This was a difficult prompt on some levels. :P But I went with what came first to my head. Enjoy!


Day 2: Beach

"Come on, Jeremie! Aren't you going to come any further out?"

Jeremie uncurled slightly from his position on the park bench, running his hands up and down his bristling bare arms in an attempt at generating warmth. Next to the cold, grey sky and the dark, churning waters of the English Channel, Aelita looked far too much out of place. "It's alright," he said. "I'll just watch from here."

"Are you sure?" Aelita smiled, and whipped around to face the Channel. "It's beautiful. You can convince yourself that you can see England from here."

How couldn't she be cold in a sundress? Why wasn't she shivering when the wind was whipping through her hair like that? "Really, it's fine. I've pretended to see England plenty of times."

Aelita turned back to look at Jeremie. Her face had fallen slightly, and in that moment he felt a sharp pang of regret. "Is everything okay?"

"What - no, I mean yes!" Jeremie jumped up. "Everything's fine! It's just cold. That's all. And it's colder by the water."

Her frown was out in full force, now. "You're clearly not having fun."

"I can't hide anything from you," Jeremie mumbled.

He hung his head, staring down at his shoes and the miniscule grains of sand that had to be sneaking their way into his socks, even when he was sitting still. He heard the soft sound of Aelita's footsteps, and watched her dress spread across the other half of the bench as she sat down.

"I'm sure this wasn't what you had in mind when I told you I lived on the coast," he said.

"Well, yes, yes I did," Aelita said. "I've lived here most of my life, Jeremie. I know how the northern shore is."

Most of her life, Jeremie thought, apart from the years she lost. "Right," he said. "Yeah, that's…"

"It's fine," Aelita said. "Everything's fine."

Jeremie sighed. "No, it isn't."

He looked up to find that Aelita was fixing him with more of a look of confusion than concern. "Jeremie, we're having a fun time," Aelita said. "It's okay. Really."

"I could've taken you somewhere better."

"You've taken me somewhere that's you." Aelita's smile was small. "And that's all you ever needed to do."

Somehow, Jeremie found that hard to accept. But he could tell that Aelita believed it, and believed that it was a good thing. "You mean besides the Lyoko missions?"

Aelita sat still for a second, then smiled. "Well, yes. But that isn't just for me. It's for the world."

It's mostly for you, Jeremie thought. You are my world. "That's right," Jeremie said. "Right…"

"You really have convinced yourself I'm not having fun, huh?" Aelita shrugged, and stood. "Well, I can't exactly stop you. But if I do have fun, I think I'd have more if you came along."

Jeremie hesitated, but only for a second before he extended his hand to her. "Well, then. Lead the way, Princess."

Aelita took his hand, sputtering with laughter. "I don't believe it. You're a cornball."

"You mean a cheesehead."

"A big fat one." She turned for the beach. "Come on. Let's go for a walk."


- Carth