Some Uneventful Afternoons *Fan Service*
Writer's Notes: Sometimes things just happen without a big bang.
P.S. A part of this chapter is more fan service than anything since it's likely that I won't be posting for a little while again. This is my way of apologizing! Of course, it does also serve to push the story along.
Warning! This chapter is the reason why this story is rated M (nothing horribly explicit).
"Hi Lila, do you have a second?"
"Of course, Arnold." Lila smiled at him and moved to the side to let him pass.
Arnold looked around, he rarely ever visited Lila's house. They had never had the need to and she had always seemed to prefer to visit his. The house was small but the decorations were warm and homey, much like the girl herself.
Lila indicated that he sit next to her on the flower patterned couch. He smiled at her in thanks when she offered a glass of lemonade.
"Are you alright, Arnold?" Lila asked, peering at him closely.
"I need to speak to you." Arnold rubbed the back of his neck. "I," he said slowly, still unsure of how to phrase his words. Finally, he decided better to just come out with it. "I kissed someone else."
Lila sat quietly next to him for a while but to his surprise, her expression was thoughtful rather than angry. "I see," she finally said and fell silent. "Actually," she said slowly, "Actually Arnold, I have been meaning to talk to you."
He looked at her, unsure of where the conversation was steering. Arnold had never done anything like this in the past so he had no precedence to go off of. Never mind that he hadn't been the one who instigated the kiss. In fact, he wasn't entirely sure why he felt the need to admit to Lila what had happened. It became immediately obvious to him that Helga had kissed him to distract him but the problem was that he simply could not deny his response to the kiss. And that was the reason he knew he had to tell Lila.
"Arnold," she said slowly, "I think we should break up."
He looked up. "What?" he hadn't exactly been expecting that. "It was just a kiss, Lila."
"It's not the kiss, Arnold " she said slowly, patiently. "And I am ever so certain that if you gave this more thought, you would come to agree with me. We started dating because you were curious-"
Arnold shook his head, "Lila, that's not true -"
"And I must admit that I was a little bit as well." She continued. She then smiled, "There's someone much better for you than me. I do like you, Arnold and I was ever so pleasantly surprised to find out that as a couple, we suited pretty nicely. But Arnold, that was all it was."
"I am ever so certain you will come to understand what I mean." She patted his knee affectionately. Arnold merely stared at the action, dumbfounded. "We will still be friends, won't we?"
Arnold smiled but it was weak. "Of course, Lila."
"I don't know, Gerald. I wasn't exactly expecting that as a response."
"Yeah, I-" Gerald's voice got cut off as a loud "Mooooooomm!" came through the receiver.
"Sorry man," said Gerald immediately afterward. "I'm in the middle of Kimberly's weekly mother - daughter fight."
"Don't worry about it, Gerald. We can talk about it another time."
"Alright cool, maybe we can meet at Slausen's later tonight?"
"Yeah, sounds good. I'll see you later."
Arnold hung up the phone, lay back on his bed, and stared up at the skylight. He had left Lila's house after the uncomfortable conversation an hour ago and had attempted to figure out how he felt. The surprising thing was that he had known that she hadn't been wrong. He had had those same thoughts, though sparse, scattered here and there while they were dating.
He wasn't exactly upset but-
Arnold sat up in his bed as his door opened and Helga walked in.
"Hey football head," she said, holding up a bag of what he assumed was Mickey's burgers. It occurred to him that she hardly ever came looking for him without some kind of offering. "Geraldo asked me to come check on you," she stepped into the room. "I thought you would be with Little Miss Perfect tonight."
It had been a week since Arnold had actually spoken to Helga, ever since the strange night at the cabin in the woods. He had tried to speak with her a few times before then but was always met with the same irritated response that there was nothing to talk about, that evidenced by their friends, nothing had actually happened. So Arnold had let the matter lie and had not brought it up again.
And now he debated whether he should tell Helga that he and Lila were no longer together. They were friends, quite good friends in fact, and Arnold felt that he would be doing her a disservice by not letting her know.
"Actually, Helga, Lila and I are no longer together."
Helga stopped where she stood by his desk, having set down the burger and having been going through his c.d. collection. She froze for a moment before turning to him.
"I'm sorry, foot- Arnold. I- Little Miss Perfect doesn't know what she's doing. I'll go over there and talk to her. I knew she had a screw loose but this - but this-."
"Helga," said Arnold quickly. "It's okay."
"Football head, she broke up with you, right?"
For once, Helga stood patiently waiting for Arnold to finish what he had been trying to say.
"... it's okay," he finally finished, realizing that his words were in fact true.
