grabbed her.

"I got you, you runt!" she exclaimed and she forcefully handed her over to the security forces.

"Let me go!" Laura shouted as she struggled. She reached her hand out to reach towards the woman with the soft voice.

"Stop!" the woman with the soft voice exclaimed as she rose to her feet. She felt a hand on the back of her neck.

"Think very carefully about what you are about to do." It was the woman with the sinister voice. "You wouldn't want anything bad to happen to you or even worse…" The woman with the soft voice knew exactly what she meant. Once she sensed that she had the other woman under her control, she said "Good, now you are going to turn around and walk away, without saying a word." The woman with the soft voice knew that she had to follow her orders. She looked down at the ground and tried to ignore the "Help me!"'s coming from behind her. She walked back, in a state of absolute anger.

"Hey," The woman with the loud voice called out. "That was good saying that stuff to that brat. It was nice in tricking her. Worked like a charm." The woman with the soft voice was silent. "Hey, I'm tryin' to compliment you; the least you can do is thank me." The woman just kept on walking. "I said, He-"

"That's enough." She was cut off by the woman with the sinister voice. "Let her be alone."

"Jeez." The woman replied. "The nerve of some people these days. She's acting as if Laura was her own flesh and blood."

"…That's the problem." The woman with the sinister voice replied. She then proceeded to walk away, leaving the woman with the loud voiced in a state of confusion.

This was all a memory that she could not just forget. 'I'm just going to end up tricked again. I must finish what I started!' Laura rose to her feet. She knew what she had to do, so she ascended the stairs to decide her fate.

It was now the end of the day. The sun was setting on a crimson sky while Chifuyu sat in her office. The sun was just about to hide behind the horizon. It was truly a sight. She decided to check on Ichika and see how he was doing. She stepped out of her office and descended down the stairs. She saw that the hallways were unusually quiet, but this didn't bother her. She walked down to the medical ward and opened the door to Ichika's room. She could only say one utterance.

"Damn it."

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