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November 10, 2012
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(Contains: sexual themes, violence/gore, strong language and ideologically sensitive material)
CL Fan Fiction

(This is a work of fiction, there will be a disclaimer at the bottom.)

  Ulrich was surprised how naturally speaking French came back to him after so long. It seems half a decade of his life had made it a subconscious default for him, one for him to access at any time. The other thing that surprised him was how different his friends looked. Aelita looked pretty much the same, only older. Ok, not that much older, but a twenty-three-year-old almost never looks eighteen. Jeremy had a layer of facial hair that was too long to be called a 5 O'clock shadow, not really long enough to be called a beard. And Odd now had a dyed-purple goatee to go with his other avant-garde traits.
   
  "So, we started calling it 'Asscrackistan,' instead of Afghanistan," Ulrich said, finishing a joke. Odd laughed like hell, Jeremy chuckled politely, but Aelita continued to give him a cold look as Ulrich sipped on his drink.

   What the hell is he doing here? Aelita asked herself. First he skips town without a word, leaving Yumi heartbroken, disappears for six years, and now he shows back up?
    What is he expecting? Us to be happy he's back? To get a drink with us and that we'll just forget about the fact he abandoned us all? This guy had the audacity to act like nothing had happened. What an asshole.
   Aelita tugged on Jeremy's arm, and he nodded.
  "Alright, Aelita and I need to get set up for Open Mic Night. You going to stick around, Ulrich?" he asked. Ulrich was silent for a moment, then finally nodded. Jeremy seemed satisfied with that answer, but Aelita continued to give him the Evil Eye before walking away with Jeremy.
   "What the hell's her problem?" Ulrich asked. Odd shrugged. He knew the answer, but did not want to say it.

   Ulrich could see Aelita and Jeremy working on a makeshift stage, assembling a sound system and hooking it up to a Macbook Pro. Jeremy walked offstage, back into the audience, and Odd dimmed the lights. When music started playing, Ulrich realized Aelita was using her laptop the way a DJ used disks. The music was calm, soothing, but definitely electronic. That seemed to be Aelita's trademark.
    When she started singing into a microphone, Ulrich recognized the song as "Lights" by Ellie Goulding. The lyrics were the same, but the music was different; similar, but different. Aeltia had made a few changes and remixed it.
  Patrons in the bar started head-banging and clapping their hands in approval. Even the sardonic Ulrich started smiling. The music was both beautiful and invigorating.
  After a minute, Aelita stopped singing, closed her eyes, and started typing on her computer. The resulting sounds were incredible, if not hypnotic. Ulrich was astonished with her skill. Suddenly, the music changed. The hypnotic pops turned into synthetic whooshes, then joined by the sound of acoustic guitar. It was "Feel Good Inc." by Gorillaz. The crowd went wild with approval as the popular, Grammy-winning song played.
  Soon, the sounds from before came back, mixing in a way one could imagine as a "musical cocktail." Only somebody with Aelita's genius could do this, Ulrich knew.
  He looked around, scanning the jubilant crowd. He started to see a few more familiar faces.
 Suddenly, Odd and William started moving tables to clear a space out, and people rushed in to fill it up. It was turning into a rave. Ulrich felt strangely compelled to join in. It was probably from the scotch he had been drinking.
   Joining the drunk, dancing masses, Ulrich found himself being approached by a sexy, dark-haired woman. She looked to be about his age, and very interested in him. Brightened by alcohol, Ulrich had shaken his ever-present paranoia, so much so he felt safe enough to let the woman start grinding on him to the sound of "Lights," "Feel Good Inc.," and a bunch of other house music remixed together a great way.

   Although he was technically working, William felt free to grab a beer from the bar while everyone partied. He took a sip, then started to choke when he saw whom Ulrich was dancing with.