"How can that be? I mean- since the fourth grade, you were-." She started fidgeting with the cd case that she held in her hand.
Arnold felt a small smile forming on his lips as he watched her.
She set down the cd case and walked over to where he sat on the bed, sitting down next to him. Arnold noticed that she sat as far away from him as she could get before facing him. "If it's any consolation at all, football head, she doesn't know what she's missing. Like I said, she's got a screw loose or something..." Her words trailed off. "Sorry."
Arnold smiling, having forgotten how nice it was to have her around. "So Gerald asked you to come check on me?"
Helga rolled her eyes but Arnold could see that she was relieved for the change in topic. "Yeah, tall hair boy sent me a cryptic message that you may need my oh-so-pleasant company."
Arnold stood up, still smiling as he walked over to grab the bag of burgers. "I didn't know you guys talk."
Helga rolled her eyes, "We don't, not really. I mean alright, tall hair boy isn't so bad and we have conversations once in a while just the two of us when we're waiting for Phoebe or when she's in the bathroom."
Arnold smiled, Gerald had said much the same not too long ago.
He handed Helga a burger and sat on the ground near her legs, opening his and taking a large bite.
He felt a small nudge on his side and he looked up. "So... you alright, football head?" she said awkwardly.
Arnold couldn't help but smile. He knew Helga was uncomfortable with sentimental situations, she had shown as much in the years he had known her but just the fact that she was trying now meant a lot to him. "Yeah, Helga."
"Good," she grumbled and took a bite of her burger.
"So what do you want to do today, football head?" asked Helga as she lounged on his bed, flipping through the channels.
Arnold closed the textbook he had finished reading and set it to the side. It was Saturday afternoon and all of their friends were busy. They had no plans, they had finished their school work, and there was nothing good on t.v..
Helga sighed as she flipped through more channels. She paused in her board search to watch the ending scene of an old 60's sitcom. Arnold joined her on the bed.
"Crimeny, is there anything good on today?" Helga said out loud to no one in particular. Helga turned off the t.v. and tossed the remote to the foot of the bed.
They were both silent for a while, not talking, not having much to say.
They looked up to the sky, through Arnold's skylight. The weather was fine, not too sunny, not too bright, not too dreary, not too wet. In fact, it was not much of anything. Like the day, it seemed it too had nothing to say.
"We should do something to pass the time," said Arnold.
"What an inspirational idea, football head," she replied but the boredom hampered her intended sarcasm.
Helga continued to look up; her gaze followed the clouds, but could spot no identifiable shapes. Even they seemed not to be cooperating today.
Helga peered at Arnold from the corner of her eye. He was gazing at the sky thoughtfully. With an exaggerated groan, she turned and gracelessly draped a leg over his. Arnold turned to look at her. She shrugged then flopped a limp arm atop his chest.
"Helga?" he asked with a questioning gaze.
Helga sat up. "Hey football head, let's have a wrestling match."
"What?" Arnold sat up, surprised.
"Come on," she punched him lightly on the shoulder. "It'll be a fun way to pass the time."
Helga waited as Arnold looked at her a bit warily. "Geez, football head, it's not like I'm going to hurt you."
Arnold's brow rose.
"You were always smaller than me as kids but now that you've grown up into a big strong man, I wanna know how you hold up. Don't get me wrong, football face," she grinned smugly, "I doubt you can beat me but you may get a point or two just from sheer strength alone."
Helga grunted in surprise when she felt Arnold's arms encircle her waist and suddenly tackle her onto the bed.
Recovering quickly, she snaked an arm beneath his right arm pit and the other behind his head and locked them. Helga quickly pivoted her weight, dislodging Arnold from atop her and flipped him over onto his back.
She stared down at him, her hands still locked behind him, and smirked triumphantly. But she was surprised to find Arnold grinning back. Her hold loosened slightly and Arnold took that moment to turn her, allowing him to fully slip out of her grasp. He grabbed a hold of her wrists and pinned her lightly onto the bed, his bent knees trapping her legs beneath him.
Helga struggled for a long moment then finally relaxed her muscles and sank back ontot he bed. "Crimeny, you're stronger than you look, football head," Helga said, trying to catch her breath.
Arnold grinned, staring down at her (literally, not figuratively). "Thanks, Helga. You're still pretty strong yourself."
Helga struggled a bit but Arnold made no move to get off of her.
"You can get off of me now, football head," she said, rolling her eyes. "You've proven your manly prowess."
Arnold blushed slightly and rolled over, "Sorry, Helga."
Helga sat up and again they lapsed into bored silence. "You know," she said casually, breaking the quiet's unbearable momentum, picking at a loose thread from Arnold's bedsheets. "We can always do what other teenagers do to pass the time."
