I love her to death.
Disclaimer. I do not own Code Lyoko. Some OOCness is in here.
Summary. A heart broken. A solution found. Is the end of Xana here? Angst. Character death.
I stare at the screen in front of me. Line after line of code slowly scrolls over it, code making up the still not functional anti-virus program for Aelita.
I run a hand through my tousled blonde hair and lean back. My mind has not been on the program for quite some time tonight. To be honest I know it will never work. I know what Xana has done and it's no mere virus he has as a hold on us. It's something much more sinister and it can only be fixed from the inside of the supercomputer.
That however is not the reason I have been unable to work on the code. I'm a programmer by heart and even if the program can't work, that won't stop me from sinking into my own Zen of ones and zeroes. No, my attention is instead on another program that is running. One that taps in to all those poorly or even completely unprotected cameras that exist all over town.
It's a program of my own design. A genius like me has no problems making such a program, based on my experience of hacking. Does the fact that I can hack surprise you? It's not that strange, it's how I found Lyoko after all.
I had not made any friends upon entering Kadic so I did a little local hacking to get the "feel" of French systems. Lo and behold, there was a complex system running at the abandoned factory that I just had to take a look at in person. I ran into the other three while I was sneaking out thanks to an old map of the area I had managed to hack from the system. I claimed I had been trying to find secret passageways I had heard about. I had no choice but to take them to the factory with me and the rest was history.
I sigh. A genius I am, my IQ tests are constantly proving it and I can get scholarships anytime I want. My friends know I'm smart; they have even given me the nick-name Einstein. It's strange then, that they think they can fool me. Even if I had not discovered it through this program I would have spotted it soon enough. I am used to see patterns, a habit I picked up from my days of hacking.
I stare at the program-window currently showing a small café. Four people are sitting at a table enjoying a double date. Most notable are a pinkette and a blonde with a purple spot in his hair. He says something to the pinkette and she laughs and then kisses him. It should hurt to see but I am beyond that now, numb or maybe just in pain all the time. I still remember the first time I saw them like this.
It was supposed to be a study date. I would go over what she had learned about life on earth and see what I had to explain to her. I looked forward to it after a rather long week of both classes and work on the anti-virus. But the afternoon before our date she told me she had to study for a test in her Spanish-class that was on Monday and as it was not a class I took and I deserved some rest after the tough week, she felt it would be best to call it off.
I agreed as her grade was important, even though I would have felt better, not worse from our date. I didn't suspect anything being wrong then, I just buried my disappointment under some more work. I had the week before finished the camera-hacking program to better be able to spot Xana's attacks so I decided to test it that evening. After about an hour of testing I saw a flash of pink and stopped. The pink was Aelitas hair and she was in a store with Odd. I got an uneasy feeling in my stomach but brushed it off. Not for long though. She laughed at something he said and then kissed him on the cheek. They separated for a moment, and then she put her arms around him and kissed him on the mouth.
I couldn't pull my eyes away. It' must have taken a full minute for them to finish and when they did they didn't step away from each other but instead she snuggled closer to him. I followed them the rest of the evening. When they separated at the dorms and I lost track of them I pushed back form the computer and threw myself on to the bed. I have never cried so hard or so much in my life as I did that day.
The next day I managed to act almost as I hadn't seen that. When Yumi asked about the difference in me I just told her I was frustrated about the slow progress of the anti-virus. I should have stepped up my game at this point, I should have tried harder. But my new depression and my old shyness worked together to hold me back. After that I had mostly let Odd win on walk-over.
I have loved her since the first time I talked to her. When I hacked the system and that small window popped up I was intrigued. When I closed it hours later I was in love. Unfortunately I'm not as good with human contact as I am with computers. While she was still in the virtual world it worked well but when she came here it slowly changed. I'm to shy and with a whole world to freely explore, I mostly lost my main excuse to interact with her.
It didn't help that I worked around the clock on the antivirus to free her. I can't regret doing that though, it was necessary to reach the point where I am today.
I shut down all the programs and turn of the computer. It's time to face the music. I know how to get Aelita free and end the threat of Xana permanently. Finally we will be able to rest. I look around the room so that I haven't forgotten anything and then make my way out the door and to one of the passage-ways.
I guess the attraction between them was there from the beginning though. Odd is a fun and fun loving person who makes friends easily. Aelita is a bright personality who we all took an instant liking to. And with him able to go into Lyoko and rescue her in person he soon took in the little head-start I had.
