Hey Arnold!

What If - Chapter One - Different

Disclaimer: I don't own Hey Arnold or have any connection with the show.

Notes: I got inspired to write this while writing chapter six of Secrets and Lies, so it looks like I will be writing two fics at once, I hope that you guys don't mind. It is a What If story (hence the title) that says what things would be like if Arnold secretly admired Helga and Helga didn't have feelings for him. Things are a little different, Arnold isn't mean or anything like that, but you better just read it to see how things are! Of course, this has no connection with any other episode of Hey Arnold because everything is so different.

Arnold was walking to school, alone. Gerald had called him earlier on that morning to tell him that he would be a little late, so Arnold should walk to school without him. It was raining heavily, Arnold has an umbrella with him and had it held above his head.

Then, Arnold noticed Helga walking behind him. Arnold started to walk more slowly so that Helga would be able to catch up with him. Arnold was extremely fond of Helga; he was madly in love with her. Arnold thought that she was really pretty, but he could also see the part of Helga that was skin deep. Helga had a nice personality, a lot of friends and was always getting good grades. Helga's father was very proud of Helga and only wished that Helga's older sister, Olga could have been a good student, instead of one who didn't care for school and was constantly getting Fs.

Helga was getting closer to Arnold and he turned back to wave at her. Helga smiled back at him and hurried to catch up with him. "Hi, Arnold," she said, once she was close enough.

"Hey Helga!" said Arnold, enthusiastically. "How are you?"

"I'm fine, but I'm a little tired because my Dad took us all out on a meal last night because of my good report card," yawned Helga. "But, we ended up staying out a little late! It's nice that Bob is paying attention to me, but he doesn't have to throw a party every time I get an A!"

"I'm sure that you would be moaning if your Dad wasn't paying attention to you," smiled Arnold.

"I suppose so," Helga replied.

"Do you want to walk the rest of the way to school with me?" asked Arnold, hoping to spend time with Helga.

"No, I can't," Helga turned him down. "I promised Phoebe that I would meet her in the school yard early to discuss our school project that we are doing together, although she did sound a little sick the last time I spoke to her. I'm already late, so I should start to run ahead. See you in class!"

Helga started to run to school, leaving Arnold to sadly walk alone. "If only she saw me as more than a friend," Arnold muttered to himself, sadly.

When Arnold and the other kids got to class, Arnold told Mr. Simmons that Gerald would be late. Phoebe hadn't showed up either, it looked like she was sick.

"Right class!" said Mr. Simmons. "Today we are going to start our projects! You already know that I am letting you choose what you would like to do the projects on and I asked you to discuss it in your pairs. I hope that we can get some really special projects, showing your own special interests!" Simmons paused for a moment and then added, "Well, it looks like both Phoebe and Gerald are absent from school this morning, so I suggest that their partners, Arnold and Helga should go together as a pair."

Arnold smiled with delight. It wasn't that he didn't want to do the project with Gerald, but he wanted to spend time with Helga even more.

"When Phoebe and Gerald come back, they can both pair up and do a project together," said Mr. Simmons. "Right class, get together and start your projects!"

Arnold walked nervously over to Helga's desk and joined his desk to it. "I know that we didn't plan on it, but it looks like we're working together," smiled Arnold.

"Yeah, I suppose that we should just make the best of it, even if we would rather be working with Phoebe and Gerald," said Helga. This statement made Arnold more determined to make Helga like him. "Me and Phoebe decided to do our project on wildlife," said Helga.

"Well, Gerald and I sort of wanted to do a project on the five Space Busters movies," Arnold smiled nervously.

Helga laughed. "We have a problem already!" she said. "We'll have to compromise."

"What are we going to do?" asked Arnold. "We can't exactly write about the wildlife in the Space Busters movies, can we? There isn't any wildlife!"

"I think that we should just tell Mr. Simmons about our problem and maybe he can give us an idea on something that we will both enjoy," said Helga.

"Okay," said Arnold, who went to tell Mr. Simmons about his problem. Mr. Simmons thought for a moment and called Helga over. "What's your favourite TV show?" he asked Helga.

"Well, I like a lot of shows, but I suppose that my favourite children's show would be Yo, Ernest!" said Helga.

"What about you?" Mr. Simmons asked Arnold.

Arnold had seen the show Yo, Ernest; he wasn't really a fan, but he knew what the show was about. Arnold did want to get close to Helga so he decided to pretend to be interested in her interests. "I like Yo, Ernest, too!" exclaimed Arnold.

"Well, there you go!" exclaimed Simmons. "You can do a project on your favourite TV show!"

"Great!" said Arnold and Helga who were happy to have made a decision. On the way back to his seat, Arnold accidentally bumped into Lila. "Watch where you're going, Football Head!" snapped Lila.

"Sorry, Lila!" apologised Arnold.

"You better be!" snapped Lila.

"Why does Lila have to be like that?" Arnold asked Helga as they sat down together.

"Some people are just mean!" said Helga, and the two started to discuss plans for their project.

Notes: This is weird! I know it is, you don't have to tell me. Other things are supposed to be different in this story as well as Arnold liking Helga and Helga not having feelings for him. Lila is mean, but I'm not going to make it so that she secretly loves Arnold. That would make it too complicated.

Also, Helga isn't ignored by her parents, but I'm not going to make it so that she annoyingly perfect like Olga. I'm going to extend this fic from the Helga/Arnold story. There are going to be a few other major storylines going on. I hope that this doesn't seem to weird. Please review if you enjoyed this. Constructive criticism please, no flames! By the way, Helga isn't going to turn into Lila in this fic, either. Future chapters will show this.