When Arnold didn't immediately respond, Helga looked up to find him peering at her with a confused expression.
Helga rolled her eyes, her exasperation obvious. "Make out, football head. That's what teenagers do."
Arnold's mouth fell open slightly. "What?"
Helga rolled her eyes again, trying to mask the annoying nervousness that suddenly got a hold of her. "Geez, football head, it's not like I'm asking you to be in a relationship with me or anything. I'm talking about a quick makeout session to help a boring afternoon go by."
Arnold didn't respond and continued to stare at her with a slightly dumbfounded expression.
"What about Oak?" he finally asked.
"What about treestub?" said Helga, arching a brow. "What does he have to do with it?"
"Won't he be... upset?"
"Treestub?" Helga scoffed, "He's probably doing the same right now with some other hussy. I don't know if you've noticed Arnoldo but treestub is surprisingly popular." She scoffed again, "though I don't know what they see in him."
Arnold blinked. "Aren't you..." he said, "dating?"
Helga looked at him in surprise. "What made you think that, football head? I mean yeah, he asked me and maybe we had one date but it was casual and well, sometimes we make out, but much like how I am suggesting we do right now, to pass the time."
Arnold just continued to stare at her.
"Geez, football head, say something!" she said, annoyed. "If you don't want then just say so, don't just sit there, staring at me like a dumb fish out of water."
Arnold shook his head. "No, I'm not saying that I don't want to. I'm just- I'm just a little surprised."
Helga rolled her eyes and plopped back onto her back. "Well wake me up when you get out of your daze, Arnoldo."
Helga felt the bed shift slightly and a weight slide up next to her. "I- are you sure you sure you want to, Helga?"
Helga rolled her eyes again, "Yes, I'm sure! What's the big deal anyways. Our whole culture is built on people casually hooking up. It doesn't mean jack. Plus, it's not like we're going to be doing that." She sat up, "Look, I'm a warm-blooded female and you are the closest warm-blooded male. I'm bored. You're bored. Easy solution."
Arnold continued to look at her for another moment and Helga had just reached the point of getting up and leaving when he nodded.
Helga's heart treatened to beat out of her chest. She couldn't believe that Arnold had just agreed to a casual makeout session. She would have thought that mr. goody two shoes wouldn't consider anything of such a nature without being romantically involved. She internally cringed as she wondered if perhaps he had agreed only because they were friends and he didn't want to reject her.
Helga nearly jumped out of her skin when Arnold reached over and pulled her up to a sitting position to face him.
Breathe. Breathe. Breathe, Pataki, breathe! She tried desperately to still her rapidly beating heart as she looked at Arnold, who began leaning in and slowly started to reduce the distance between their bodies.
For one small moment before his lips touched hers, Helga felt her body tense and panic take her. But then she felt his hands take a hold of hers and laced their fingers together. For a moment she worried he could feel the rapidity of her pulse and know that she was not as debonair about the entire matter as she pretended to be, that he would know that the kiss wouldn't simply be just a kiss to her.
Helga shut her eyes tightly as Arnold moved closer, his breath intermingling with hers. Their lips touched and for a second, Helga forgot how to breathe. It was beautiful, magnificient. Sure, this wasn't how she expected their first kiss that was neither a dare or as a result of their belief that they would die. And sure, she was kissing him under the pretense that she was bored and it was a good way to pass the time. But the kiss was everything 9 year-old Helga had hoped it would be and everything 17 year old Helga knew it would be.
At first the kiss was soft and gentle, his lips merely brushing hers. Then after a little while, Helga felt him retreat slightly and had to forcefully stop herself from chasing after him. But just as his lips left hers, he leaned forward again, pressing his lips more firmly onto hers.
Arnold tilted his head slightly to the right and Helga's eyes flew open when she felt the gentle pressure of his tongue outline the entry at her lips.
Breathe! Helga, breathe! her mind screamed at her.
At his gentle insistence, she parted her lips and felt a light sweep of his tongue against hers. The bottom of her stomach fell open. Oh dear lord.
Arnold's hands released hers and she felt his fingers run through her hair and gently pulled her even more firmly toward him. Helga felt as though she was losing her presence of mind and began to worry that her lack of participation may be construed as disinterest.
She ran her fingers lightly up Arnold's back and was surprised to feel him shiver. Empowered by that response, Helga drew him close and kissed him deeply. A breathy groan escaped him and Helga felt a renewed surge of energy. She leaned back slowly, drawing Arnold with her until Helga was propped up against his pillows and he lay atop her.
