Una Rosa Blu
Please read the Author's note at the end, it explains a lot.
Disclaimer: I do not own Code Lyoko, if I did, I'd order the animators to do a better job and stop re-using scenes. Great show, crappy animation. :D Silly French people. When will you learn?
Ulrich continued to stare at his very large pile of peas, a contest that he was rapidly losing. He wasn't glaring at the vegetables because he particularly disliked them; hell, it didn't have anything at all to do with the tiny green peas. He was thinking, but others would refer to it as sulking. The teen didn't even notice his friends' arrival until Yumi pressed a cold hand to his forehead.
"Ulrich, you've been sitting here for ten minutes and have yet to touch a single thing on your tray. What's wrong? Is it something to do with your parents, or something else going on at home? Or do you just miss Odd that much?" She took a bite of her own lunch and watched him closely. Jérémie and Aelita stared at him worriedly as well, nibbling at their food.
"Are you kidding? I finally have the room to myself again. A break from the loud music and weird sleep schedule is a dream come true." Odd . . . he had flown back to Italy for an emergency in his family. Apparently, his mother had been in a terrible accident, resulting in her being confined to a hospital bed for an untold amount of time.
Yumi quickly became annoyed that Ulrich was now ignoring her again and punched him in the arm. "Damn it, Ulrich, quit the tough-guy act for twenty seconds and tell us what's wrong!" She crossed her arms and faced him with her most venomous glare. Ulrich held his hands up in a gesture of defeat.
"Hey, I don't even know what's making me act this way. I generally don't even think of anything, I just . . . Space out." That was a lie. For the past week, the only image on his mind was one of Odd. It was the day Odd had left; in fact, it was only a few moments after he had ended the call from his father. Tears streamed from his green eyes, a foreign look of fear in that stare. It was definitely not something Ulrich had ever seen before, nor did he ever want to see it again. Without another word to his friends, Ulrich stood up and took his untouched meal to the garbage, throwing his tray in the recycling bin. He waved good bye to Jérémie, Aelita and Yumi, making empty promises to talk to them later. He had someone else to talk to first.
-Later, in Ulrich and Odd's dorm room-
"Hey, Odd, how is everything over there?" Ulrich had locked his door and was now sitting on Odd's bed, petting Kiwi. Ulrich had become the dog sitter since Odd couldn't take Kiwi with him on such short notice. He heard a loud sniff on the other end of the line. Odd had been crying.
"Mom's . . . she's stable, but she still hasn't woken up. The doctor says that," he coughed, "that the head trauma may have caused a coma, and if that's the case. . ." Ulrich heard another sniff and a barely stifled sob, "it may be up to several years before she wakes up. And, when she does, she may not remember anything. He−he doesn't know the extent of the damage, and won't until she wakes up." Odd may have often complained about his parents being too laid back and "understanding", but he obviously loved them a lot. His mom's accident had been a week ago and Odd still didn't know how to handle the news. Ulrich wished he was there with Odd right now. Sometimes, a friend was all anyone needed. "How . . . how's Kiwi? Does he miss me?" A smile. Ulrich could hear it.
"Of course Kiwi misses you. He sleeps in your bed,"with me, "and is super attention hungry." There was a weak laugh.
"At least he hasn't stopped eating. I guess he knows I'm too stressed to handle that too. So how's school? Are you getting better grades now that I'm not keeping you up until the wee hours of the morning?"
You still are . . . "I guess you could say that. I got a C+ on my chemistry test yesterday."
Odd whistled. "Well, ain't that something." The bell rang. Ulrich made no move to leave. "Maybe you'll get a B by the time I get back." It was good to hear Odd joking again, however forced it was.
"I think I'll have an A+ by the time you get back." Talk strayed from there to other light and not very important topics. Then the inevitable.
"So, has X.A.N.A. launched any attacks lately?" Odd sounded more curious than anything. If something bad had happened, Ulrich would have already mentioned it.
