Wait, what? A fic? From Kittyclaw? Yeah, I know, gasp. What can I say, RenaYumi started talking about her summer fic and I got all competitive like. Blame her (or thank, whichever). Hopefully all the impending fluff and cuteness is worth the wait. As always, feedback is darling and stuffed into teddy bears for snuggles. Enjoy~
Dedicated to: Rena, because I'm copying her, competing with her, blaming her, and purposely surprising her with an alert email in the morning, all in one post.
A loud yell, echoing its way to through his open door from the hall outside, was all the warning Ulrich was given, allowing him just enough time to flash Yumi a terrified grimace before he was tackled to the floor by a purple and yellow blur screeching "It's Summer!" at the top of its lungs.
"Odd, get off!" Ulrich hollered, trying in vain to weasel out from beneath his still cheering roommate.
"No," the blonde responded childishly, refusing to budge as he looked around the room. He grinned when he realized that Yumi, Aelita, and Jeremy were all already present, sitting scattered about the room and watching him expectantly.
"Okay Odd," Jeremy said, rolling his eyes as his friends continued to wrestle on the floor. "Why did you want us to meet you here?"
"Because—" Odd started to say, before he was cut off by Ulrich grabbing his collar and then using his legs to catapult Odd up and over his head, the blonde landing in a heap on the floor. Ulrich immediately dove away from Odd before he could get it together enough to retaliate, scrambling onto his bed and ducking behind Yumi for safety.
"Oh no you don't," Yumi said, quickly scooting away from the brunet. "I'm not playing human shield." Seeing an opening, Odd flung himself at his now exposed friend, who wailed dramatically as he was caught in a headlock.
"Aren't you two a little old for this kind of thing?" Jeremy asked, drawing Odd's attention, whose arm was wrapped firmly around Ulrich's neck.
"Are we?" he asked cheekily. Jeremy rolled his eyes, Odd grinning up at him—and not noticing Ulrich making his counter attack until it was too late. He released Ulrich with a yelp, the taller boy scrambling away again and diving behind Jeremy as Odd stared at his own arm, eyes wide.
"You bit me!" he accused Ulrich, pointing imperially at his roommate, who stuck out his tongue.
"You tried to choke me," he accused back. Odd scowled.
"Boys," Yumi interrupted, "Can we know why we're here now, or should we just get going and let the two of you work this one out alone?" Both boys blinked at her.
"Oh, right," Odd said, suddenly remembering what he was supposed to be doing. Leaping up from Ulrich's bed, the brunet quickly jumping in to reclaim his seat, Odd planted himself in the middle of the room. "I have a question," he announced. "What are you all planning on doing this summer?"
Everyone in the room stared at Odd for a moment.
"You couldn't ask us this during lunch?" Jeremy asked, quirking an eyebrow at his friend.
"I didn't need to know during lunch," Odd told him.
"Why do you need to know now?" Aelita asked curiously, from where she was sitting cross legged on Odd's bed.
"Because I do," Odd answered. "So…?"
"You know what I'm doing," Ulrich said with a huff. "Since I can't find anything else to do, I'll be heading home for the summer. A whole two months with my parents." Ulrich scowled darkly. "I can't wait."
"What about the rest of you?" Odd said, seeming to fight back a grin as he turned his gaze on the rest of the group.
"I think I'm going to Japan with my parents," Yumi said. "They wanted to go by themselves, but they can only find a friend to stick Hiroki with, since none of you are staying in France. And they won't leave me in the house alone. They're convinced I'll throw a party." Yumi sighed, shaking her head. "It's like they think I'll fly you all back here or something."
"You might," Ulrich said, giving her a poke in the shoulder.
"I would fly Odd in. It wouldn't be a party without Odd."
Everyone turned to stare at Odd, who had dropped down into the seat beside Aelita, the pink haired girl giggling at his antics.
"If you don't stop talking in third person, I'm leaving," Jeremy deadpanned. Odd stuck out his tongue.
"What are you doing this summer, Einstein?" he asked. Jeremy gave him a pointed look.
"You know what I'm doing," he said. "That summer college session the school is offering." Odd rolled his eyes, heaving a sigh.
"You would ruin your summer by going to school."
"It's not ruined," Jeremy retorted, but his response went ignored, Odd's attention having already shifted.
"What about you princess?" he asked Aelita. "What are you going to do?"
"I…umm, I don't know, actually," she admitted with a shrug. "I haven't really thought about it."
"Good," Odd said, causing Aelita to look at him in surprise. He nodded.
"Jer, if you would reconsider that school thing, then this would be the best summer ever."