I wonder, do they think I would break if Aelita didn't love me? Or do they think that I would stop working on the anti-virus? They must have had some reason to keep that fact hidden from me instead of being honest. I wouldn't of course, I love her to much. I would have wished her a happy life and watched her go. I want to see her happy even if it's not with me.
I have reached the ladder to the bridge and starts climbing. Soon I will have ended this once and for all. I can feel a smile tug at my lips; it's a relief to see the finishing-line.
I followed the dates the two have been on the last months. Sometimes double-dates with Yumi and Ulrich like the one today. I have watched as they have grown closer and closer. All the while I have been working on getting her free. I finally found the solution last weekend and have double and triple-checked it.
I swing down and into the elevator. Once the doors close I punch a different code then the ones we usually enter and the elevator goes to a floor no one else then me has been since the old personal left. When it stops I walk over to the two chairs that is the only thing in the room. It's the oldest still connected equipment in the whole system, the earliest gate into the virtual world. The helmet hanging over the chair projects the users' brain into the computer, a crude but effective way of doing it.
I fit the helmet over my head, hearing the humming form its circuitry. "Here I come Xana, time to end this."
Aelita gasped for air as her world spun.
"Aelita, are you okay?" Odd reached over to his sick girlfriend, steadying her.
"I'm better now," she said, straightening up. "It felt like the virus was acting up, we need to call Jeremy."
"I'm already on it," said Yumi as she listens to the phone she holds. "His phone is turned of; we need to get to the factory."
They started running while Yumi continued to call Jeremy every other block. When they where only a couple of blocks away, close enough to see the gap in buildings that the river caused, they stopped dead at the sound of multiple explosions. Smoke started billowing through the gap, getting darker and thicker by the second. They started running again, in greater speed and they took a shortcut through a back-alley.
When they finally got a clear view of the old building it was totally swept up in flames, ranging from a dark orange to blindingly white, the last caused by Thermite. With this sight in front of them it they may be forgiven for almost running into the dark-suited man standing in the mouth of the alley. It was only their experience from Lyoko that let them stop in time and not be heard.
The man lifted his hand to his mouth and started talking. "I can confirm that someone has activated the self destruct system of the project. As it was built this could not happen by accident."
Yumi turned back to the others and mouthed, "Xana?" Odd and Ulrich looked puzzled and Aelita shrugged. While that was the best explanation it didn't make sense. Even if it would hinder them from getting to Lyoko it was to great risk of damaging the computer itself.
A gout of flame shot into the air and the building started to crumple. The metal framework was actually melting, the heat was so intense. That was of course the idea as the molten metal started sealing of the shafts and service-tunnels, making it almost impossible to reach the hidden project.
The man studied a small computer for a few seconds before continuing. "Even if the lover levels self destruct have not kicked in we can't reach it now. And as the system is built in one piece it must have and the computer is shredded. We can finally close this part of the organisation. Number seven out." The man started walking away as sirens started coming close.
Three pair of eyes nervously checked Aelita but she didn't collapse as they expected. "We need to find Jeremy," Yumi said and gestured to them to go. They turned and started running to the school.
They were lucky and no one bothered them on the way into the dorms. In their hurry they almost ended up tearing the door from its hinges trying to get into Jeremy's room but there was no blonde waiting there. The room was cleaned of casual belongings, only the computer was still at its place. On the bed was a white envelope with the text "The Gang" on it. Ulrich was closest and ripped it open.
"Hi guys, sorry to tell you like this but it is the best way. I have finally found the solution to Aelitas infection. Unfortunately it can only be solved from inside the supercomputers mainframe. By the time you read this I have already gone in and fixed it, Aelita should have felt a bit sick the moment I did it. As the solution will also disrupt the balance in Lyoko and give Xana more access I will destroy the factory as soon as Aelita is free. I am sure you have heard that by now. It has been good to be friends with you but as they say: "Where I will go, you cannot follow." I wish you all a happy life in the future"
In the end Ulrich's voice had stocked and the others had crumpled to the floor. They would be there for a long while.
AN I have borrowed the explanation of how and why Jeremy found the super calculator from Cybra's excellent fic "Wolf in the fold." The idea about the virus not being a virus is from her fic "Visiting Hour". Come to think of it, it also shares some traits with "The good loser". So Cybra, if you read this, consider it a fic in honour of your great talent.
I'm not too happy about the ending and I may go back and change it at some point. For now I don't have more patience to work on this.