normality&me

warning(s) & notes: OOC, set soon after Aelita comes to Earth


Aelita knows that she is not a normal girl; if there were a definition for abnormal – out of this world, she would be the example next to it. She has bright pink hair, slender elfin ears, and most importantly, she saves the world on a daily basis. Aelita is essentially a wonder woman with more modest clothes – at least that is what Odd says.

Odd is ten kinds of wonderful, and he holds a sunny disposition that attracts girls in a different way than eternally brooding Ulrich. Behind his hundred-grins-a-day though, she decides, is someone who picks and chooses his loyalties carefully. And through his careful, yet unnoticed, scrutiny, he only attracts the best, the brightest, and the truest. "No, seriously!" Odd exclaims, "Superwoman is like…hot and saves the world…and you save the world and you're uhh," Coughing he chokes out, "Pretty," She feels a warm flooding in her cheeks, but dismisses it quickly to the early autumn breeze.

"Thank you Odd," To lighten the situation up, she adds, "You are very pretty too," And so she walks away with her head held high, secretly hoping her joke is appropriate for their level of friendship – human etiquette still boggles her and she feels like it always will no matter how many books she checks out and how many articles the way tower provides her.

The next time they meet is in the library. She is looking for advice on friendship and jokes, and Odd is there to predictably stir up the peace the settles upon the library like a quilt. "Aelita!" He shouts," What are you doing here?"

She gives him an amused glance. He should know as well as anybody that she enjoys books and learning about the human world; and what other place to do it than in the library? Of course, Odd is a bit – no, she amends, he is a lot – dense and as well as not understanding that the library is a refuge for books and book lovers alike, he does not understand that there is so much about the human world that one must know to avoid stares and giggles. And she wants nothing more than to fit in.

"I am looking for books. What would you be doing here, Odd?"

"Oh, well, Jeremie and I have a bet and he says that I can't read Les Miserables in three days. So I'm gonna prove him wrong!"

"Genius is one per cent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration," She smiles, quoting Thomas Edison.

"You should tell Jeremie that, he takes every chance to rub his stupid IQ on me. Anyways, Aelita, what books are you checking out?" He pokes her slyly, "Relationship advice for you and Jeremie?"

She stares at him in shock. Is it really appropriate to joke about such serious things like relationships? Odd appears to be thinking the same thing as he backpedals, "Sorry Aelita! Jeremie says that you're still having a hard time getting used to our world." He grins sheepishly and they continue on in silence until she realises with shock that she is supposed to say something.

"Oh n-no!" She is protesting furiously now, obviously upset, "I'm just not so good with jokes yet, I'm still reading up on them,"

"Well you know how I learned my sarcasm? By experience of course. Which means you're going about this all the wrong way," He grins at her, reminding her of a cat waiting for its breakfast. She briefly wonders if Kiwi sees the resemblance too.

"How should I learn how to differentiate tones of voice and types of jokes then?"

"By coming with me of course! We'll go to the coffee shop and I'll show you how it's done."

There is no harm in trying. "Okay,"

"I'll come by your dorm later, 'kay? I have to feed Kiwi first and Ulrich looked pretty pissed yesterday when he found out I'd dumped dog food all over the floor. So, yeah?"

Echoing him, she whispers as he dashes out of the library, "Yeah,"

Odd is beside her, chattering away in her ear. The things he says are actually quite intelligent, which makes Aelita think that he is much more than he seems. She's not all that surprised though. He is an odd looking boy with a high voice and purple clothes, and yet, he still manages to find his own place in the nooks and crevices of Kadic's social scene.

He is currently describing to her a man in blue, "You see how his fingers tighten? And his face kind of scrunches up? He's angry. And look!" Odd points out excitedly, "His stiff posture and watch his face carefully here, especially his eyebrows…"

It is strange, she muses, that the resident class clown is teaching her how to people-watch. He notices things she never even thinks of, and she feels so accomplished when she notices his eyebrows wrinkle when he attempts to keep his voice calm. Her dream of fitting in is just a little closer, and that is when she makes her uncharacteristically bold decision. "Hey, Odd, would you like to meet up next week too?"

His lesson on the man in blue stops and he turns around to look her in the eyes, "Really?" He scratches his head absentmindedly – and aha! another sign that her beginner's lesson of people-watching is paying off already – and shrugs, "Sure. This is so much more fun than reading, ya know,"

After that, they continue with Aelita sometimes goggling unnecessarily at loud and excessive people, and Odd reminding her that they are there to learn, not to creep people out. Besides, he adds, there will plenty of time for that later.