"Why?" Jeremy asked. "Because we would all be bored and miserable together?"
"No," Odd said, a mischievous smile on his face. "Because we would all get to spend the summer together at my parent's vacation home in New Zealand."
There was a beat of silence as everyone stared open mouthed at Odd.
"Are you serious?" Ulrich asked. The blonde grinned.
"Of course," he said, throwing an arm around Aelita's shoulders. "My parents are leaving for their biyearly honeymoon, and none of my sisters can stay at the house this year, so they asked me to watch it for them. They said I could bring friends, so they don't have to worry about me being all alone on the island."
"Yeah," Odd said, looking at Ulrich. "My parents go on honeymoons twice a year, once in the summer and once in the winter. So the summer house is vacant for basically our entire summer break, and they don't like leaving it unwatched. It's the only one on an island my dad bought from some guy he used to work for, so there are no neighbors to make sure no one breaks into it or anything."
"You parents solution to having the house burglarized it to fill it with teenagers?" Jeremy asked. Odd nodded.
"It works," he said. "Especially because we all know that if we break anything, we'll never be allowed to set foot on the island again."
"And you want to take us to stay on this island, with no parental supervision?" Yumi asked. Odd nodded again.
"Only if you want to; and if your parents are okay with it." Odd's friends looked at one another; trying to process the offer they had just been handed. Odd was giving them the chance to completely avoid their impending unpleasant summers by getting to hang out in a house on a private island with no adults around for six weeks.
"You're parents are really letting you do this?" Aelita asked. Odd nodded.
"Technically they're making me do this," he amended. "If none of you guys come, I still have to watch the house."
"I'd like to go," Aelita said. Odd's face immediately split with a grin as he hugged the girl.
"One down!" he shouted, turning to look at the others. "What about you guys?"
"You know I can't," Jeremy said, "But I'll be sure to keep in touch with you. You'll need some supervision after all."
"I'm in," Ulrich declared. "Anything's better than spending the summer being smothered by my mom and griped at by dad."
"Well Yumi?" Odd asked, everyone's attention shifting to the last member of the group.
"I'll have to talk it over with my parents," she said, "But I think they'll agree to it. Anything to get the summer to themselves for once." Odd was grinning so widely at this point that his cheeks were hurting.
"Great!" he shouted. "You guys had better start packing."
"How long do we have until we leave?" Yumi asked. Odd blinked.
"We go tomorrow at two to catch our train."
"Tomorrow?" Yumi repeated, Ulrich and Aelita also looking shocked. Odd nodded.
"Did I forget to mention that?"
"Uh, yeah," Ulrich said. "Aelita and I have to pack up everything we have here at Kadic. And what are we supposed to do, take it all with us to New Zealand?"
"Of course not," Odd responded. "My parents said they would pay for the stuff you guys need to ship home and such."
"What about my things?" Aelita asked. "I don't have anywhere to ship them to."
"I'm sure my parents would let you leave it our house," Yumi said. "It's only your computer and some school things, and your winter clothes, right?" Aelita nodded. "Good. And you can spend the night tonight, since all of your things will be at my house anyway."
"See princess," Odd said, "We're watching out for you." Aelita smiled.
"Thank you," she said, to both Yumi and Odd.
"It's nothing," Odd told her dismissively.
"Well, if we need to be ready for tomorrow," Ulrich said, "I think we should all start talking to parents and getting our things packed, don't you?"
"Yeah, yeah," Odd said. "Are you sure I can't convince you to join us, Jer?" he asked his fellow blonde. Jeremy shook his head.
"I'd love to, but I've already paid for the classes." Odd sighed dramatically.
"Fine," he huffed. He then bounced back to his feet, clapping his hands together. "Alright troops. I expect to see you all back here, bags packed, at one thirty tomorrow. Understood?"
"Sure," Yumi said, rolling her eyes as Ulrich tossed his pillow at Odd. "Come on Aelita," she continued, "I'll help you pack, and then we can take your things down to my house."
"Okay," Aelita responded, smiling widely as she hopped to her feet and followed the older girl out of the room.
"I guess I'd better go start packing too," Jeremy said. "I leave tomorrow too, you know."
"And you're positive you want to leave for school, and not the most amazing summer you'll ever have in your life?" Odd checked. Jeremy nodded.
"I'm sure Odd. I'll come say goodbye before I leave in the morning, okay?" Odd heaved another sigh, but relented.
"Alright Einstein. But I expect you to be making use of that webcam I bought you for Christmas."
