Author's Note: The final part of the fic is here. - I've fixed the mistakes, grammar and spelling both and there are small, very little things that I've added here and there. No big change. Just a little touch up. It still remains the same. Now I hope that you all like it as much as the last. Enjoy the improved read!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Part 2: Arnold, the Savior

Helga watched Arnold as he leapt toward her. His body crashed into her's and she was sent back. The blade in her hand fell as Helga came crashing to the floor, Arnold with her. Her back slammed on the cold floor and Arnold landed on top of her. She felt the air escape her lungs as pain shot all throughout her body. She tried to get up, but could not.

"Helga?" Arnold asked. His eyes looked into her's. His concern for her filled them and fresh tears began to roll down his cheeks as she managed to breath again. She pushed him off and placed a hand on her chest.

"Criminey, football head!" she shouted. "What the heck were you trying to do?!"

She looked at him, accusingly as he sat up. He lunged at her again and took her into his embrace. "I'm sorry, Helga, but I was trying to stop you from-"

"A little dramatic don't you think?" Helga asked sarcastically as she violently pulled away. "Who said you could touch me?!"

"Sorry, I'm just so relieved," he said, a blush forming on his his cheeks. This, Helga did not notice, but she felt his hesitation as he paused before he continued. "Why were you cutting yourself?" His eyes grew serious as he looked at her, questioningly.

"What are you talking about?" Helga spat. "I was carving my name into the table!"

Arnold's eyes expressed his confusion. "But you held your arm out and you were bleeding and the blade-"

"Oh, please," Helga interrupted. "I hurt it when I was trying to clean this place up. I wanted to spend the night here."

There was a small silence. He smiled sheepishly at her, but it quickly faded as if he were remembering something and then anger suddenly filled his eyes as he looked at her. "Then what were you doing with the blade in the first place if you weren't planning on using it then?"

Helga looked at him, unsurely and then looked down at her hands. "I was going to use it, but then I thought better of it. I saw this place and the memories of-" She cut herself off. Saying the rest of the sentence would be saying too much.

"Memories of what?" Arnold asked. "Our preschool year?"

"Just forget I mentioned it," Helga said, threateningly.

"Okay," Arnold replied. "Then answer me another question: why did you run away, Helga?" She stopped. It wasn't a question, it was more of a demand and then she began to wonder why he had wanted to know this in the first place and why was he so angry with her? "Do you know how many things run through a person's mind when someone they care about just. . . runs off the way you did?!"

Someone you care about, Helga repeated. He cares about. . .m-me?

Fresh, new tears found their way to the surface as he looked at her. He shook his head. "You scared me, Helga. You scared everyone. You couldn't imagine what you put me through. I went crazy looking for you!"

Helga didn't know what to say. She was speechless. Arnold was worried about me? She asked. He went crazy looking for me? She stopped for a moment. He actuallylooked for me? Arnold moved closer and he took her into another embrace. Helga's heart began to pound. He's hugging me. She desperately tried to stop the wild beating of her heart, but found that she could not. Was she dreaming? Was this possible? She shook her head and pulled herself together. She shoved him away again. Her hands shook and she balled them into fists to hide it.

"What do you care?!" she shouted as she stood.

"I do care!" he replied as he stood. He snatched her wrist. "Helga, you scared me to death! Do you understand that?! You scared Phoebe to death!"

Helga was taken aback. Her eyes were wide with astonishment. This has to be a dream, she thought as Arnold's tears rolled down his cheeks. It has to be a dream!

"Why did you run away?" he asked again, this time his voice was softer. His fingers found her's and Helga could hear her heart hammer against her rib cage. She took a step back and pulled her hand away from his suddenly afraid of his touch. She couldn't understand why.

"If you have to know, football head," she sneered as she turned away from him. "My parents were being themselves and Olga was coming home. I couldn't take it anymore. There is only so much a girl can take! They never notice me and they treat me like I don't even exist when Olga comes back home from where ever it is she comes home from! I'm just so sick of them treating me like crap! So I decided to leave. I knew they weren't going to miss me."

"But what about Phoebe and me? And all of our friends?!" Arnold demanded.

Helga turned around to face him. Her expression stern, hiding the the emotions running savagely inside her. "I would think that Phoebe would be much happier without me around to boss her around! And I didn't even think about you! And our so called 'friends', I knew they could care less about me!"

"That is not true!" Arnold protested. "We all care about you, Helga! Why do you think we all went searching for you when we found out you were missing?!"

Helga looked at him. They all looked for me?

