Hey Arnold!

What If - Chapter Two - Crushes

Disclaimer: I don't work on Hey Arnold and I don't have any connection with the show.

Helga and Arnold had quickly started to work on their project and before they knew it, their project time for that day was over. They had both decided to meet up on the next night.

When the day was over, Arnold had wanted to walk home with Helga, but she had disappeared out of sight before Arnold could ask her. Arnold sighed. Would he ever make Helga like him? Gerald hadn't came to school that day; Arnold wondered why and went to Gerald's house on the way home.

Arnold knocked on Gerald's door and Gerald's mother answered. "Hey Arnold!" she said. "Gerald didn't feel well enough to come to school today but he's feeling better now. You can come in if you want!"

"Thanks!" said Arnold, stepping into Gerald's house. Gerald's mother led Arnold into their living room, where Gerald was watching TV.

"Hi Arnold!" said Gerald, cheerfully. "Did my mom tell you why I was sick today?"

"Yeah," said Arnold.

"Did Mr. Simmons make the class start our projects today?" asked Gerald.

"Yeah," said Arnold. "Because you were absent and Phoebe was too, Mr. Simmons made me pair up with Helga, so that means that you are working with Phoebe."

"I don't mind working with Phoebe, I suppose," smiled Gerald. "I suppose that you're pretty happy with being paired up with Helga aren't you?"

"Yeah," said Arnold. "It's just that; I try so hard to impress her and be nice to her, but she never seems to want anything more than friendship from me!"

"Have you asked her if she wants to go out with you?" asked Gerald.

"No, not exactly," said Arnold. "But I can tell that she doesn't like me - like me."

"Well then, you never know!" encouraged Gerald. "You know, Helga is pretty popular with all of the boys in our class, but no matter who asks her out on a date, she says no! Maybe she is holding out for you!"

"I doubt it!" said Arnold. "We're doing our project on the show "Yo Ernest,"" said Arnold.

"I thought that you didn't watch that show," said Gerald.

"I don't," said Arnold. "It was Helga's idea; I just pretended to be interested in it so it seemed like we had something in common."

"Oh, I see," said Gerald. "I have no idea what Phoebe and I are going to work on. Maybe I should call her?"

"You should, she could be back at school tomorrow," said Arnold.

Arnold sat watching cartoons while Gerald went to use the kitchen phone. Gerald ended up talking to Phoebe for ten minutes. "At least he has a chance of a love life," Arnold muttered. "Phoebe obviously likes him."

Gerald came back into the living room with a huge smile on his face. "She said that she'll be back at school tomorrow and that she was delighted to be working with me!"

"Sounds like she likes you!" exclaimed Arnold. "Did you talk about any ideas of what you could do your project on?"

"She just said that she'd be happy to do about anything so we have decided on the history of Elk Island," said Gerald.

"Wow, that's so cool!" said Arnold. "You can write about the island's history and all about the legend of Wheezin' Ed!"

"It'll be really interesting; especially with Phoebe!"

"I'd better get going," said Arnold. "Mr. Simmons gave us some math homework to do. I'll see you tomorrow. Don't get too lovesick over Phoebe!"

"Bye, man," said Gerald as Arnold left and shut the front door behind him. Then, Timberly jumped out from behind the couch and gave Gerald the fright of his life. She started to sing, "Gerald's got a girlfriend, Gerald's got a girlfriend!" and she started to bounce on the couch.

"Timberly, get lost!" said Gerald. "I don't have a girlfriend!"

"Yes you do!" exclaimed Timberly. "I heard you talking to Arnold! Her name is Phoebe!"

Gerald's brother, Jamie O. had overheard Timberly teasing Gerald. "What's that?" asked Jamie O. "Does little Gerald have a crush on somebody?" Jamie O. punched Gerald playfully on the arm.

"Get off me, man!" said Gerald. "It's just Timberly making up stories again!"

"Whatever!" said Jamie O. "I have to get ready to go to a party!"

Jamie O. left the room and ran to his bedroom. Gerald sighed. He didn't have any privacy or peace in his house.

The next day, both Gerald and Phoebe came back to school and again, and Mr. Simmons let the class spend the morning on their projects. Phoebe had managed to get a book from the library about Elk Island. As they worked, Gerald casually brought up the subject of Helga and Arnold.

"You're good friends with Helga, aren't you Phoebe?" asked Gerald.

"Yeah, despite Helga's popularity, she does say that I am her best friend!" said Phoebe.

"Does she have a crush on Arnold?" asked Gerald.

"Not that I know of," said Phoebe. "Helga hasn't had many boyfriends though, I don't know if she would tell anybody if she liked anybody. But, it's not like there are a lack of people asking to go out with Helga. Next to Rhonda, she is the most popular kid in this class!"

"Oh," said Gerald, disappointed for his friend, although he wondered if maybe Helga was hiding her feelings.

"Why, does Arnold like Helga?" asked Phoebe.

"No, of course not, it was a rhetorical question," said Gerald.

Notes: More things are different in this chapter, I know. Helga is popular! I'm not going to comment on all the things that have changed at the end of each chapter any more, it's obvious that a lot of things are going to be different in this fic. And don't worry, it's going to extend from this whole project thing. Please review!