   Aelita's time on stage ended after nearly twenty minutes, with everyone giving applause. Ulrich sat down at a table with his new female acquaintance; exhausted from the surprise-rave.
  "So, what's your name?" he asked. The woman chuckled.
  "I think you have an idea," she replied. Ulrich's face went pale; he would recognize that shrill voice anywhere. Sissi Delmas. Sissi – freaking – Delmas.
  His expression made her laugh.
  "Where've you been?" she asked. Ulrich took a deep sigh, trying to get over the recent awkwardness.
   "So… yeah, uh… I went back to America –"
  "Back?" she interrupted.
  "I was born there – "  
  "You're American?"
  "I have dual-citizenship –"
  "I thought you were German."
  "My dad is."
   "Ok. So, you went back to America… and?"
   "I served in the Army. Just got out," he half-lied.
  "Really? So, did you shoot guns or drive tanks?"
  Ulrich scoffed.
  "I was a Ranger," he said with pride. Sissi was unsurprisingly confused.
   "Wait… you mean you protected forests?"
   Ulrich laughed.
   "No, no. Rangers are elite light-infantry. We do things like parachute out of planes or fast-rope out of helicopters into combat zones. We get in, get out, and get the job done. Rangers are some of the most badass guy's you'll ever meet."
  Sissi looked at him for a minute.
 "So… you're saying you're a 'badass?'"
 "Have you ever seen me in a fight?"

   Jeremy and Aelita's conversation was interrupted by Odd violently shaking their shoulders. He pointed to Ulrich.
   "What the HELL?!" he exclaimed. Aelita and Jeremy's jaws dropped when they saw whom Ulrich was sitting with.
   
  A while after Aelita performed her act, Odd went onto the stage and grabbed a mic. Before he could even finish his first joke, some impetuous customer yelled "Get the hell of the stage!"
  To Ulrich's surprise, William took the mic from Odd, and was actually pretty funny. However, instead of Odd's zany humor, William's was more of a darker, sardonic observational comedy. It was more in the vein of comedians like Greg Geraldo or Louis CK; people making light of their misery. The jokes William told mentioned debt, failing out of college after getting a girlfriend knocked up, trying to cope with being a nineteen-year-old father, the horrible relationship and inevitable breakup with the mother of his son, and the strained relationship with the now six-year-old Jacques.
  Eventually, William finished his act, and Nicholas took the mic.
 "Ok, I'm ready to go," Sissi said. " What do you say we get out of here?"
 Ulrich smiled.
 
 William, Odd, Jeremy, and Aelita stared in shock and horror as they watched Sissi and Ulrich leave the bar together.
 "Oh, HELL no," Jeremy muttered.
   
  As soon as they exited the bar, Sissi snared Ulrich in a sensual kiss, pressing her chest on his.
  "I would've thought you'd have moved on by now," Ulrich said.
  "What can I say? This is a rare opportunity; for both of us."
   She kissed him again, and unbuttoned one of his shirt buttons. Not to take off the shirt, but just to get a better look at his muscular chest. Suddenly, something caught her eye. It looked like part of a scar.
   Good Lord, he had been telling the truth about being in the US Army. He had not mentioned he had been wounded. However, her fright turned to curiosity, and the foreplay continued.

  What the hell am I doing? Ulrich asked himself.
   "C'mon, we can have some more fun at my place," Sissi invited. No, demanded. Ulrich suddenly broke away.
   "I can't."
  "What?!"
  "I'm just not in that kind of mood, ok? I'm sorry."
  "Screw you. I thought alcohol was supposed to make guys hornier."
 "I guess it has the opposite effect on me," Ulrich replied. "I'm sorry. Just not tonight."
   He suddenly remembered Sarah, probably waiting for him back at the hotel. What time was it? Had he broken their deal? Had she contacted Horton? A number of scenarios ran through his mind. He was quickly becoming operational, again.
    Sissi sighed.
   "Well, now I know how Yumi felt."
  "What?"
   The hell was she talking about?
   "Really? You don't remember dumping her without a word, and disappearing. Man, you should've seen the waterworks coming from that girl. You really did break her heart."
  Sissi and Ulrich stared at each other for a minute, wanting to say belligerent things but too apprehensive to do so.
  "You really are a dick," Sissi concluded, and walked away.