"Haven't you been listening to a word I've said?" Arnold asked as he moved closer. "We were scared. All of us. Now if that doesn't tell you how much we care about you, then I don't know what will."

Her mood softened a bit and she looked away from him, not wanting him to see the softened features on her face. She thought for a moment what it would be like to just let him see more of the person she kept hidden inside and that's when she suddenly felt a familiar warmth and she knew right away it was Arnold. He stood beside her. His hand found her arm and he led her to the table again and sat her down. She looked at him as he sat himself beside her.

"You look cold," he said. He stood again and removed his jacket and placed it on the table. Helga marveled at the site. He then pulled off his sweater and handed it to her. "This should do it," he said, shyly. "I was going to give you my jacket, but it's wet." He smiled, sheepishly. "And the sweater is dry," he added quickly. She took it and removed her own jacket and replaced it with Arnold's sweater.

His scent was all over it and Helga fought the need to close her eyes and inhale the sweet smell.

Silence soon fell upon them and Helga found herself growing nervous.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

"I'm sorry," the officer said. "But we can't help you. Your sister hasn't been gone for twenty-four hours."

A beautiful blond stood in front of him with an older blond woman standing beside her and a huge man with gray hair. He was Big Bob Pataki, everyone knew him. He was the Beeper King and apparently his second daughter was not at home.

Tears seemed to be threatening their release as the young blond looked at him. She seemed to be thinking about something. The officer sighed. What am I to do? He asked himself. The girl is probably out with her friends somewhere.

Big Bob stepped forward and took him by the collar, lifting him off the floor. "Now you listen here," he said, his voice low and threatening. The officer squirmed as fear shot through him. "My daughter is out there in the rain somewhere. She's alone and cold and we are not going to sit by and just wait for her to come home." The officer gulped as Big Bob eyed him. His voice rose and it suddenly boomed and the officer found himself shaking violently from the fear that overtook him. "Now you do your job and get out there and find her or I'll-"

"Will d-do, s-s-sir," the police man stuttered, his voice trembling.

Anger emanated from the huge man, but the young blond smiled as she looked at her father. "Uh, Ron," the officer called. He turned his head to another officer close-by, who was equally frightened just at the site of Mr. Pataki. "These, uh, n-nice people reported a, uh, m-missing persons report. G-get right on it-" The officer gulped again. "Send out squat cars all over. Search for a Miss-"

"Helga Geraldine Pataki," the older blond woman interrupted. "She's about 5'4, thin frame, and has big, beautiful, blue eyes. She wares-" The older woman paused as the tears rolled down her cheeks. She pulled herself together and continued, "She wares a scowl and a pink bow with pig tails."

Big Bob put the man down as a look of bewilderment crossed the officer's face. A scowl, pink bow, and pigtails, he repeated to himself. Shouldn't be too hard to find.

"Oh, daddy!" the young blond exclaimed as she embraced her father. Five officers dashed outside.

"Come on," Big Bob said.

"Where are we going?" the young blond asked.

"To find your sister," Big Bob replied. They walked out of the office just as the squat cars raced with their sirens sounding.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Phoebe ran back to the boarding house with Gerald at her side. Helga was not in the park. An hour had passed and they had still not found her. She was beginning to lose her sanity with worry and fear. Her hands could not stop shaking and fingers were frozen from the rain.

When they finally arrived, they found Stinky and Harold waiting outside.

"Any luck?" Gerald asked as he approached them.

Stinky and Harold shook their heads sadly. "She wasn't anywhere," Stinky said.

"Yeah, I even threatened to pound her if she didn't show up," Harold replied.

Anxiety swept through Phoebe as she looked about.

Lila showed up not too long after. Rhonda and Nadine came up from behind her and soon the boarding house was crawling with the people she had gone to school with. All of them being from her fourth garde class. Even Curly was there, but neither one of them had found Helga and stark terror roared in Phoebe's heart as she thought of Helga. Where in the world could she be? She wondered. Tears found their way to the surface again.

"Hey, kid!" a voice boomed from behind her. Phoebe turned. Mr. Pataki sat behind the wheel of his car. His wife was in the back and Olga sat beside him in the passenger's seat. "Have you found Helga?"

Phoebe shook her head as she stood dumbfounded on the sidewalk. Olga stepped out of the car.

"Oh, my poor baby sister," she cried. "I'm so worried."

