Writer's Note: The following story is inspired by the Hey Arnold! Episode "Ghost Bride" and what I believe could have occurred after the boys and Helga were walking home from the cemetery. One Shot Enjoy Everyone. -Your Pal, DarhtRoden (a.k.a. Carl)
Disclaimer: I do not own Hey Arnold! Those wonderful characters are the brainchild of Master Craig Bartlett.
She Did Make A Lovely Ghost Bride
It was a clear, late evening as Arnold, Gerald, Helga, Eugene, Sid Stinky and Harold all emerged from the front gate of the Hillwood City Cemetery laughing and smiling.
"Hey Arnold?" Sid asked the short, football-headed boy near the front of the group. "How did you know it was Curly?"
Arnold smiled and explained, "Well, this afternoon, I noticed he was wearing red socks, and when Gerald and I saw the Ghost Bride, I recognized the same red socks. I figured it was just the kind of trick Curly would play."
Gerald smiled at his best friend and said, half-jokingly, "Think we should, uh, go back and let him out?"
The football-headed boy smiled a little to himself. "Don't worry, it'll only take him about a half hour to figure out that the door only locks from the inside."
The six boys and one girl chuckled at that.
At the corner, they all stopped to say their goodbyes to each other.
"See ya, Arnold," Stinky said, in his lazy Southern drawl.
"Yeah, see ya later Arnold," Sid also said, waving as he, Harold, Stinky and Eugene walked off in the opposite direction.
Arnold waved after the boys and turned to his best friend Gerald.
"Well, Arnold, I'll see ya later buddy," Gerald said, as they did their secret best friend handshake. He turned to Helga and nodded, "Later, Helga."
"See ya in the funny papers, Gerald-o," Helga said to him, smirking slightly.
"See you, Gerald." Arnold said, smiling as he watched Gerald walk off to the right towards his house.
Arnold was left alone with his arch nemesis Helga. He always felt sort-of awkward when he was alone with her. They just stood there together under the street light not saying anything for a moment.
Helga turned to him, holding her ghost bride outfit under her arm, "Well, football-head, it's been a pretty crazy night, huh?"
He smiled slightly, his awkwardness slowly draining. "Um, yeah, it was." Arnold looked at her and could see that she was somewhat nervous herself, which surprised him a little bit. Helga was anything but a nervous person. He was wondering if it had anything to do with the scares that Curly put them through back in the graveyard.
Helga turned to go, nervous about being alone with Arnold and at the same time, not really wanting to leave his side. "Well, I guess I'll see ya when I see ya, Arnold-o."
Arnold suddenly felt a little better that she was leaving, but then Arnold caught a glimpse of her as she turned to go and saw, to his astonishment, that Helga looked reluctant to go.
"Hey Helga," Arnold called out to her before she stepped more than a few steps away.
She turned and looked at him, a little annoyed, "Yeah, what is it? Criminey I do have a curfew you know, doi!"
"Could I maybe walk you home..." Arnold couldn't understand why he asked her that, so he added, half-truthfully. "It's dark and I don't think you should walk around alone."
For a moment, Arnold thought he saw her blink in astonishment, but maybe the dim lighting made him see things. She turned to look at him, shrugged and said, "Whatever floats your boat, geek-bait."
Deep down, Helga felt her heart skip a beat as her beloved asked to stay by her side, to walk her home and to protect her.
They walked together up the street in silence for a minute, before Arnold looked over at her and said, "Listen, Helga. Um, about earlier today when we didn't invite you because you were a girl, I wanted to tell you that I'm sorry."
Helga hid her secret smile and scowling, said to him, "Well you should be, football-head. I mean, criminey, I'm not some wimp like princess Rhonda-Lloyd or little miss perfect, Li-la." She said Lila's name in her taunting, sarcastic way, which made Arnold scowl a moment, before he remembered about how things went with Lila and Timberly the other week, and how Arnold finally declared his long-standing crush with Lila over. "I can take care of myself, Arnold-o."