"I will," Jeremy assured his friend, and then he too left, leaving Ulrich and Odd alone in their room. As soon as the door swung shut Ulrich flopped down on his bed with a huff.
"I can't believe your parents are letting us use their house," he said, turning his head to look at Odd. The blonde shrugged.
"Usually Adele and Louise are the ones who watch it. But Adele is studying abroad this year, and Louise is backpacking with her boyfriend somewhere in South America." Odd also dropped down onto his bed. "The twins are both off at some kind of sports retreat camp, so it was going to be Elizabeth who watched the house, but she was invited last minute to a singing thing that'll take up most of her summer."
"So the house sitting job was given to younger brother by default?" Ulrich asked.
The pair lapsed into silence after that, both lying sprawled across their beds and looking up at their dorm's slightly stained white ceiling. Ulrich huffed. Odd sighed. Glancing in his roommate's direction, Ulrich sighed louder. Odd groaned. With a snort of laughter, Ulrich whined loudly. Odd's response was a noisy wail.
"Okay, we really need to start packing," Ulrich said, interrupting their noise making match.
"Yeah, yeah," Odd huffed, sitting up and staring at the room's large wardrobe. He and Ulrich shared a look, and then both boys jumped up and hurried over to the large piece of furniture, scrambling to reach it first. After a quick scuffle the wardrobe doors were pulled open, revealing the jumble of clothing hung up inside of it, and the pile of purple and brown luggage below. Both boys hmm'd as they looked at the mess, which held absolutely no level of organization. Ulrich sighed.
"This might take a while."
Down one floor, Yumi and Aelita were finding themselves to be much more productive than their male counterparts. After retrieving a dozen of the self assemble cardboard boxes that the school left piled on each floor for the students to use, the pair had proceeded to start boxing up everything of Aelita's that would be able to stay stashed away in Yumi's room over the summer. Though, at the moment, they had currently reached a snarl in their production line of packing.
"This one here?"
"No! Not tha—"
The computer made an odd whirring noise, and the screen went blank.
"Was that supposed to happen?" Yumi asked sheepishly. Aelita shook her head.
"It's okay though," she quickly assured her friend. "At this point we can just unplug everything and pack it away."
"Okay," Yumi said. She crawled out from behind Aelita's desk, a bundle of wires in hand, which she dropped into the open box on Aelita's bed. The girls then packed the keyboard, mouse, and speakers in with the cords, tucking away all of Aelita's various computer accessories. It took the two of them together to lift the monitor and set it into the box, and then Aelita wedged the tower behind that, followed by Yumi stuffing the lid on.
"Okay," she huffed, sealing the box with a roll of clear backing tape. "Let's get your bedding next. But I would leave the blanket out," she added, pointing to the pink and white throw blanket draped across Aelita's quilt.
"Why?" Aelita asked curiously as she began stripping the bed.
"We have a long flight tomorrow," Yumi explained, taking the blanket and one of Aelita's pillows and setting them aside. "You'll probably want to sleep for most of the trip. And the pillows and blankets the airlines provide are useless in those cold planes."
"Oh," Aelita said, folding her sheets and tucking them into a new box. "How long will we be flying for?" she asked curiously. Yumi paused in her pillowcase folding to consider the question.
"Probably close to twenty four hours," she answered. "The trip could take even longer if we have any long layovers."
"Layovers?" Aelita asked. Yumi nodded.
"It's when you stop at an airport to switch planes. The time you spend waiting for the next flight is a layover."
"Oh," Aelita said. The girls stuffed the last of Aelita's bedspread away, sealing the boxes and adding them to the pile.
"Okay," Yumi said, putting her hands on her hips as she looked around the room. "Now we just need to pack everything else for the trip." She and Aelita hauled out Aelita's luggage, which had been purchased for her by the group back when they'd first moved her into Kadic as a way to complete the boarder look. Depositing the pale pink suitcases on Aelita's bare mattress, Yumi pointed to the largest case.
"You'll want to use that one mostly for clothes," she said. She then turned to Aelita's large duffle bag. "That looks like it's small enough to be allowed on the plane, so you should use that one for any clothing you'd like to have on you either on the plane or when we get to Odd's place. Also your pillow and blanket, and your make up and things. You can put things like your music player and some books into your backpack."
"Okay," Aelita said, looking like a student listening to a lecture. "Big case for clothes." Yumi nodded. The girls then proceeded to empty out Aelita's wardrobe and dresser into a heap of clothing beside the large suitcase. Picking up a shirt at random, Aelita folded it and set it down in her suitcase.