  "Oh, damn," William said as Ulrich re-entered the bar. "This doesn't look good."
  Aelita was indifferent, but Jeremy and Odd looked on in concern. Odd walked behind the bar, under the guise of offering him a drink.
  "You alright, man?" he asked. Ulrich replied by ordering another scotch. When Odd tried to suggest he had already had enough, Ulrich simply gave him a cold, emotionless look that sent chills down Odd's spine.
   After a while, Aelita got up and left the table she and Jeremy were sitting at, and Jeremy decided to speak to Ulrich. He would not ask about Sissi, but he actually needed some advice. Some advice Ulrich would probably have.
    "So… you know a good bit about women, right?" he asked. Ulrich gave him confused look.
    "I'm sorry, it's just that I've been conflicted about some things; things involving Aelita."
   "Go on," Ulrich replied.
   "It's just that… Aelita's the only girl I've ever been with. We've been together for nearly a decade now. I'm twenty-three now, and she's the only woman I've ever loved –"
    Ulrich started laughing.
   "I'm sorry man, but that just sounds ridiculous."
   Jeremy was visibly offended.
  "Look, I'm just saying, what you said sounds like something from a Disney film," Ulrich defended. "The whole 'one woman I've ever loved' stuff. Damn, man."
  "Alright, I'm not going to beat around the bush. Ulrich, I'm thinking about asking Aeilta to marry me."
   Ulrich took another sip of his drink, looked Jeremy in the eye, and laughed like hell.
  "You're kidding, right?"
  "I'm dead serious, Ulrich," Jeremy replied. He pulled something out of his pocket.
  "Oh, Christ," Ulrich said. "You've gone a hell of a lot farther than 'thinking about it.'"
  In Jeremy's hand was a box with an engagement ring.
 "You want me to be completely honest, Jeremy?"
 "Yes –"            
"You're an idiot."
 "What?" Jeremy was incredulous.
 "Look, I'm sorry. But I can't lie to you and say 'go have a happy ending.' I mean, I saw so many friends when I was in the Army get married on a whim and then end up regretting it greatly."
 "This isn't on a whim, Ulrich. Aelita and I've been together for about ten years –"
 "You dated as teenagers, Jeremy," Ulrich interrupted. "Look, people change when they get older. I'm just saying, you'll probably wake up one day thinking 'What the hell have I done marrying so young?'"
   Jeremy looked away for a moment, thinking about what to say.
 "God, man. What the hell happened to you? When did you become Mr. Life Sucks?"
 "I'm a realist," Ulrich replied.
 "Whatever," Jeremy said. He put the box back in his pocket, and walked back to the table Aelita was sitting at.
  "What was that about?" she asked.
 "Nothing. Just catching up with Ulrich."
 He did not want to say anything to Aelita he might regret.
 
  With Jeremy gone, Ulrich had no one left to talk to. As a result, his drinking increased and was liquored up pretty soon.
  "The bar's going to close soon," he heard William say. Ulrich looked around, and saw the bar was comepletly empty save for Jeremy, Aelita, Odd, and William. And himself, that is.
   "I'll be gone soon." He had completely lost track of time. In his drunken solitude, he had been caught in his various misanthropic, nihilistic thoughts. William came back up to him.
  "You know something Ulrich, I'm glad you left," he said. "I'm glad you finally showed Yumi what kind of a terrible person you are."
   "Screw off." Ulrich downed the last of his scotch.
   "You've always been a pathetic douche-bag."
   "William, that's enough," Odd said.
  "Get the hell away from me." Ulrich looked away, and looked like he was about to leave.
  "Yeah, go ahead, Ulrich. Run away from me like you always did."
   "William, stop it," Aelita commanded.  
  "I NEVER ran from you," he objected.
  "What's wrong, Ulrich? Why are you still here? I thought you were good at leaving people; at disapearing. You didn't have a problem doing that to Yumi."
  "SHUT UP!"
   Ulrich grabbed William's wrist, and slammed the bottom of his glass into William's skull. The others ran to them in horror, but Ulrich was so fast. He picked up a barstool, and hit William with it so hard it broke to pieces. Grabbing him by the arm and hair, he slammed William's face into the bar. Then, he locked William in a guillotine choke, exposing the back of his neck. Ulrich balled his left hand into a fist, ready to kill William with a single punch. The only thing stopping him was Jeremy grabbing his left fist.
  Forgetting William, he turned on Jeremy in drunken rage. He struck him in the face and abdomen, then picked him up, flipped him over, and sent him crashing into a nearby table.
 In desperation and panic, Odd hit Ulrich with a chair, hoping to knock him out. It was like fighting a force of nature. Odd soon found himself being manhandled and beaten by this… this monster than used to be his friend. Soon, his face was slammed into the bar like William's.
  It was only then, looking into his former friend's eyes, Ulrich realized what he was doing. He looked around, in horror and shame, and then exited the bar. Everyone looked around, surveying the damage caused by the fight.
  "Holy shit," Aelita muttered. It looked like a tornado had blown through Odd's bar.

