Arnold stared desperately at the retreating vehicle. He sighed heavily and slowly turned to his left to trudge across the sidewalk. He missed the bus . . . Again. He'd been doing that a lot lately. Ever since high school hit, he'd found himself unable to wake up anywhere near on time.

Walking wasn't so bad though, he reflected. The school wasn't far from his house. In fact, he was already half way there. Arnold smiled slightly, laughing inwardly at himself. The exercise was good for him if nothing else. He shifted the books in his arms as he turned a corner. Then--

"Watch where you're going, Football Head!"

Arnold was knocked over from behind. He used his books to keep from belly flopping on the ground. "Good morning, Helga," he grunted. He sat up and gathered his books again as Helga did so beside him.

Helga made a growling noise. "Stupid Football-Headed geeks . . ." she muttered under her breath.

Arnold rolled his eyes. He stood up and held out a hand.

Helga hesitated, as usual, but took his offered hand anyway. She stood up unsteadily and glared straight at him.

Arnold was too surprised to notice her look of contempt. "Your eyebrow!" he blurted out, pointing open-mouthed at her forehead.

Helga's lips tightened. "Yeah, what's it to you, Hair-Boy?" She elbowed him and began walking towards the school again.

Arnold stumbled slightly. Then he rushed to catch up to her. "It looks . . . Weird," he said quietly.

Helga brought a nervous hand to her brow bone. Then she quickly jerked it away. "I got bored and there were tweezers. Do I have to explain my every action to you?"

Arnold shrugged. "I guess not," he mumbled. They walked in silence for a few moments longer.

"Why do you keep staring at me, Arnoldo?" Helga asked with a sigh, turning her head to stare right back at him.

"Why'd you do it?" he asked.

"I already told you," Helga snapped. "I was bored."

Arnold nodded. He was sure that wasn't the real reason, but why would he ever think Helga would confide in him? They were reaching the steps to school, and Arnold felt like he had to say something. He stopped her, putting a hand on her arm. Her eyes were filled with fury when she turned to look at him, but he ignored her.

"I miss your old eyebrow. I always liked it." He avoided her eyes as he finished. "It's what made you . . . You." He shrugged. "I guess I just always thought you didn't care what people thought." And I respected you for that, he added silently.

Helga jerked away from him. "Well, I don't care what people think -- especially not you."

Arnold watched as she marched away, shoulders hunched in anger. He shook his head slowly. He would never understand Helga . . . And yet, he never seemed to be able to shake the habit of trying.

* * * * *

Author's Note: That's just my response to all of those H/A fics where Helga suddenly has two eyebrows and is beautiful. I just don't think that Arnold cares about those things. This is how I think his real reaction would be if that were ever to happen.