"Not like that," Yumi chastised lightly, snatching the shirt back out. "There's an art to packing suitcases," she explained as she refolded the shirt. "You're trying to fit the greatest amount of stuff in the smallest possible space." Handing the shirt back, Aelita saw that Yumi had folded it into a neat little square.
"Wow," Aelita whispered, setting the shirt inside the case. Yumi grinned.
"I brought everything I owned from Japan to France. I learned all the tricks." Laughing, Aelita and Yumi continued folding clothes and stuffing them into the case, trying to see who could cram the most into their side. By the time it was full, Aelita had managed to fit almost every piece of clothing and underwear, and every last shoe she owned into the now bulging case. However, there were a few things Yumi had set aside rather than pack away.
"What are those for?" Aelita asked, eyeing the outfit sitting folded on her mattress, next to a pair of sleep pants and a tank top. She then motioned to the outfit she had already set out for tomorrow.
"Those are for your carry on," Yumi explained. "So if you want to change into fresh clothes at some point, and you have your PJs available when we get to Odd's house without having to rummage through your suitcase."
"Oh," Aelita said. It seemed that Yumi really did know all of the tricks to traveling. Yumi grinned at her. "Let's get your other bags packed, and then we can call my dad to come help us haul these boxes to my house." Aelita returned Yumi's grin with one of her own.
"Sounds like a plan."
"And Yumi thinks you have to fold your clothes all nice to be able to pack right," Odd huffed, pulling his zipper shut with a final jerk. Across from him, Ulrich was sitting atop his own larger suitcase, bouncing a little so that he could get the zipper to go the final six inches.
"You know, you should at least fold them," Ulrich told his roommate. He then shouted with joy as he got the suitcase closed.
"Why?" Odd asked. Ulrich rolled his eyes.
"So your clothes aren't all wrinkled when you get them back out."
"Psh," was Odd's response as he moved on to his other suitcase, pouncing on it and restarting his epic zipper battle. Odd had crammed everything he planned to take with him in his two suitcases, as his only other bag was his backpack, which he had loaded with dog treats, card games, a camera, a book, and even a coloring book and crayons. When asked, Odd simply explained that they had a very long flight a head of them. He was also brining Kiwi with him, in a new pet travel bag that Aelita and Jeremy had gotten him for Christmas, so he wouldn't have to try and sneak the poor dog in his backpack any more.
Ulrich, on the other hand, had a single massive suitcase into which he had been able to cram almost everything for the trip. And what he hadn't been able to fit in the suitcase, he was currently cramming into a duffle bag, along with a few things to keep him busy on the flight. He rummaged about the few things that had yet to be packed away in suitcases or cardboard boxes until he retrieved his toiletries bag, from which he pulled his toothbrush and toothpaste before stuffing the bag into his duffle. Odd watched him for a moment, and then sighed, staring at his suitcase.
"Ulrich," he asked slowly.
"Yes?" the brunet asked back.
"Can I borrow your toothbrush?"
"Please?" Odd begged. "I don't want to get mine out."
"You packed it in your suitcase?" Ulrich asked. Odd nodded. Ulrich laughed. "That sucks."
"Come on Ulrich," Odd whined "I'm your best friend!"
"No," Ulrich repeated, hugging his toothbrush protectively. Odd tried one more pout, but received only a glower in return. So, sighing once more, he turned to his suitcase, crouching down to open it.
"I would step back if I was you," he warned Ulrich as he reached for the zipper.
Yumi and Aelita approached Odd and Ulrich's dorm, chatting about what they thought Odd's vacation home would be like. Yumi was laughing at one of Aelita's comments concerning Odd's room and its similarities to a nuclear waste dump as she reached up to knock on the door, however she fell abruptly silent when a muffled fump echoed inside the room. The girls exchanged bewildered looks at the sound. They only became more baffled when, after a long moment of silence, the room echoed with laughter.
"Odd? Ulrich?" Yumi called worriedly, reaching for the door knob. Opening the door, she was met with the sight of Odd sprawled across the floor, covered in a layer of clothing. Ulrich was doubled over nearby with laughter.
"Are you okay?" Yumi asked tentatively, eyeing the pair. Odd played dead a moment longer, and then turned his head to look back at Yumi.
"I'm looking for my toothbrush," he told her simply.
"He…he," Ulrich gasped out, before dissolving back into laughter. Yumi blinked, looking back at Aelita, who shrugged.
"Okay," Yumi said slowly. "Well, my dad is here to help us move Aelita's stuff, so I'm just letting you guys know we're leaving."
"Alright," Odd said, while Ulrich toppled over, still snickering. "I'll call you in the morning to make sure you're up!" Ulrich's laughter doubled.