Disclaimer: I do not own Code Lyoko or the character Colonel Scott "Hort" Horton. Code Lyoko and its characters are owned by Moonscoop. The character Colonel Scott "Hort" Horton is owned by Barry Eisler. This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of fiction or are used fictitiously.
I have been waiting to write this for nearly a year. It's taken along time to get here, but I finally made it.

The Return is now around the half-way point.

So, William found out the hard way why you do not piss off a drunk Tier-One Operator. This chapter had a lot of things to earn a Maturity Warning; profanity, sexual themes, violence, ideological insensitivity. Yeah.

However, I do have standards. I am not evil enough to have Ulrich engage in a drunken hook-up with Sissi, so I put in a plot twist, instead.

I've been writing a lot of The Return, lately. I think I'm going to take a little break, give Ulrich some time to sleep off that hangover. In the meantime, I shall be updating other fan fictions of mine.

I spent nearly a week writing this, so what do y'all think?
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:iconpeacekeeperd:
PeaceKeeperd Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
Just read it. Very well written, I must say. :) Keep at it and we'll see who wins our friendly competition. XD
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:iconsouthernwriter2:
SouthernWriter2 Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks, dude. I don't know if I'll have much time to write another chapter for a little while, but I'll try to keep it up.
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:iconhewalksinbeauty:
HeWalksInBeauty Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Funny, Ulrich and Jeremy are both right. In Jeremy's life, people can and do stay faithful for their entire lives; "til death do us part." However, special forces and marriage mix like water and oil-unless you can cope.
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:iconsouthernwriter2:
SouthernWriter2 Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks a lot. I'm not necessarily putting down Jeremy's world view, but I am trying to offer an alternative perspective on it. I've noticed a lot of one-dimensional stories where people fall in love and that's it, or stories where people are always miserable. I wanted to incorporate both the positive view on love and the more skeptical, jaded view, too. I figured it would help flesh out both characters and give them distinct personality. I also figured it would make the whole story more interesting than have every single character be some marriage-seeking searcher for "The One," like I've sadly seen in SO many Code Lyoko (fan fics). I'm sorry, it's just that I come from a family where my parents had a HORRIBLE marriage. So many fan fics come from kids with happy parents (a majority of them are girls, I've noticed), naive to the fact that love doesn't always work out, and that it can be extremely painful. I guess when I was writing Ulrich, I was exercising some things I witnessed at a very young age.
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:iconhewalksinbeauty:
HeWalksInBeauty Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Exactly what I was trying to show in
Amare Interfecit Eum. This world ain't perfect, and true love is rare, and even rare if it can work out.
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:iconsouthernwriter2:
SouthernWriter2 Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks.
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:iconlovely-madness-13:
Lovely-Madness-13 Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Another reason to want to slap Ulrich....
I love that Aelita's sang and got all protective of Yumi....This is a really good chapter!!!
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:iconsouthernwriter2:
SouthernWriter2 Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks a lot. I had a ton of fun writing this. I've been waiting to write this part for a long time. I get ideas for parts of a story, but then I have to fill in the plot.

Sorry I made Ulrich king of a D-Bag in this story. Later in the story, I'll explain what happened from his point of view, and hopefully make him a little more sympathetic.
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