The front door to the boarding house opened and Phoebe turned. Arnold's grandfather stepped outside. "Have you found your missing friend with the one eye brow yet?" he asked. Everyone shook their heads. "The police passed by about an hour ago, but they wouldn't search for her because she wasn't missing for-"

"Twenty-four hours," The Pataki family interrupted.

Phil nodded.

"But B took care of that," Mrs. Pataki replied, smiling at her husband. Olga nodded happily.

Phoebe couldn't believe it. Were these the same people she had spoken to earlier? They didn't seem like they cared very much when she first told them of Helga's disappearance. But now. . .

She shook the thought out of her head and looked around. Someone was missing.

"The short man didn't come back yet?" Phil asked and then a stream of hope seeped into Phoebe. Arnold was not there.

Joy and relief overtook her. Arnold found Helga! She thought. She knew it! She could feel it! Certainty flowed in her veins, reviving her.

"He's found Helga!" Phoebe exclaimed. Everyone turned to her. "He's not here. It's been an hour already. He's found her!"

"How are you certain?" Lila asked.

"Yeah," Rhonda agreed. "Maybe he's still looking for her."

"I just know it," Phoebe replied. "Helga is safe. She's with Arnold now." She smiled. A silence fell on them.

"Should we wait then?" Sid asked. "Or. . ." His voice trailed.

"We wait," Phoebe answered and so they did.

The rain continued to pour as they stood outside, waiting for Helga to return.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

"Do you want me to take you home?" Arnold asked. He felt so nervous. His heart raced as he looked at her.

"No," Helga replied, her voice low. At first he thought he had been making things up, but then he realized that her voice was indeed shaking. Silence surrounded them again. He could hear the rain crashing down on the roof. It was too quiet. He almost couldn't stand it. I really should get her safely back home or at least somewhere warm and dry. He thought for a moment and then turned to her.

"Well, how about my place?" he asked, a bit uncertain.

She looked at him. "What?"

"The boarding house," he answered. "It's warm there. I could make you some hot chocolate if you'd like."

Helga looked at him as if trying to figure out whether or not he was being serious. He kept a straight face, but he blushed furiously. He thank god it was dark inside. She shook her head.

"Are you warm?" he asked.

She nodded and then there was silence.

"Helga?" Arnold asked, breaking the silence.

"What?" she answered, frustration ringing in her voice.

"Why do you hate me?" Arnold looked at his hands, unable to look at her as he twiddled his thumbs. It had always bugged him and he thought now was a good chance to ask. There was nothing else to say anyway and he desperately wanted to know.

There was some hesitation.

"Have I done something, said something to you?" He turned to her. "Because I'd really like to know."

She looked at him and Arnold could see that she was fighting an inner battle. "I don't hate you," she said, as she stood.

"Then why do you act like I've done something to you?" he pressed as she walked away from him.

"Because you did!" she shouted, turning to face him.

Arnold stopped. I have? He asked himself. When. . .was this?

"What have I done?" he questioned. He leaned forward. He couldn't remember ever doing anything to Helga, except for maybe when he had poured that paint on her when he, Gerald, Phoebe, and her were partners back in the fourth grade. Or when he accidently blinded her after playing a prank on her to get back at her for the pranks she played on him on April Fool's Day in the fourth grade, but he apologized. He always did. "Tell me. I'll make things better!"

"No!" Helga yelled. "I-I c-can't tell you, hair boy!" She stuttered, turning away again.

Helga looked out the window. What the hell was she suppose to say? I love you, Arnold! That's why I've treated you like crap all these years? That's not right, she thought. Could she seriously tell him everything? And if she did. . .what then? What would happen to her? To them? What would he think? What would he say?! No, he can't know! He'll reject me! She thought. She felt the sting of tears in her eyes and she fought to keep them at bay, but in vain. She could hear his light, foot steps approaching her as her heart pounded. She brought her arms about her chest as she hugged herself for warmth, suddenly feeling the cruelty of the cold rain.

"Why not?" Arnold asked, his voice was soft yet a bit demanding. She swallowed hard.

"You wouldn't want to hear it," she replied, her voice like venom.

"You have no idea how much I want to know," he said. He placed a hand on her shoulder, but Helga pulled away.

Arnold was a bit startled, but he pressed on, wanting, needing to know. He wanted this all to end and he would get to the bottom of it, no matter what it took. "Tell me, Helga," he demanded softly. "I won't judge you. I promise you. Just tell me. I'll understand just tell me!"

"Criminey!" she bursted, turning around to face him. "You just won't stop will you?!"

Arnold shook his head as Helga scolded herself for saying too much. She scowled at him as she turned to look out the window.

