Elie watched the Go board as Yumi and Aelita's match pressed forward. The two had been playing Go a lot over the short summer break and though the rules still baffled Elie, she loved to watch them play. Jeremie, as usual, was working on the Super Computer working on a new way to track XANA. The four of them had stayed at Kadic over the break; Ulrich had to take special tutoring classes and Odd had gone to Italy to see his family.
She hadn't realized how much she'd miss him when she chose to stay here in case XANA attacked. He'd wanted her to go with him, but that would have meant meeting his family and Elie wasn't sure she was ready for that. Regardless of what Odd said, she was still a pretty screwed up girl. What if his parents didn't like her...? Some how it mattered to her that they liked her despite her best efforts to convince herself otherwise. It didn't matter now. Odd would be back soon after all.
Sadly that would mean Ulrich's return too. The two were still friends, though the term was used very loosely. He had never forgiven Elie for her deception and took every chance he could to remind her how little he trusted her. Elie usually ignored him when he got into one of his moods, but his scorn made her feel like shit. She was already beating herself up enough, wasn't she? Why did he have to make it so much worse? Hadn't she proved herself to him yet? She doubted he'd ever treat her normally again. Maybe that wouldn't be such a problem if they weren't trying to save the world from an Evil AI and if Ulrich wasn't Odd's best friend.
"Any progress yet?" Elie asked, looking up at Jeremie. She needed something to get her mind off the boys. Those subjects were to complicated and heavy for the light afternoon.
The blond boy tapped at his keys for a bit longer then sat back and sighed. "Not yet. I feel like I'm so close though..."
"Let me have a look." Elie stood and joined Jeremie at the computer. Yumi was still thinking about her next move, so Elie didn't mind helping Jeremie out. She wasn't as good as he was, but her rather unique knowledge had come in handy several times over the summer. "Try this." Elie typed in a new set of commands and soon the scan's prototype was functional.
"Thanks Elie!" Jeremie said with a smile. "How'd you do that?"
"Mostly instinct." She admitted, though that wasn't strictly true. Every so often she would get flashes of memory or understanding. It wasn't anything like the full comprehension she got when XANA messed with her mind, but it was useful at times like this.
"I'm glad you've got good instinct then." Jeremie said, laughing lightly as he continued his work. "With that, the new scan should be done soon."
As he got back to work, Elie went back to watching Aelita and Yumi's game. Yumi was now ahead by three and a half points by Elie's estimation. In the next move, Aelita pulled ahead by half a point. As Yumi decided what her next move would be, the elevator whirred and the doors opened to revile Odd and Ulrich, finally home from their vacation.
"We're back." Ulrich said with a slight laugh as he walked into the room.
Odd sat behind Elie and wrapped his arms around her. "So, did'ja miss me?"
"You wish." Elie said, playfully shoving him. It gave her just enough space to turn in his arms and kiss him. After so long, it felt wonderful to have him back. A knot of worry she hadn't even known was there let go in her stomach. Had she really thought he'd realize he didn't actually like her while he was away? How stupid... it was like she was turning into some kind of mushy love-obsessed teen.
"It's good to have you guys back." Aelita said, smiling and clearing the Go board. Now that the guys were back, there was a lot to catch up on.
"How have things been here?" Ulrich asked, trying not to be so obviously disdainful of Odd and Elie who were still kissing.
"Fine. It's been slow and XANA attacks: zero." Yumi said, helping Aelita put the Go pieces away.
"Well, no news is good news, isn't it?" Ulrich asked, looking at Jeremie who had turned his chair to look at the group.
"Yeah right." Elie said with a sound close to a snort. "I trust XANA about as much as I trust a B rank horror film to have good writing."
Ulrich did his best to ignore Elie and continued to look at Jeremie. "So, even though XANA's online, there haven't been any attacks?"
"So far. But that's why I've been working on a new scan program. With this, we'll be able to track XANA anywhere in the world."
"Sounds great, but how does that help us?" Odd asked. He still hadn't let Elie go, a fact that was starting to piss Ulrich off.
"Well, we'll be able to see how XANA plans to use his new-found freedom. Then when he attacks, no mater where it is, we'll send you guys in to kick butt. But getting you onto the internet is quite a challenge..."
"That should be alright, though." Elie added. "For now, XANA still needs to use Lyoko and it's towers to attack, though there's no telling how long that will last."
Yumi nodded. "Right. So we're still at Square One."
"Sounds about right, but at least we've got this much done. Now, let's go. Need I remind you guys that we have to pick up our class schedules before lunch." Odd stood, helping Elie up as well.
Odd and Elie only made it about half way to the school once they were out of the sewers. Elie pulled Odd off the path and took him to one of her new favorite spots. Over the summer she'd found five places she had claimed as her own, even going so far as to leave stickers on walls or carve a mark in the trees like she would have in the old days. This spot was in the middle of a large ring of trees. When she stood in the middle, Elie couldn't see anything but forest around her.
"It's one of my new spots." She explained to Odd, pointing at the small 'E' she'd carved into one of the tree trunks. "I found a few while you were away. Coming here helped me relax. I wanted to show it to you when you got back. Well, all of them, actually but this one was closest." She slid her hand into his and sighed. "I missed you."
"I missed you too you know." Odd said, smiling at her and nodding at the area. "I still wish you'd have come to Italy with me. XANA didn't even attack. What a waste." He sighed dramatically and pulled her into a new kiss. Elie melted in his arms and her face flushed. Odd thought she was so cute when she did that...
"Right..." Elie said, pulling away with a blush. "We should get going before they send a search party for us. Besides, You'll see more of this place I think. And my other spots too." She smiled wickedly at him and before Odd could say anything, she pulled him back to the school. "Besides, I want to hear all about your trip and I've got new movies for us."
Odd smiled and fallowed, just glad to be back and to know that she hadn't forgotten about him while he'd been gone.
Back at the school, Elie scanned the class list for her name. It was easy to find, and she was pleased to see she was in the same class as Jeremie and Aelita and Ulrich. But there was a name missing from the class list...
"You're... not in our class." Elie said quietly, looking at Odd. What would happen now? If XANA attacked...
"But what will we do if XANA attacks? It was already hard enough with Yumi..." Aelita said, giving voice to Elie's thoughts.
"Even worse, I won't be able to copy off of you. My grades are going to go down the tubes... Well... I'll just have to change their mind." Odd said, then ran to the Principal's office. Elie tried to fallow, but Yumi grabbed her arm and shook her head. "Let him do it on his own."
Elie nodded. "Yeah... I guess it would just look like I wanted to be in the same class as my boyfriend..." She sighed and as the bell for lunch rang, Elie fallowed Jeremie and Aelita. Ulrich held Yumi back to ask her something, but as always William showed up and got in the way. School as usual. Now if only Odd could get his class changed...