These Hey Arnold! characters aren't mine, but if they were, this is the sort of stuff I'd do with them.
Rated T cause I felt like it, and some characters might just end up nude later. We'll see...
Lila Sawyer tried desperately to divide her time between watching the clock, watching Helga, and keeping a wary eye on the predatory Ms. Umberworthy in World History class.
Twenty minutes til the hour, ten minutes left in the period, two minutes left for Helga. For her part, Miss Pataki sat solemn and immobile as their teacher droned on (and that's an accurate description) about the origins of the Boxer Rebellion.
Lila took a deep breath... look at the clock, look at the teacher, look at Helga, clock, then teacher, then Helga... clock... teacher... Helga. At eight minutes til end of period, Helga became the center of her universe. She watched as Helga, all too aware of the time, seemed to deflate ever so slightly, and her eyes seemed to glaze over a bit. Clenching her jaw, she gulped and seemed to go on autopilot.
Lila sighed. He's gone... officially. If all went according to schedule, Arnold's plane just took off on it's way to Fort Worth. Gone from Hillwood. Gone from Joseph Hancock High School. Gone from Helga Geraldine Pataki.
Lila bit her lip. Hang in there Helga, just four more minutes. It's not like he wouldn't be back, but in the right circumstances, 394 days can fill in for an eternity. She turned her attention back to the wily old school marm, Ms. Umberworthy.
One of their hollow note passing pencils had gone missing, and following standard MI-6 protocol, assume the worst and count that technique compromised. While the chances of it having fallen into the withered grip of their World History teacher were slim at best, it was wiser to act as though it had and cease using that method to pass notes. Not that today was the day for such nonsense... But sinse it's disappearance, Lila had the uncomfortable feeling that Ms. Umberworthy was paying more attention to she and Helga.
Like a blasting cap, the end period bell set off an explosion of student activity, and Lila was on her feet in a second get to Helga's side. Dazed, she had to be gently guided out of class and into the maelstrom of student bodies in the hallways. Helga was just about in the shape Lila had expected and had planned accordingly. Flipping out her cell phone, she hit the speed dial, and said, "Alright, it's on."
She looked over at her friend as she tucked away the phone. Not crying, but it was and option being considered. Move, gotta stay on schedule. Heading out towards the wood shop, they hung a left down the side hall and exited the building into the teachers parking lot. Good as his word, Curly stood beside a waiting taxi cab. The teachers were aware that students might want to beat a hasty retreat from school in fifth period, and as such, tended to watch the student parking lot between periods. But no one expected a wayward student to escape from the TEACHER'S parking lot. This is why Lila felt that Thadius Gamalthorpe was SO very brilliant.
"Your sure we're covered? We won't get caught?" asked Lila as she packed Helga into the backseat of the cab. Grinning, Curly said, "These 'excuse permission slips' are the finest forgeries available, there's virtually no chance of getting caught." Lila graced her frog prince with a smile that said little, but promised much. "Thank you Taddpole, you've earned another huge favor." and she kissed his cheek. Grinning his extra teeth grin, he bowed and trotted off to deliver the faux alibis as the cab headed out towards the highway.
Their date on Friday night had started slightly off kilter but was quick to right itself. Dinner at Jarraoux's was unbelievable, and well worth the money. Good as his word, Curly was not only the very picture of good mental health, but funny and just a tiny bit charming as well. Lila delighted in his stories of ballet class and the few recitals he'd preformed in and marveled at how seriously he took this part of his life. Perhaps she'd try and tempt him into joining her community theater group... a tantalizing notion.
But the focus of the evening were the couple seated across from them, and Helga had never known a day of such unequaled joy in her entire life. Arnold's eyes never left her (much to Lila's relief), and they existed in a world all there own. The jazz quartet in the resteraunt that evening played several excellent slow dance numbers and the pair missed no chance to put this effort to it's intended use. After a bit, Lila chided Curly onto the dance floor and the two young couples spun and danced to each other's pleasure.
At some point, the happy couples came to the realization that a movie would be an unneeded speed bump to the evenings momentum, so on a whim, they took Curly's suggestion of a jaunt to the local roller rink.
And so it went. A progressive affair that just got progressively better with each new destination suggested. From skating to a carriage ride in the park, to ice cream floats on the boardwalk, and finally to the city aquarium for a languid, leisurely stroll amongst the various aqua obscura on display. At one point the couples separated on some pretext or another, and Lila scurried around to the far end of the display tanks, so as to observe Arnold and Helga unobserved.