"Just a few little things here and there. Thankfully it hasn't been bad enough that we couldn't do it on our own." They were more comforted by the fact that X.A.N.A. hadn't found out that Odd was in Italy, virtually defenseless. Worry had haunted Ulrich, but his fears had yet to materialize. They ended the call soon after, promising to talk again soon.
Odd flipped the phone closed as he looked back at the hospital. It was intimidating, even at noon. Italy wasn't well known for its medical prowess, but Odd hoped they would do something for his under-appreciated mother. He sighed and took a deep whiff of the Italian air. Being home wasn't supposed to be this . . . painful.
Ulrich held his phone to his chest, for no other reason than a need for material proof that he had talked to Odd at all; that Odd was holding up. He'd been so worried, and this had been the first time since he left that Odd had talked to him. A sudden knock on his door made him jump, and he left his position on Odd's bed to answer it, though he didn't really want to. Yumi's stern glare met his gaze as he opened the door.
"All right, Ulrich. You've had your time and space. Talk." She sat on his bed and crossed both her arms and legs. "You're usually serious, but this depression is pissing me off and bumming Jérémie and Aelita out. Think about your friends, please?" She said all of this firmly, with anger and a slight air of hurt.
"I told you that I didn't know what was wrong. But I guess . . ." Ulrich paused, choosing his words carefully. "I guess I really was worried about Odd. I called him a little while ago, and I feel better now. I don't feel fantastic, but I feel better. I suppose . . . " He trailed off and left it there.
"You talked to Odd? How is he? And his mom?" Thankfully, the call distracted her from Ulrich's dilemma.
"His mom's stable, but she's in a coma. They don't know if it's temporary or not, so they don't know when she'll be waking up. Odd's a mess. He was crying when I called, but he'd stopped by the time we hung up. Hopefully he's not crying now." Ulrich looked at Odd's bed where Kiwi was sleeping, twitching every now and then. It just made the room seem that much emptier . . . lonelier. Ulrich's life really was bleak without Odd in it.
"The school says they'll excuse my absence, but I still have to do all of the schoolwork over the summer, and take the exams on the same day you guys do. Does that sound even remotely fair to you? Dad wants me to stay home all summer." Odd kicked a piece of gravel from under his yellow platform shoe. These calls with Ulrich had become regular, and really calmed Odd down. Somehow, Ulrich always managed to call when Odd was on the verge of a breakdown. It had become his lifeline.
"So, I guess we won't be seeing much of you, huh?" Ulrich's disappointment was obvious in his voice. It made Odd happy to know how much he was missed at Kadic.
"I suppose not . . ." Odd wasn't too happy about it either. He didn't want to leave his mom's side, but if he didn't get away, he may not recover from the stress.
"Well, we have absolutely no plans this summer, so I'll always be able to talk, I guess."
"How can you have no plans at all? It's summer! A whole two and a half months!"
"Well, you know my family isn't all that into bonding time. I'm just lucky they haven't put me back in tutoring. That math crap they put me through last year was hell on wheels."
"Hey, what language did you sign up for next year?" Odd sat on a bench near the hospital doors, making sure he was in plain view if his father or sisters came looking.
Ulrich took a moment to respond, as if contemplating the randomness of the question and its connection to their current train of conversation. "What language do you think I took? I'm tired of you knowing languages I don't. It makes me feel even stupider, and it'll finally be something you can help me with." His answer only narrowed it down to three languages.
"So, Japanese, Chinese or Italian?" Odd inspected his nails and buffed them on his shirt. He was awfully fidgety, and he wasn't sure why. Perhaps it was just his nerves and the beating they'd gone through.
"Japanese would have been a good call . . . then you and Yumi could have helped." He laughed. "I signed up for Italian."
