A/N: Okay, this might be a one-time deal. This will be my first Hey Arnold Fic, maybe my only, but I just had to write it. That's right I had to. Why? Well because I'm the type of nut who just has to do something different or help bring up the number of couples people don't write much about. So here it is...

Disclamer: Hey Arnold! Don't own it. Simple and sweet.

Knock out

When we were younger I use to think of it as our private ritual. I would follow silently behind you watching as you parade around with your tough girl mask keeping everyone at a distance with your rude tongue and sharp bite. But that was just a defensive front to keep others from getting too close to be able to hurt you.

You would see that optimistic youth with his odd football shaped head, Arnold. And like a loyal pet, I watched you from behind my thick lenses as for a second your hard face softened and you momentarily swooned. You sneak a peek to make sure that no one sees as you slip away. I, of course, would follow you and no one ever noticed those who wanted to be invisible.

I would listen as sweet poetic words of passion to the cornflower haired boy flowed from your honeyed voice and pretend, if only for that moment, that they were all meant for me. My breathing would become labored and your shoulders would drop when you heard.

5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and Bang! Your fist would connect with my nose and I would be knocked out with another pair of broken glasses. Ah, our own private ritual.

I am probably the only one who knows of the stunts you preformed on behalf of Arnold. It's no wonder why you loved him so, he tried so hard to help everyone even you when you brush him off with your feisty words. He tried so hard to prove that their was more to you than the bully you were, he rarely saw what I saw nearly everyday.

What you don't know is that my obsession for you could easily rival yours for Arnold. I would sneak into your house when you were not at home and relish for some time in your personal little corner of the world. I would read your volumes of poetry and wheeze an open mouth smile at how deep you could write for someone our age.

I would sometimes stay until you came home and poured out your soul to a replica of Arnold before falling asleep. I would look down on you while you slumbered; even when you slept you seemed to scowl at the world. I couldn't blame you, cast in the shadow of your perfect sister, a blowhard father who excepted you to be just like her and cared only for his business, and last an absentminded mother whose world revolved around the blender and smoothies. They didn't truly bother to know you; they just sort of tolerated you. The photos and Olga's polished trophies reinforced it.

Whispering a wheezy it will be all right' I'd give you a gentle kiss on the cheek. Your instincts would kick in and Bang! I'm knocked out again with another pair of broken glasses to remind me of the night. But no worries I always got out before you woke up.

What I did then, I wouldn't say was stalking. And it couldn't truly be called an obsession, more like a personal need to protect you, to be there for you, to be the silent guardian angel watching over you. Something like how you were to Arnold.

But that was in the elementary school.

Middles school went by like a breeze and high school came and you were still the same. You were still rough with your monobrow dominating the halls but also you were a bit nicer. Phoebe reminded your friend and you protected her from those who wish to exploit her knowledge without giving her proper payments. You still swooned over Arnold, but scowled even more at Lila since the two of them finally rid themselves of the playground talk of like yous and like you like yous and began dating.

You would vanish to the auditorium and pour out your hurt feelings to the large empty room as if you were the star actress in a play. And I would sit silent in the last row watching, and imagining I was up there with you playing my part as your hero. There were times I stood silently on stage listening to you wishing I could say for once in a clear voice what I wish to say. But instead I just wait and breathe and watch as your shoulders drop and you release a deeply bothered sigh. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and bang! Laid out on the floor again listening as you walk away once again the masked bully. Like I said you became a bit nicer and you waited a bit longer before you knocked me out and left me with my broken lenses.

Senior prom rolled by, you didn't want to go but Big Bob made you go claiming No Pataki ever missed prom dateless or not. Or was it another one of his schemes for his beeper emporium? Who knows or cares. Though dateless you went and you danced as if nothing in the world could bother you or ruin your night. I'm not alone when I say that you shined that night making even the extravagantly dressed Rhonda Lloyd turn up her snobbish nose with jealousy. But came time for pictures you shied away. You wanted no part of them. That's when I took you by the hand and held you affectionately before the camera showing you for at least one moment that I cared. I truly cared for you. When everyone leafed through his or her yearbooks later that year our picture stood out the most and everyone made the same remark that we looked cute together.

You gave me something that I took to be a gruff thank you and left. I passed out from those words alone. That picture of me sprawled out on the ballroom floor was in the yearbook also.

Months later I watched you walk full of pride across the stage to accept your diploma. There was, without a doubt, no one there that day prouder of you than I was. After the graduating class was announced and everyone tossed their caps we all rushed about laughing and crying to one another and to our awaiting family. You put on a strong face as you congratulated Phoebe, our class valedictorian, to her acceptance to Harvard and hugged her tightly with the most affection anyone had ever seen you bestow on a human being.

When Phoebe left you to go celebrate with her family and boyfriend your joy vanished as you watched everyone go to their loved ones and family while yours were absent. I watched you sigh and walk off to head home and I followed suit. I followed you to the out tree house we saved from your father. I climbed up the sturdy latter into the furnished house.

After a few moments of silence you turned slightly to acknowledge the fact that I existed. Hey Brainy. You said.

I wheezed, I had been wheeze free all through high school but for some reason you had the power to draw it out of me. You...um...aren't going to the...um...after party? That was lame then that I know.

You answered in short killing that conversation.

I scratched my arm than the back of my neck trying to figure out what to say to you my heart when you turned towards me cheeks stained with tears and a placid smile on your face. You were always there for me, weren't you Brainy? No matter where I went even when I wanted privacy you were always behind me. You looked away to look back out the window to the city polluted skies, I heard you stifle a sniff before your shaky voice spoke. You're always there.

I can't remember what I said, I don't know how the question was asked, but somehow the question to the whereabouts of your parents was brought up and you were in my arms crying into my shoulders. They didn't come because Olga was coming into the city for her usual visit and they wanted to greet her at the airport. When you brought up the fact that you don't graduate everyday Big Bob merely stated that someone would record it and they'd watch the tape later. You wanted them to be proud of you for your success, graduating with honors, but alas Olga inadvertently placed you in her shadow once again.

I stroked your lovely gold hair that smelled of spiced pear body wash and the bubblegum you were chewing on while I gave you comforting words. Everything I thought of you poured out of my strong voice that day. I'm not sure how long we were in that old tree house but it felt like a wonderful lifetime had passed. But in the end you were okay and happy again as we began to speak of the days of old.

The sun had set and you heaved a heavy sigh stating you had better get going before Big Bob had a royal fit' for missing your sister's welcome home. We had another encounter and you were about to leave me in one piece, for some reason I felt incomplete. I called out your name.

You turned with brows arched in question; I closed my eyes and held my body out open. You chuckle surprised at yourself. Then I feel a light tap on my cheek, a friendly little pat that felt more like your precious hand rubbing across my freshly shaved cheek. Thanks for everything, Brainy. You said before strutting away. Needless to say the word spun and opened beneath my feet and I was once again knocked out.

But that was high school we are older now.

Arnold played the fool and married his so-called high school sweetheart Lila; our hearts go out to him. It was of no surprise or of no disappointment that your greatest friend Phoebe married Gerald, our best wishes go out to them. As for everything else, it seems all the same.

Tired and sweaty as we always felt after you lay down beside me. I feel you wrap your caring arms around me as I hold you close. With tired eyes you look onto me and whisper such poetic words that I shall sum up to I love you.' And you kiss me tenderly once again. I let loose a small childhood wheeze of joy and slip into the world of slumber. Still you knock me out.


So what do you think? Please no extreme flames tellin' me how Helga and Arnold should be together. Read the little note I began with! -DSP