Far out of earshot, she scrutinized their pantomime conversation, just as Curly came up behind her. "What are we looking at, exactly?" he asked in a whisper. Shushing him with a raised hand, she went back to her surveillance. Arnold and Helga face each other... he takes her hands in his and asks a question... she fidgets, but finally responds after shifting from foot to foot... he looks disappointed, but only for a second, then smiles broadly and draws Helga into a sensual embrace. Standing straight, Lila looks back at Curly and smiles, "We are watching my faith in humanity being renewed. C'mon." and she takes his hand as they head towards their friends.
Within the yellow checkered sanctuary of the cab, Helga enjoyed her much delayed but well deserved meltdown. Cradling her friend, Lila does what she can to sooth her with caresses and gentle words, "That's it... let it all out... that's okay... you've earned this... there you go..." she whispered. "Hey, it's not like it's all that long a time. And it's not even real 394 days straight... he'll be back for Christmas and Easter, so you'll only have a month or two between seeing him. That's not so bad, right?" True enough.
By the time they reached Helga's townhouse, she'd pretty much done all the crying she needed to. Smiling at her friend, Helga composed herself and thanked the cabbie and covered the ride, much to Lila's annoyance. Entering Helga's home, they gave a little giggle at the sleeping form of Miriam Pataki sprawled out on the kitchen table, blender ever ready to serve her. Ah well... love takes many forms.
Retreating to Helga's room, they shed backpacks, shoes and some clothing and plop perpendicular across the bed's length, mid day sun warming them as they rested. Lila's black t-shirt heats and soothes her, like a lover's careful attentions, and soon she finds herself just to the point of napping. Helga in green, lays hands behind her head as she is mesmerized by the soft rhythm of Lila's slow, steady breathing, her friend a living metronome and sharing a gentle syncopation.
The silence of Helga's bedroom felt good... really good. Lila hovered on the edge of sleep and Helga could feel the sun's rays melting a lot of the days stress away. She had been right though, it wasn't going to be so bad. As a matter of fact, Arnold would be back in town within three months and swore to her that she'd get a minimum of 50 of his time. It really wasn't going to be very bad at all. She made a mental note to write her first letter to him this evening.
Propping herself up on one elbow, she nudged Lila, "Hey!"
Reluctantly, the redhead pried her eyelids open and looked groggily at Helga. Leaning over, Helga placed a kiss gently to Lila's lips and smiled.
"Thanks Phoebe..." she said, giving her friend's shoulder a squeeze. Startled, Lila returned a smile as the two shared a laugh and laid back to enjoy the rest of the afternoon sun.
In the distance the servile whine of Miriam's blender lulled them to their rest.
To Be Continued
King Cheetah Extra
Shipping and Handling -- Lila Sawyer
While everybody loves Raymond, evidently NOBODY loves Lila... well, Arnold maybe but I'll get to that in a bit. This has always rather baffled me because if you watch the episodes very carefully, you really don't have much reason to hate her. Introduced in the second season in "Ms Perfect" (episode #206) it wouldn't be for another year in "Arnold and Lila" (episode #314) that she'd start getting up the nose of dedicated Arnold/Helga shippers. All told she' only prominently featured in seven episodes involving Arnold:
Episode #206 - Ms. Perfect
Episode #313 - Arnold and Lila
Episode #318 - School Play
Episode #407 - Love and Cheese
Episode #411 - Weird Cousin
Episode #502 - Helga's Masquerade
Episode #503 - Big Sis
Episode #517 - Timberly Loves Arnold
Episode #517 - Eugene, Eugene!
I opted not to include "#511 - Arnold Visits Arnie" and "#514 - Married" because in both Lila is a weird dream world version of herself and not really related to the actual character in the show. Having pretty much written Ruth Mc Dougal out of the major plot threads in "Arnold's Valentine", the writers needed another foil for Helga, and therein lies a point that I think many fans and fictioneers overlook; Lila isn't a character, she's a plot device.
Her soul purpose in the show is to be a focus for Arnold's pointless obsessions (dude, no means NO!), and a focus for Helga's teeth grinding, but is this warranted? Well... After "Arnold and Lila" , our resident redhead spent the rest of her episodes asking Arnold to please keep his hand's to himself (LITERALLY in the case of "Weird Cousin"). She is also only one of two people that Helga has actually confessed her feelings for Arnold to (and yes, while Phoebe obviously knows, at no time does Helga actually come out and told her). So then, what to do with Lila in your fanfics? Hmmmm...