Hearing Ulrich say that he was learning his mother language made him feel very warm, though it could have just been the warm breeze that blew at just that moment. Then, he was struck with an ingenious idea. "If you're learning Italian, why don't you come spend the summer here and get some practical skills? It'll be good for your studies and my sanity. What do you think?" Odd was exited and probably getting his hopes up for nothing. Ulrich's parents would never agree to a candid summer trip hundreds of miles away. But there was nothing wrong with hoping, was there?
"It sounds like a great idea, but would either of our families agree to it? I don't want to be a burden on your family at a time like this. And what about X.A.N.A.? What if he attacks while both of us are gone?"
"Jérémie can shut the computer down for the summer. No one will be there anyway. We already have Aelita out of the virtual world and all she needs is the rest of her memory. She'll have the entire summer to make new ones, so she can wait. And don't worry about my family, you forget that we're Italian. Guests are always welcome. And my dad has been telling me that I need a friend around. And if you come back with me after exams, it'll cost less since it'll be a package deal. Will you promise to ask? I know two weeks is kind of short notice, but promise you'll ask!" He sounded desperate, and he knew it, but he needed his friend around.
"I'll ask, but I can't make any promises about being able to go. But I'll ask."
Odd smiled to himself. At least he had some hope for his best friend's company, no matter how feeble.
Ulrich snapped his phone shut, only to open it again and dial another familiar number. It rang only twice before his father answered.
"Ulrich? Why are you calling so late, son? Your mother and I were just going to bed." Ulrich could hear the irritation in his father's voice, but swallowed hard and hoped for the best. The worst he could do was say no, right?
A/N: Okay, that's the first chapter of my Code Lyoko fanfiction! Yay! Now, I have a lot of notes that need to be addressed.
Namely, Odd's family living in Italy is, as far as I know, fandom as opposed to canon. The story never gets into where he actually comes from, but it does mention that he's Italian-Nordic. He also gets on a plane whenever he goes to visit his family, so I assume that it's far away at the least. He is fluent in Italian, as he gloats to Jérémie in one of the second season episodes. At least, he does in the French version. I did NOT invent the fact that he's fluent in Japanese and Chinese, this is true thanks to another episode when he switches bodies with Yumi.
I'm also excited to be able to play around with the characters of his family. You only get to meet his mom and dad, and you only meet them once. Thus, I get to practically make five characters of my own with very loose guidelines (their names, vague ages and short descriptions that Odd makes in reference). These five characters will be Odd's sisters, Marie, Adèle, Pauline, Elisabeth and Louise. And yes, I have noticed that these names are awfully French, particularly Adèle, but whatever. My theory still holds water, I think.
I plan to use some Italian in the next few chapters, or even throughout the entire rest of the story, so if I do something wrong, or write something incorrectly, PLEASE inform me. I hate it when people screw up English grammar, so I hope that I don't screw up Italian grammar.
This story is kind of cannon, but only as if Aelita had been devirtualized in the first or second season. Oh, and the part where I said that Italy wasn't well known for its hospitals was a generalization I got from a song, and it fit this story. I mean no offense to anyone from Italy, since I've never been there. Though I hope to go at some point. (This mini dream of mine may have been the inspiration for this story to begin with. :D)
One last note, this may be an OddxUlrich story (which there are far too few of), but very little will happen action-wise for a long time. I plan for this fic to be really long, which is why I didn't post it until I was almost finished. Some people forget the actual characters of these two. While Odd is construed as a 'playboy' and would probably be comfortable in discovering his sexuality (if he hasn't already) and feelings for his room-mate, Ulrich is not. He's very shy, hardheaded and has very little self-confidence. He gets nervous easily and probably wouldn't be able to get a grasp on these weird feelings towards Odd, and probably wouldn't admit to them for a very long time. At least, not unless Odd says something first. So don't expect too much action too soon, unless you want me to make this story span over several years, which I really don't want to do. (I am a lazy bitch, and I know it.)
THANKS FOR READING! I HOPE YOU ENJOYED IT!