"I'm sure you will," Yumi told him dryly. "But I think I'll set my alarm. No use relying on a one pm wakeup call for a two pm departure." Odd pulled a face at her as she and Aelita backed out of the boy's doorway, shutting the door behind them.
"That was interesting," Aelita said. Yumi laughed, as in her pocket her cell began to vibrate.
"I wonder who that could be," Yumi said, not sounding at all curious as she pulled out her phone and put it to her ear. "Hello dad…yeah, we're ready for you…second floor, room 213…see you there."
"He's coming up?" Aelita asked, looking sideways at Yumi. The older girl nodded.
"He said he brought a dolly with him to help us carry the boxes."
"A…dolly?" Aelita asked in confusion.
"It's something you use to move heavy stuff," Yumi explained. "You'll see my dad's in a few seconds." As Yumi spoke, she and Aelita approached the end of the hall, where one of the dorm's usually most restricted forms of transportation sat waiting for them.
Although the dorm was built with a perfectly functional elevator opposite the end of the stairwell, the machine was locked down and completely off limits both to students and staff during the school year. With students like Odd living in the dorms, it was no wonder why. But at the beginning and end of each school year the elevator was made available as Kadic's entire boarding population packed up every possession they had with them and carted them away, based on the realization that hundreds of students clambering around the stairs with armfuls of very large, heavy boxes was something akin to an attempted mass suicide.
Just as Yumi and Aelita reached the elevator its doors slid open, revealing Mr. Ishiyama, armed with an 'L' shaped black dolly and an armful of bungee cords.
"Hello girls," he greeted them as he stepped out into the hall. As soon as he had, a student lugging what appeared to be everything he ever owned quickly took the man's place in the elevator. Mr. Ishiyama raised an eyebrow as the elevator descended once more before looking over the girls' heads at the hallway ahead of him, which was currently a buzz with students darting back and forth carrying a wide assortment of bags, suitcases, cardboard and plastic boxes, and bundles that looked like their bed sheets tied around heaps of clothing.
"Hello Mr. Ishiyama," Aelita greeted politely. "Thank you for allowing me to keep my things in your home."
"It's no problem," he told her, quickly waving it off. "Anything for Yumi's friends." Aelita smiled as Yumi rolled her eyes.
"My parents just like you because you're so nice," Yumi told her friend playfully. "They wouldn't let Odd keep so much as a shoelace at our house." Mr. Ishiyama harrumphed, but didn't deny the accusation, causing Aelita to giggle.
"Alright," he said, "Where's this dorm room?" Yumi and Aelita led the way down the wall, weaving through half packed, scrambling students to reach Aelita's dorm. Inside the girls had stacked all of Aelita's boxes neatly by the door, next to her luggage.
"Is this all?" Mr. Ishiyama asked, eyeing the five boxes, which contained mostly bedding and clothes. Aelita hadn't had the volume of personal items that most of the other students were suddenly struggling to find room for.
"Yep," Yumi said. "What do you want us to do?"
"Show me the heaviest box," Mr. Ishiyama told her. "We'll stack them heaviest to lightest." Nodding, the girls set to sorting the boxes, handing them off one at a time to Yumi's father, who would stack them one by one unto the dolly, bungee cording each into place as he went. Once they were all in place he nabbed Aelita's duffle and set it on top, leaving the suitcase and Aelita's backpack for the girls to carry.
"Make one last check of the room," Mr. Ishiyama told her as he wheeled the dolly back into the hall. "You don't want to forget anything." The girls did a quick scramble about the room, turning up a hair tie from under the wardrobe and a lost pen from behind the desk, but with nothing else left behind, the paired joined Yumi's father, Aelita locking her door behind her for the last time.
"Do you need to return that key anywhere?" Mr. Ishiyama asked as they headed back for the elevator.
"They have a return desk set up in the office," Aelita said, pocketing her key. "I was going to go with the boys when they turn in their keys tomorrow."
"Oh good," Mr. Ishiyama said as he pushed the elevator call button. The doors opened, revealing a car packed full with boys and boxes.
"Going down?" one of them asked, as a few of the others scooted aside to try and make some room. Yumi and Aelita made to cram in, but Mr. Ishiyama stopped them.
"Thanks," he said, "but we'll wait for the next one." The boys all blinked at him.
"Are you sure?" one of them asked. Mr. Ishiyama nodded.
"I'm sure." Aelita and Yumi stifled giggles as the elevator doors slid back shut, Mr. Ishiyama grumbling something about ridiculous teenage boys.