Just a random little story. No names mentioned, but you're smart, you'll figure it out. I guess you'd call this a 'songfic'. Lyrics are taken from "Green Eyes" by Coldplay.

And just for kicks, what if I said I do own Hey Arnold? And my swarm of African dung beetles is nesting in the Sphinx's nose? Huh? HUH? Whaddya gonna do about it?!

Yeah, okay, I'm lying. The Sphinx doesn't have a nose. Man, these stupid disclaimers irk me. It's not as if the actual creators have nothing better to do than patrol for plagiarists.

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~Green Eyes~







Brilliant colour splayed across the evening sky and streaked the thin clouds with a million hues of pink and purple and gold. The sun was just beginning to settle below the horizon, its crimson flames painting the sea to mirror the sky. One could not help but try to stare into that blazing brightness and discern where air and water met, impossible though it was. The sight was exhilarating. Exonerating. It was excruciating, yet at the same time exquisite beyond example.

It was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen.

Granted, she was a mere child. Many long years filled with many more amazing sights lay in her future. This would not be the last nor greatest vision to pass before her. Still...for now, with her limited experiences and the small scope of the world that was hers, she truly believed this was the most beautiful thing she knew of.

She came here alone sometimes, not so much to think things through as one might assume, but rather to forget them. It was easy to forget for a few precious minutes the jangling disharmony of everyday life that lay in wait when engrossed, however briefly, by pure, viscous light. This was her place of peace, her sanctum when things became overbearing.



If only it weren't so cold. Winter here brought spectacular sunsets, but with it came the biting chill of winds that no sunset's warmth could deflect. The girl hugged the coat tighter around her thin frame in a hopeful attempt to shut out the wind. She was determined to withstand the cold in favor of watching this enticing masterpiece of nature as long as possible.



If only she wasn't alone.



She wasn't alone.



Someone had already entered the sanctum.



Had it been anyone else, this would have been unthinkable. Unacceptable. A veritable crime against humanity and herself. Had it been anyone else, she would have been ruthless and unforgiving and downright cranky. Yet, the presence of this particular someone in her spot of refuge did not vex her, but rather almost seemed to add to the solitude and beauty, grounding her oasis of ethereal fantasy into something better, more tangible. Something stronger. A fixture.







(Honey, you are a rock...



Upon which I stand...)







She approached the boy sitting on the edge of the pier with extreme caution, as if afraid even the slightest breath would startle him and he would vanish like a phantom on the wind. The boy did not hear her at first--so absorbed was he in the serene picture before him. He, too, nestled in his coat for warmth, his red scarf flapping about his face. He dangled his short legs over the end of the wooden pier and basked in the rays of the setting sun. Half-closing his eyes, he imagined the light soaking through him , drenching every pore, and he gave a deep sigh of contentment.



Then his ears caught the creaking of boards and he turned around slowly. The girl froze as he turned, her mind simultaneously cursing and blessing the squeaky board.

"Oh. Hi," said the boy nonchalantly, almost as if he had been expecting her all along.

The girl took a step back with a fleeting desire to retreat. "Sorry," she said. "I didn't think anybody else would be here." She took another step away. "You probably want to be alone, so I'll just leave..."

Quickly, the boy held up a hand in protest. "No, it's okay. Join me. There's plenty of room."

After a brief moment of hesitation, she crossed the few feet separating them and tentatively sat at the pier's edge. "So, what are you doing here?" she asked.

"I come here to watch the sunset sometimes. And to think. Same with you?" responded the boy.

She nodded. "Close enough."







(I come here to talk...



I hope you understand...)







"This is a great spot to watch the sunset," the boy said cheerfully. "You can see the entire horizon for miles; there's no trees or buildings in the way. Everything is so big and open, it's like the water and sky go on forever and nothing is holding you in."

"But the weather kind of puts a damper on it," added the girl. She blew on her hands to warm them and rubbed them vigorously together. Really, she should have brought gloves or at least a hat.

