After regaining her memories, Aelita is conflicted between her past and present selves. Yumi/Aelita
Autumn. Aelita Stones knew it meant it was time to move back to her dorm room again, a pleasant experience. Aelita Hopper remembered it was the time she'd return to school, one of her least favorite places to be. Aelita took after her father in more ways she than wanted to admit, and one of these was the tendency to be aloof and stay alone.
So, when it came time for school, Aelita Hopper was not very happy. She'd often wanted to hide, but instead attended school dutifully to not disappoint her family. But Aelita Stones didn't feel this way at all, she liked being around people, and looked forward to school not just for studying, but because she could see more of her friends, and perhaps make new ones. However, now Aelita Stones and Aelita Hopper were one and the same. So, now how did Aelita feel?
"Hey there, Aelita!" Odd greeted her happily, alongside the rest of her friends, outside the school. "I bet you're happy that school's starting. Summer was probably way boring for you."
"Yes, I am," Aelita admitted with a smile. But she soon frowned. She wasn't really that bored, being alone. She was happy to have the time to concentrate on research. Yumi was really the only person she'd really seen that summer, but she hadn't minded that either. It was nice to have that kind of down time, either completely alone or only with Yumi. Should she have pined more for the crowds of Kadic?
"You okay?" Yumi asked her.
Aelita looked up to see the others looking concerned, staring in her direction. "Yes, I'm fine," she assured. She really was, after all, there was nothing major bothering her. She shouldn't burden her friends with her own problems and worries. The boys continued their conversation, but Yumi wasn't convinced, she could tell. The two had started to recognize each other's emotions from their countless hours together. Aelita smiled at Yumi to further convince her, and Yumi returned the gesture.
However, as the semester went on, and the final warm fronts of the summer dissipated, Aelita herself grew colder. During the first frigidly cold day of the autumn season, she had forgotten to wear a coat, and shivered as she ran to class. She soon dropped her books in the hallways, and scolded herself, trying to quickly pick them up. "Hey! Get out of the way! Can't you see other people want to get by?" Sissi Delmas said crossly.
"Can't you see there's a way around? Or are you too pig-headed to notice?" Aelita said softly.
"What?!" Sissi exclaimed.
"I know you certainly are a pig, I heard about your physical results," Aelita continued.
Sissi paled. She was very sensitive about the results that said she was an entire five pounds overweight, and Aelita knew it. Sissi was caught off guard by the meek Aelita jabbing her with those kind of insults. "Just get out of my way!" she shouted in anger.
"Sissi, hey, lay off," Odd said. He and Ulrich had just approached the scene.
"Yeah, just leave Aelita alone. She doesn't bother anyone," Ulrich added.
"She bothers me with her catty little insults," Sissi informed.
"Oh, yeah right," Ulrich rolled his eyes.
"Aelita isn't like that, it was probably just you messing with her like you do with everyone again. Now back off!" Odd ordered.
"I'll have you know..." Sissi began.
Aelita hurried to grab her books. She didn't want to hear this. She didn't want to be around to see her true self revealed to her friends. Aelita hugged her books and ran off, away from the classroom, away from everyone else. As she ran through the cold winds, she remembered all the other times she had pushed people away. She hurt those who hated her, but she also hurt those who wanted to help her, and maybe even be her friend. How could she?
The others had covered for her that day, saying she didn't feel well. The nurse wanted her to come down, but Aelita didn't care. Maybe she was just destined to be alone. After all, if she were alone, she couldn't cause any damage.
Another knock on the door. Aelita didn't answer. "Hey, it's just me," she heard Yumi's calm voice say. There was a pause. "Would you please just let me in?" Yumi asked.
Aelita opened the door a crack, and let the other girl inside. She then sat down on her bed. "I'm sorry, I wasn't feeling well today, and-"
"You look fine," Yumi interrupted. "Or at least, not sick. Why don't you tell me what's really wrong?"
Aelita couldn't refuse Yumi's gentle but firm request. And it had been eating her up inside, anyway. "Oh Yumi, I'm a terrible person," she said.
"And who told you that? Sissi? Because she's-"
"No, nothing to do with her. I know now what I'm really like, from my memories, I just haven't told any of you. The truth is I'm just awful." Aelita said. She looked down at the floor, hating that Yumi now knew the truth, and feeling her chest tighten up more and more with every passing second of silence.
"And?" Yumi finally spoke.
"And?" Aelita repeated, confused.
"Well, what did you do that was so awful?" Yumi inquired.
"I was a loner," Aelita said.
"Um, you know, before I met up with Jeremy and the others and started fighting in Lyoko, I was a real loner," Yumi informed.
Aelita was surprised at the revelation, but then reminded herself she shouldn't be. Yumi was often silent. However, she was still friendly and kind. "I don't mean being a loner is bad, but I was. I'd tell people the most terrible things to get them to leave me alone," Aelita said guiltily.
"Like what?" Yumi asked immediately.
"Well..." Aelita paused, trying to remember the instances. "I'd shout at them to go away. I'd tell them I was too busy. I'd even insult them sometimes. Today I called Sissi a pig!" Yumi burst into laughter, upon which, Aelita blushed in embarrassment. "It really isn't so funny," she said.
"Yeah, uh, it really is," Yumi said. "Just imagining you saying that to her, oh man! I'd have loved to see her reaction."
Despite Yumi's amusement, Aelita was still ashamed. "She must have been very embarrassed..." Aelita said, looking downward again.
"Yeah. Look, not that it was a nice thing to do, but we all have bad days. Sissi was probably just born on a bad day with how many she has, and had a little of that karma handed back to her by you. It's not something to make a habit of, but it's not as terrible as you're making it out to be. It's really just... Human."
Aelita looked up in surprise.
"You know, you are human," Yumi said. "I think you kind of liked being a program, but we know how things really are now. So, you're going to have to accept your flaws along with all your super strengths that make you the awesome person I lo- We all love."
Aelita smirked. We all love... Of course, she knew what Yumi had really been trying to say. It had become obvious through the summer and now through the school year that Yumi did love her, in that way. She'd slowly stopped obsessing over Ulrich. She had even told him they could be friends, and that's all, and even bothered to tell Aelita of this event. At the same time she had been staring at Aelita more often, as Aelita noticed. Although Aelita didn't know that Yumi missed their time alone together just as much... Aelita decided to pretend to not notice, as she has been. "You wouldn't like me if you knew me back then," Aelita said.
"I wouldn't have known you at all back then, anyway. So it doesn't matter. I like you now. It doesn't matter who you were, or who you're going to be, I just know there's a beautiful person right in front of me. Now don't be so hard on yourself, it just kills me," Yumi begged.
"I'm killing you too..." Aelita said solemnly.
"No, I mean-"
"Just a joke." Aelita changed her tone with a smile.
Yumi smiled back. "You're always a tease," she said.
"Not so much," Aelita said. "I hope you know, I do feel the same way about you."
"What?" Yumi blushed, thinking there was no way Aelita could be saying what she hoped she was saying.
"You're also beautiful, Yumi. You love me for all that I am, and, well, like I just said," Aelita giggled. A bit nervous, she pushed Yumi outside. "Thanks for coming to visit. I believe I'll be well enough to be in class tomorrow." Aelita waved, then gently closed the door, leaving Yumi to think about what had just happened.