"Please, Helga," Arnold pleaded. "I just want to know what it is that I've done to you. I promise that I won't judge you. You know me."

Arnold waited for her to speak and finally he got his wish. She turned around to face him once more, fresh tears streaming down her face. It had taken him a aback. He had never seen Helga cry.

"You want to know?!" she asked. "I'll tell you! But you've heard it all before! Remember fourth garde? On the roof of that stupid building!"

Arnold knew exactly what she was talking about. He knew very well what she was talking about. It had been that same exact day that he had gone home and thought about what she had said. They agreed to not mention it and he did not. But it had plagued him and the memory played over and over and over again until that soft spot he held for Helga became something more, but he would not bring himself to admit to it, until a year later when he could no longer deny it. He grew to love her just as he hoped she still loved him.

"You're like the air to me, football head!" she shouted. "I want to live my life with you by my side! I want to the world to know that I, Helga G. Pataki love you! I wanted to keep it a secret, but it doesn't matter any more! Because I won't be here for long!" A blush reddened her cheeks, though Arnold could not tell if it had been from anger or from her sudden confession, but he was speechless just at the site of her and her speech had bewildered him. She still loves me, he thought. He wanted to tell her everything, but he couldn't find his voice. Helga looked at him, watched him and soon new tears surfaced, rolling down her cheeks and he knew that his silence was killing her.

She was torn inside. She felt as if her heart were bleeding, the life seemed to drain from her. She felt the need to flee, but her legs did not move. Her heart beat wildly as she waited for him to say something. He opened his mouth, but nothing came out. She was growing terrified by the second.

"I-" he managed to say. He tried to find the words and Helga knew he was having trouble. "I have a, uh, c-confession to make too." And then Helga's heart skipped a beat. "That night on the 'stupid building' surprised me, but I thought a lot about it. . .what you said to me. . . and well, I always had a soft spot for you and then it grew into something. . .more."

He looked at her and he caught her staring. She was blushing as much as he was. He stepped closer, but stopped and looked at her as if asking for permission. She said nothing and made no attempt to answer his silent question. He continued toward her and he reached out to touch her as he swallowed. "I guess what I'm trying to say is that. . .Helga, I-" He could feel her hands shaking as he touched them lightly with his own. "I-I. . .love you. I have for so long."

Relief washed over Helga as she burst into new tears, but she still could not move. Arnold stepped closer, his body's warmth engulfed her, encouraging her to step closer, but she still could not. He looked into her eyes, questioningly as he caressed her cheek. He searched for permission to kiss her. Helga's only reply was a single tear. Arnold wiped it away and he looked at her once more, his heart pounding as he inched closer. Their noses touched and Helga parted her lips, closing her eyes, awaiting the kiss she needed from him. Arnold closed his eyes as he leaned forward, his head tilted slightly and he hesitated a moment. He took a deep breath and his lips touched her's. His hand moved possessively about her waist. His heart filled with joy as she kissed him in return, her hands moving up his chest to wrap around his neck.

The kiss was tender and sweet. Perfect, they both thought. Just perfect. Their tongues brushed against one another as the kiss grew intimate. Their heart beats mingled with one another, beating at the same rhythm. Becoming one.

And for the first time in her life, Helga felt whole and loved while the void in Arnold which had been left from his parents's departure seemed to be filling by the second.

They broke the kiss only for air and then once again kissed, loving the feel of each other's lips and warm embrace.

The storm outside continued to surge, but it began to steadily calm as Helga and Arnold deepened their kiss.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

It wasn't until a few minutes later that Arnold and Helga stepped out of the preschool. They looked at one another and Arnold offered Helga a smile as he handed Helga her jacket. She graced him with one of her own smiles as she took the jacket. She put it back on even though there was no need for it anymore. Arnold's sweater was warm enough and the rain had stopped.

A rare beauty, he thought as he took her hand and led her down the street toward the boarding house. They didn't speak as they walked, but yet there was no need for words. Everything was out and said. They were content just walking side by side. Though, Arnold couldn't help but wonder what it would be like for them at school now that they had shared such a tender moment with one another. . .their first kiss. He watched Helga from the corner of his eye. Would she continue to treat him as she always had? Or would things truly be different? He smiled. He would just have to wait and see.

He rounded the corner with Helga by his side and then he noticed the crowd in front of the boarding house. Two squat cars were parked in front. Helga's family, Arnold's Grandpa, and Phoebe and Gerald were talking to the police officers. The boarders and his grandmother stood outside on the stoop, waiting.