He shrugged. "Maybe. I dunno, I kind of like it. Sometimes, when the wind hits the water just right it sends this wave of salt spray across your face." He inhaled deeply, taking in the scent of the crisp air. "It always smells so..."

"Fishy?" she suggested.

"No--fresh! And awake! As if everything around you is full of life. It's a good, tingly feeling." The boy laughed and the light reflecting off the sea made his eyes sparkle and glow. The girl found herself smiling at his innocent simplicity. Even the smallest things were a joy to him.







(Green Eyes...



Yeah, the spotlight

shines upon you...



And how could

anybody

deny you...)







"It clears my mind, too," he continued. "Whenever something is bothering me, I like to sit here, just like this, and try to think it through."

"Didn't know optimists like you ever had problems," said the girl. "But you're right about one thing: this is a good place to clear the mind. Although...I usually do my mind-clearing alone..." she added, nudging him lightly with her elbow.

"I was here first. Nobody forced you to sit down."



The girl breathed in deep draughts of the salt air as the boy had done, letting them out slowly. 'Tingly' was an appropriate description, she decided, for the invigorating coldness that filled her very toes. "Well, I guess I could stand a little company every now and then. Even yours," she joked. Suddenly, she shivered in the wind.

"You're cold," said the boy, "aren't you?"

"I should have brought a warmer coat, but I'm fine."

"Here." The boy unwound the thick scarf from his neck and handed it to her. Although surprised, she accepted it gratefully.

"Thanks. You sure?"

"I don't need it."



The scarf was still warm where it had touched his skin and a faint scent that was all his own lingered in its soft folds. A refreshing scent somehow, not unlike the smell of the sea. She wrapped it around her neck and ears, immediately relaxing under the new warmth as her shivering subsided.







(I came here with a load...



And it feels so much lighter

since I met you...



And honey, you should know...



That I could never go on

without you...



Green Eyes...)







"How about you? What do you like about it?" He nodded his head towards the fiery horizon in expectation.

"Hm....not the cold, obviously," she answered with a slight smile. She pondered the question for a few minutes. After a moment she sat up straighter and replied, "I guess I like the silence. The only thing you can hear is the water lapping beneath you and sometimes the birds overhead. All the noises of the city are far enough away so that it's peaceful and quiet. You can actually hear yourself think. It's like...being on this dock, at this time of day pushes all your fears and worries into the background, and reminds you that there's something more wonderful, more powerful out there than you could ever really comprehend...that eventually, everything will work out."

"It's very...humbling. But in a good way," concluded the boy.

"Yeah."



The girl folded her hands behind her head and lay down across the old boards to gaze up into the sky, giving her eyes a rest from the piercing sunlight. He soon followed suit. They were a funny pair--reclining on the dock, their legs hanging over the edge, all the while the loose flaps of their coats and hair waving in the breeze that wafted off of the ocean. Unknowingly the portrait of utter tranquility. A flock of geese in V-formation flew overhead, honking plaintively as they disappeared into the blazing clouds.



"Sometimes I wish I could do that," she remarked almost wistfully.

"So what are you waiting for? Anybody can honk," he teased. "Oh....you mean the flying part."

"Mm-hm. Or just float away. For hours and hours, until I washed up on the shore of some remote tropical island or fell off the end of the earth. Whichever came first."

"We-ell...I don't think that would happen. But the idea does sound nice," agreed the boy. He shut his eyelids and allowed his imagination to take over. "Floating away....."

"Forever and a day. No annoying problems or people; just you and the sea, wherever it wanted to send you....."







(Honey, you are the sea...



Upon which I float...)







Opening his eyes again, he turned to her. "You know what else is nice?" he asked casually.

"I bet you're going to tell me."

"Sitting here with you is. Did anyone ever tell you that you can be very pleasant to talk to?"

"Er--no.....but that's probably because I am usually not very pleasant to talk to."