Arnold nodded to her and said, "I know you can, Helga."
'Still Helga had a point,' Arnold thought to himself. He only went along with the other guys to make them happy, but didn't stop to think about the fact that Helga had proven to him and the others time and time again that she wasn't some crybaby girl who worried about ruining her clothes or was afraid to get dirty or hurt. She could hold her own against all of the boys in Gerald Field playing baseball and other sports. She could be as tough and brave as any of them.
Actually, remembering the recent events, Arnold knew that Helga could, in fact, be a lot braver than most of the guys in the gang. After all, she went to the cemetery alone and set up all of those pranks and waited on them after dark, while Harold, as big as he was and with the rest of the guys, had been only one loud noise away from wetting himself before even going through the gate.
Arnold began to laugh to himself.
Helga turned and looked at him, scowling. "Huh? What's so funny, football-head?"
"Well, I was just remembering how Harold looked when he saw you standing there over that headstone," he told her, laughing out loud now. "Him and Sid looked like they we're gonna jump out of their skin."
Helga looked at him, blinked from the memory and smiled to herself. Then she too began to laugh aloud.
Arnold turned to look at her and saw a genuine happy smile on her face as she laughed hard. He face and hair were actually quite striking in the light of the full moon. He smiled to himself, for some reason, seeing her happy made him feel happy deep down, though he had no idea why.
They continued to walk and laugh about the way the other boys looked when she was pranking them, till they arrived on Helga's street in front of her house.
"Well, here we are, Helga," Arnold said, standing next to her stoop, and strangely feeling sorry that their walk ended so soon. It was then that he realized that they'd actually had a good time walking and talking together.
"Um, yeah, here we are," Helga said, looking up at her house and feeling her wonderful time with Arnold coming to an abrupt end. She was about to cover up her feelings the way she normally did, with a scowl and one of her hundreds of sarcastic remarks...when a small gust of evening breeze caused the veil from her ghost bride dress to fly from her arm and fall at Arnold's feet.
Arnold looked down and picked it up, looking at it intently for a moment as a memory came to his mind of Helga dressed in a wedding dress and standing in the moonlight. Despite the fact that she was doing it all to scare him, she didn't look too bad dressed up as a bride.
"Earth to Arnold-o! Hello!" Helga said, waving a hand in front of his face.
"Huh? What? Oh, um here, Helga," Arnold said, snapping back to reality and seeing an annoyed Helga looking at him strangely. He handed her back the veil.
Helga took it, deliberately brushing her own fingers next to Arnold's for a brief moment and feeling herself tremble with joy deep down "Thanks Arnold," she said, not using one of her usual mocking nicknames for him, which Arnold noticed and made him smile.
"No problem, Helga." He told her, then turned to leave, but still feeling reluctant to do so for some reason. He turned back to look at her one more time and saw her looking at him, standing there under the street light.
"Hey Helga," he said, a thoughtful look crossing his face.
"What?" Helga asked, seeing his look and trying to figure it out.
Arnold smiled at her said, "I thought that you made a lovely Ghost Bride."
Helga blinked, and blushed slightly. "Um, thanks, I guess."
There was another awkward pause between them, which Helga herself broke with a joke. "At least I looked better than Curly did, huh?"
Arnold blinked and they both laughed at that.
He looked back at Helga one last time to see her against the distant full moon, actually looking quite nice when she smiled.
"Well," she said smiling at him, "I guess, I'll see ya, when I see ya, football-head."
Arnold didn't frown when he heard her call him football-head. Instead, he smiled and waved back. "See you later, Helga."
Watching him walk off, Helga sighed happily and walked up the steps.
As Arnold made his way back to the boarding house, he thought about Helga, dressed up as the Ghost Bride and thought to himself, 'Yes, Helga did make a lovely Ghost Bride.' We walked down the street, thinking about Helga and idly humming the wedding march as he went.
Eugene had been right, it was a catchy tune.
Hope you enjoyed! Read and Review! -D.R.