Shifting uncomfortably, Helga felt something dig into her. Growling against his lips, she reached up behind her back and pulled out a pen, which she then promptly tossed onto the edge of the bed where it slowly rolled off and onto the floor. Adjusting herself to get into a more comfortable position, Helga bent her knees, causing Arnold to settle into its juncture.
And they both instantly froze.
Arnold Shortman had never been more still in his entire life than on that one uneventful afternoon that led to a series of occurances that Arnold would have sworn previously would never happen.
Neither of them dared to move, their eyes wide open, and their lips frozen in place against each other. And their more personal, quietly private parts pressed together, causing all manner of thought to hone into that one central location.
Arnold's heart raced sporadically, the suggestiveness of their position causing him to feel more than unease. He hadn't been certain when Helga had first made her suggestion, unsure of whether such an act would jeopardize their friendship. But as Helga continued to talk, Arnold had started to find the idea more and more appealing.
She had said that the act would mean nothing, that it would just be something to do to pass the time. But Arnold had known that, while he wasn't sure exactly how he would feel about it, he knew that the act wouldn't mean nothing to him. He liked Helga, he was attracted to her, and she meant a lot to him.
But when their lips met, Arnold felt himself respond in a way that hadn't happened before. While he had a good amount of experience kissing, he had never felt so aware of his partner as he did Helga. When their lips first touched, all other thoughts instantly left him and he found himself pushing forward a little quicker than he had planned, found that he just simply couldn't help himself.
But when they found themselves in the position they were currently in, their intimate contact running both cold and hot waves through his body, he froze, suddenly keenly aware of what they were doing, of what their position was implying.
Arnold wasn't sure what should happen next. He was embarrassed, certain that Helga could feel his response to her and hoping that she would just quietly let it slide. He knew he should stop and probably get up. And he was just thinking of how he could possibly do that without moving too much when he felt it. It was a tiny movement, a tiny sway of her hips.
Arnold froze again, his entire focus on the intimate place where they were pressed together. He must have been mistaken, right? This was Helga, Helga who suggested they make light of something Arnold usually put some weight to, Helga who so nonchalantly made clear that whatever occured was just a natural response to a dull day, Helga, who-.
He felt it again, another slight, tiny movement. Arnold looked down at Helga's face and saw her eyes closed and a look of curious desire on her face. He felt himself immediately respond.
Another slight sway of her hips and Arnold groaned, his eyes closing and he pressed himself into another kiss this time deeper, having let go just a little bit of his inhibitions. He felt her tongue glide against his and then another small sway of her hips. Arnold tentatively responded in kind.
Helga moaned against his lips and so Arnold repeated the motion except this time adding a little bit more pressure as he did so. He felt her hands glide up and down on his back. He pressed deeper toward her when -
"You up there, shortman?" came a voice from the hallway beneath his room.
For the 3rd time that day alone, Arnold froze. He lifted his head to look at Helga, who stared back at him with wide eyes. They could hear Phil grab the chain and yack down to release the stairs. Arnold's eyes widened and he quickly rolled off a Helga just as she started to push him off.
A knock came at his door. Arnold plopped quickly himself down next to Helga, grabbed the nearest book he could find and opened it on his lap, trying to look as nonchalant possible just as the door to his room opened and his grandpa stepped in.
"Hey grandpa," he said, trying hard to control his breathlessness.
Phil gave them a long look. "Hey, there shortman. I see your little friend who used to have the unibrow, is with you. I just wanted to tell you two know that dinner will be ready in 10 minutes."
"So..." Phil said, slowly. "You two were up here just doing homework I see."
Arnold nodded, "yeah, just thought we'd finish it up early this week."
Phil gave them another long look but then slapped his knees and said "Well, alright! Like I said dinner will be ready in 10 minutes. Pookie's cassarole surprise." He turned to Helga, and said, chuckling "And don't ask what the surprise is. Better not to know."
"Thanks grandpa," said Arnold as Phil turned to leave.
"Oh hey, and shortman?" said Phil as he reached Arnold's door.
"You might have an easier time doing that homework of yours if your book wasn't upside down."
Writer's Notes: Hey guys, sorry, didn't have much time to go through the draft so some parts might be a little choppy. Just wanted to publish it tonight otherwise, I would not get to in for a while.
Also I would really really love to hear your thoughts on this one! I don't have any experience in writing these types of scenarios so feedback on this specifically would be really appreciated! Did it seem natural, like something that would happen to the Helga and Arnold we grew up with? Was it too mechanical or was it writing well enough to incite the appropriate emotions?
Also please let me know if you'd like me to do these types of pieces again. Thank you again! As always, love hearing from you guys!