"Well, today you are." He shifted around towards the sunset again. "You should try it more often."

"Frankly, I'm a little surprised I'm trying now. I must be going soft," said the girl. "Or maybe this place just puts me in a good mood." She paused. "What's with you? You seem like a guy with something important on his mind."







(And I came here to talk...



I think you should know...)







"It isn't all that important," he replied.

"Ol' Like 'Em and Lead 'Em On jerking you around by the heartstrings, again?"

"Who? Oh. Not nearly so much as she used to. Lately, I've been thinking about a lot of other things. Little things," admitted the boy.

"Like what?"

"That's kind of a personal question coming from the most close-mouthed person I know," said the boy with a grin. "But seriously, I guess I'm looking for something new. Something exciting. Different. An adventure, maybe."

She scoffed good-naturedly. "That isn't so unusual. Everybody's looking for some kind of thrill. Take my dad, for example: At this very second, he's probably searching for loose change in the sofa cushions."

"Are you searching for anything?"

The girl shrugged. "Sure I am. There's always that hope of something better waiting for me around the next corner."

"Then I hope someday you find whatever it is you're looking for," he said earnestly.

"Maybe I will. I hope you do, too."







(Green Eyes...



You're the one that

I wanted to find...



And anyone who

tried to deny you

must be out of their mind...)







"Thanks. Look..." he whispered, pointing, "...The sun's almost down."



Indeed, the last sliver of red-orange was slipping over the edge of the sea. Green and deep blue radiated out from the golden halo left by the sun's lingering rays. All this time to the east behind them, night had been gradually creeping into place and a few pinpricks of starlight already dotted the sky. The two of them sat perfectly still and silent as another day ended, watching the tireless cycle of the earth with appreciative and enraptured eyes. They stayed that way for many minutes willing the spell to hold them captive just a moment longer.



"Well, there goes another sunset," said the boy, a happy, satisfied smile on his face. "Did you ever see anything so unbelievable?"

"Every once in a while--if I'm lucky," she responded with the briefest of sidelong glances in his direction.



The boy stood and stretched, then dusted himself off. "It's getting dark. And colder," he added as a sudden chilly gust blew across the pier. "You should start heading home."

"So should you," said the girl, who likewise rose to her feet.

"Mind if I walk you?"

She was somewhat taken aback by the offer. "Isn't it a little out of your way?" she asked.

"Of course not. It isn't far, but it's still awfully late for either of us to walk home all by ourselves. I insist." He put an arm around her. "And you're shivering again, so if we huddle together for a while, you'll be much warmer."

"Oh...all right," she consented, rolling her eyes and putting her own arm around him. She laughed. "I guess chivalry ain't dead, yet, after all. But won't it look sort of funny, the two of us like this?"

"Who's going to see--or care? Embarrassed to be walking with me?"

"I'll get over it," she said quickly.



They left the dock, two young souls who had arrived there alone in the hopes of attaining solitude, and who now departed together with some small comfort neither had expected to find. As they huddled closer in defiance of the cold wind, their forms almost seemed to melt into one another in the darkness, creating a single figure under the hazy veil of night. A single person, yet one who was not truly alone. For despite their differences: their two minds and bodies, their separate thoughts, hopes and dreams--even their unique sets of heartaches and burdens--there was something in their togetherness that shone with as much beauty as any sunset and just as brightly as any star twinkling above them in the heavens.

It could not be described properly in words; it was merely some simple, inexplicable quality of life that, if one was fortunate enough to discover, one knew and understood it. The troubles of the past could not be altered; the pattern of the future was as unpredictable and changeable as a wave on the ocean. For this moment, only the calm of the present mattered. For now, they were both at peace.







(Because I came here with a load...



And it feels so much lighter

since I met you...



And honey, you should know...



That I could never go on

without you...



Green Eyes...)







For now, their togetherness made them whole.







(Honey, you are a rock...



Upon which I stand...)





~The End~