She can hardly believe it when he announces that they must head home. She finally understands the concept of time flying by, and again, not for the first time, she marvels at the genius of Odd who is such a people person that he can teach even her to be normal.

Their weekly sessions continue, with more staring on her side and eventually, Odd gives in after four months and they spend an hour creeping an elderly couple out. While he can't get over the man's pink cane, it is Aelita who keeps on nudging him and wondering not-so-quietly how the old lady could ever possibly hold that huge hat up.

Odd quickly assures her that elderly women are much stronger than they think, and she can see it– she can see it! – in his expression and his eyes that he has had personal experience dealing with incredulously strong older women.

She gives a little smirk, and calls him a chicken, even though she knows that she would not fare so much better either. On Lyoko she is strong and can do all sorts of flips and jumps and kicks, but her human body is weaker and can afford less injury and pain than she would like.

"You're calling me a chicken? Wait until we're outside Aelita Stones!" He gives a battle cry and chases her out of the coffee shop amid annoyed yuppies and smiling couples.

The minute they're outside he starts pelting her with snowballs at a speed she previously thought could only be accomplished on Lyoko. If there's one thing she has retained on Earth though, it is her immensely useful skill at dodging. She dodges every one except for the last one, which she doesn't even see coming. She feels it though and it is a cold sting on her face.

Odd changes moods like a chameleon and he suddenly grabs her hand. "Come on! And lick that snow off your face,"

Tentatively she tries, but finds herself thinking it too silly even to do in front of Odd. He doesn't seem to care very much though, because they are like flying through the powdery snow, and it is just like what she imagines flying to be like. Finally, they stop though. And she assumes that they have stopped at Odd's whim. Instead, he turns to her with very serious eyes and a very serious voice, "I come here sometimes, it's especially nice in the winter," He says sheepishly, and she notices with her growing observation skills that he is nervous. 'Why?' she wonders, but decides not to press.

"It's beautiful,"

"That's good," He gives her a heartbreakingly sweet smile, "You've been really progressing with your lessons. Nothing like the awkward Aelita you first started out as," He teases her.

She recognises the joke as it is and pretends to be offended, "And you're still the rude and terrible Odd! But really, thank you for everything. I hadn't been on Earth or interacted with humans for a very long time when I first came here. But now, I feel like I can fit in." And making yet another uncharacteristically bold decision, she asks a question that she's been dying to someone, anyone," How do you do it?'

"Do what?"

"Earth is so intimidating, and there are so many people. How do you make yourself fit in?"

He winks at her, "The key to fitting in is to not fit in." He sees that he has confused her and laughs loudly, "You just gotta find your niche and find friends who like you. You have us though!"

"But don't you want to be liked?" This thought occurs to her, because she can't imagine anyone who wouldn't want to be liked, and especially Odd – the outgoing and outrageous person that he is.

"As cheesy as it is, you have to find people who like you. Pretending to be someone is no good, and look where it gets Sissy! No boyfriends and bad friends,"

She giggles, "Are you sure though? I want to fit in and you don't, does that mean that I'm not normal?" She gets horrible thoughts of people pelting tomatoes at her, even though she knows her classmates would never do that, and she sees herself in a circus in the center, being stared at and mocked at.

"He squeezes her hand reassuringly, "Nah, I'm a big of an oddball you see,"

And they both laugh, because it is a completely corny joke that is funny because of its sheer corniness.

He interrupts their silent moment though and leans in, "Do you mind?"

"Mind wh-" But she is cut off when she feels a mouth on hers. She's never made out before and she is sure she completely stinks at it, but Odd doesn't seem to mind. He pulls away though, leaving her wanting a little more. Is she not good enough? Was what he said about normality not mattering a lie?

He sees the questions on her face like the people-reader he is and smiles, "Hey, you're a beginner," And he does that infuriating wink, "Can't overwhelm you, can I?"

And so, she takes that as her cue to chase after him, vowing to pelt him with a million snowballs she doesn't even know how to make.


A/N

That was kind of a gross ending. I suck at writing anything remotely related to fluff and when I read fluff I can honestly only read it in small doses of a time (I end up giggling if I don't). But yeah, the pacing wasn't that great, and honestly, I'd like your feedback. My request is just that you review only if you want to though. I don't believe in forcing and begging people to review if they don't want to say anything. But if you want to leave me a note, feel free ;D Constructive Criticism is highly appreciated!

And really, thanks for even bothering to read this! I churned this out since this is the first thing I've written in ages, and I just wanted to write something. It's actually just a relief for me even to finish something. But yeah, I have a silly, stubborn muse who decided to vacation for about eleven months, so I'm probably really rusty (and I wasn't fantastic to being with). – Sartruce