1) "Shut Ub... Ah'm Nawt Drunk an' You're Ever Sho Shtupid!"
Like Phoebe, puberty could be either kind or cruel to Ms. Sawyer and knowing you guys, it'll probably be the latter. She might be pretty and easy going (not little miss popular, a welcome part of the crowd) or possibly near sighted, acne scarred and with 18 lbs of braces jutting from her gums. Likewise, it's easy to imagine her peaking somewhere in the sixth or seventh grade and having a rough time of it in high school, and just like Phoebe, I see her not dealing with not being exceptional very well. From here you could split into two camps of thought; White Lila and Black Lila and the possible story hooks for both are pretty mouth watering. Either way, you could see her getting into and out of trouble just like any of the other girls in the cast.
2) "Here Helga, you and Arnold take MY concert tickets..."
White Lila, pretty, pleasant, modest and funny. Always good for a favor or to just listen to your problems... pretty much as they wrote her in the show. While I imagine her being less annoying in manner by the time her freshman year rolls around, you could still have fun playing off her naivetŽ and innocence. From Sid, Park and Stinky would be ceaselessly macking on her and might fall prey to the dishonest intentions of roguish sophomores (horrors!). You could have all manner of fun as Helga, Rhonda or Sheena work to keep her out of trouble. Alternately, she becomes Rhonda's right hand girl as she attempts to break into all the right cliques in this and the higher grades. I also REALLY like pairing up Helga and Lila as best friends, as you'll see in "Lonely Girls" and a few other upcoming stories. Whatever happens, I just hope she starts dressing better...
3) "Now Rhonda, on your knees and beg for the privilege of licking my shoes..."
Black Lila; To Mega Thereon, the dragon lady, the spider queen. Gossamer fine are her intrigues and subtle are her foul schemes. Guileful and cunning, she is the Fu Manchu of the high school and no bit of villainy that happens does not bare her mark. She would come into conflict with any of our heroes only if they got in the way of something she wanted. Rhonda could fall prey to her desire for social dominance, Phoebe becoming her indentured homework slave, and Helga the constant thorn in her side as she undoes her plots one by one. Okay, a little over the top, but what the hey, if you have your heart set on Lila as the heavy, why pussyfoot around. The real story ideas would be similar to the above, only to a lesser degree, most probably butting heads with Rhonda constantly over who'll rule as Miss Popularity.
4) "Um Helga, why must I buy your condoms?"
Okay then, let's think outside the box, shall we? In "Lonely Girls", I set up a rather plausible condition for Helga and Lila becoming best friends, caught between the Olympian conflicts of Rhonda and her social Magog, Katrinka. In "Ball and Chain" Helga the struggling writer is sharing an apartment with Lila the exotic dancer. In "P.S. 218" Lila is Helga's Jiminy Cricket, being the voice of reason in preventing our favorite blonde bombshell from getting into too much trouble. If you think about it, you can have A LOT of fun with Lila without having to build the case that now all of the sudden she needs Arnold like she needs air. I've also got a little something cooking involving goth versions of Lila and Phoebe called "A Murder Of Crows", but you'll just have to wait for that one. -
As far as romantic pairings go, I for one am really sold on Gerald/Lila as titled nobility amongst the high school's beautiful people, and their two personalities would play off each other well. Likewise, if we keep it in the deep end of the pool, pairing her with Peapodkid or Smythe-Higgens has a certain appeal, though this would probably get up Rhonda's nose more than Helga's. And speaking of La Damme Pataki, how about a little fence hopping? Amusingly, when I brought this up in a chat once, the various Helga-naughts expressed outrage! I mean, they were fine with hot two girl action, but ONLY with Phoebe. Uh... yeah. Helga and Lila could work, though I think I'd REALLY need a clever set up to pull it off. The one thing that I can't seem to wrap my head around is Arnold and Lila, and trust me I took this on as a challenge. In the episode "Timberly Loves Arnold" our football headed paramore finally accepts the fact that it's truely over between him and Lila, and in "Eugene, Eugene" he seems to finally be behaving himself around her. Hmmmm... I'm not quite ready to give up on this yet; I'll figure out something.
Anyone else have any thoughts on this?