Lila suddenly stood as she caught a glimpse of them. "Helga!" she exclaimed. "Arnold!" Everyone turned. Their gloomy faces disappeared as their joy broke free. "It's ever so nice to see you!"

"Baby sister!" Olga shouted, gleefully as she ran toward Helga.

Arnold could feel Helga's hand slip from his as her family and friends threw themselves at her and he smiled. He was happy for her. Now she would see just how much everyone loved her. She needed to know and now she would know first hand.

"We were all so worried!" Phoebe said.

"Don't you ever do that again, little lady!" Big Bob roared, a smile on his face and a tear in his eye.

"Oh, Helga!" Miriam sobbed. "I'm so sorry."

The woman smothered her in hugs and kisses, gently pushing everyone aside to get Helga all to herself. Arnold's smile widened. A mother's love was important and he was happy to see that Helga was receiving her mother's love.

"I'm glad you're alright, Helga," Rhonda said as she quickly stole a hug.

"Yes, we were all really worried about your safety," Sheena said. "Eugene and I looked just about everywhere."

"We couldn't find you anywhere," Eugene replied.

Helga was about to speak, but she suddenly heard a familiar wheeze coming from her right. Brainy stood beside her. "Hi," he said. She was surprised to see him there and surprised even even still when she saw Curly hanging around in that back waving, waiting to get his chance to hug her. She pleaded that her mother would continue smothering her with her hugs and kisses to keep Curly away from her. No one ever knew what to expect from that kid.

Phoebe pushed the crowd aside and tackled Helga. "I knew Arnold would find you. But don't you ever pull something like that again! I was going crazy!"

"Sorry to worry you, Pheebs," Helga whispered as she allowed herself to hug Phoebe.

"Well," Olga said. "I'm inviting you all back to the house for some milk and cookies to celebrate Helga's safe return! I'll start baking as soon as we all arrive."

"Yeah!" came the shout of approval from everyone.

"This calls for some lemon puddin' too," Stinky replied.

"Oh," Olga said. Stinky stood beside her. "I don't think I've made that before."

"Oh, it's simple," Stinky responded. He begun explaining how to make it. Helga held back a laugh as she listened to Stinky talk about his family recipe for lemon pudding.

Helga's father got in the car. Miriam stopped before stepping in. "Coming with us or will you be walking home with your friends, Helga?" Miriam asked as she looked over at her daughter, the tears staining her cheeks. Everyone stopped to look at her, waiting for her decision.

"I'll meet you back home," Helga replied. Miriam nodded as she got in the car.

"Olga?" she called as the engine roared.

"I'll be with Helga," she said.

Her mother nodded and then the car took off.

"I guess our work here is done, boys," one officer said to the others. They got into their cars and were soon off.

Helga turned to Arnold and smiled a smile just for him. His eyes glistened with joy as he returned her smile. Her friends swarmed around her as they talked joyously to her as if nothing had ever happened. Things were definitely different, but for the better. Things will be just fine from here, Helga thought as she allowed Phoebe and the girls to led her to her house. Olga took her hand and Helga allowed her. Eh, it couldn't hurt, she thought as she looked up at her sister. Olga smiled, sweetly. A tear of joy fell from her eyes. She's not so bad.

Arnold took a deep breath as he watched Helga. He thanked the return of a distant memory. The memory of his first day of preschool. If he hadn't remembered, then he wouldn't have found Helga. And now for the first time in her life she was happy. Truly happy and he would do his best to keep things just this way. Things will be just fine from here, Helga, he vowed as he caught up with her. He reached out and brushed his fingers against her's. She looked at him, a smile curling her lips.

Phoebe slowly moved beside Helga as Gerald called Arnold. He stepped ahead of her all the while smiling at Helga, a blush spreading on his cheeks. "You'll have to tell me what went on with you two when you get the chance," Phoebe whispered in Helga's ear as Arnold and Gerald did their famous "secret" handshake.

"Nothing went on," Helga said, turning to Phoebe. Phoebe pointed to Arnold's sweater. Helga looked down and covered it with her free hand. "Alright, I'll tell you," she said, defeatedly. "But you can't tell anyone, ya hear!" Her voice rose slightly as she whispered to Phoebe.

Phoebe giggled as they walked, knowing very well that they had both confessed their love for one another. This should be interesting, she thought as the looked into the sky. The sun settled as the orange and yellow blended together, the wind whispering secrets of the day's events.

THE END