Title - Moments Turned To Hours

Author - Mystic Rains

Rating – M. Not for this chapter, but for those before and most likely those after.

Summery - Arnold's in an orphanage, only a shell of what he really use to be. The kids there are even making bets on if he'll be the next suicide. But when there's the person from his past who ends up in the same situation as him, maybe he'll be able to hang on…

Disclaimer - Hey Arnold? If I owned it, I'd be sinking my teeth into Nick for taking it off the air AGAIN!

Author's Note – I touched up chapter one, as well as the last two chapters. The only chapter that'd it be best to reread, is the end of the last one. (Bent) I know I take really long to update, but hopefully you'll like what I write when I do. Do you guys think I'm moving the mushy-ness too fast and/or too soon? As usual, I love reviews, and I hope you like this longer chapter.


You

You are a nice, cool breeze in me

I feel you blowing in

I can feel the sunlight all around me

You're shinning

I feel beautiful when I'm around you

I'm safe and comfortable

'Cause you are wonderful

It feels natural to be around you

You've made it possible

You're wonderful

You - Kazami


Oh Arnold, my love, my blushing prince. How this hole of infested proportions holds a place in my heart. Without it, I would never be as able to get as close to you as I am now. My fluttering feelings, be still. I shall carry all the fast food in the world down my shirt to see that smile once again…

"Doi! All the fast food in the world? Helga old girl, you're starting to lose it…" She muttered, giving one last goofy smile to the old weathered locket and slipping back into her hiding place.

The steps creaked as usual underneath her feet, as she took the steps two by two up from the Infirmary, and up into the main halls. Helga clenched on her arms as she kept her gaze straight, heading towards the top of the stairs and the long hall that lead into the main part of the building.

Rats rats rats! Why the hell do they always have to be rats…

It wasn't easy to forget this hallway. Helga knew well the first time she walked Arnold down the path that the rats in this part of the house held absolutely no fear in going straight up to humans, for the potential smell of food.

Flashback

"Hey football head?" Helga gently muttered, shaking Arnold's limp figure lightly. "You got to at least show me where the nurse is before passing out on me."

Disoriented beyond belief, Arnold lifted his head up, wiped the blood from the side of his mouth and smiled up blankly at her.

"Just follow the yellow brick road Helga..." He looked at her perplexedly as she laughed lightly.

"Sheesh football head, when you take a swing the head you really get your brains rattled, don't you?" Helga mumbled, holding him up more as her ribs cried in discomfort. Nothing could compare however, to the bliss of knowing that Arnold fought.

And for me. Arnold, my love, my noble prince fought and won a battle to protect me...

"Although it's hard to believe you won…" she whispered to herself, wondering where that male attendant had gone with the overgrown unconscious jerk. She figured if anyone needed medical attention, it was that lug.

"Yellow brick road…yellow brick road…" Arnold kept smiling, tiredly dragging his feet.

"What the hell are you talking about Arnold-o? The floor is wh-red?" Finally looking down, Helga spotted the droplets of thick red blood leading down the hall.

"I think I found the path cowardly lion..."

After dragging Arnold so far that her own legs couldn't stand to support herself, much less then him, she leaned Arnold down against the musty brick wall to the infirmary's hallway. Gasping for air as well, Helga collapsed down next to him. Arnold's head lolled in Helga's direction, and smiled weakly. Helga, brimming with a bright smile inside, scowled and growled.

"What do you think you're smiling at football head?"

"Just thinking. Maybe I should have gone with the whole 'I'm crazy!' song instead…" Arnold laughed nonchalantly, dabbing his finger lightly to his eye and wincing. "Don't hit me. I'll hit me. I'm craaazzzy!"

Helga lips curved in a tiny smile. She almost forgot how she called him over and over, reminding him of the minutes until he'd meet his demise. It seemed like so far from the position they were in now.

36 HOURS, 52 MINUTES, AND 12 SECONDS UNTIL YOU DIIIIEEEE!

"I don't know Arnoldo. You got a good amount of punches in there. The Five Avengers are almost slightly impressed…"

"Almost?" Arnold mumbled, "what did I have to do to impress them? Fight one hand tied behind my back?"

"Both hands actually…"

"Thanks Helga." The football head laughed, hinted with a bit of dry humour, but mostly appreciative.

Replying with nothing but silence, Helga tiredly got to her feet. She extended a hand to Arnold, who took it and got to his feet as well. Wincing slightly, Helga almost jumped as Arnold slipped an arm around her waist, and pulled her closer to him. Immediately Helga made a fist, and Arnold quickly loosened his hold, though not letting go completely.

"Don't hit me Helga. I just want to help you. I could imagine how bad your ribs feel after B-," Arnold bit his lip, and avoided Helga's intense gaze, "Hunter pushed against them like that. He isn't a feather…"

"I'm just fine Bucko. I don't need your help or your pity!" She whispered harshly, pushing Arnold away and taking off in a brisk stomping walk to the Infirmary. Arnold tried to catch up with her, but the sudden movement caused his head to spin.

"Wait Helga! Don't make so much noise! You'll vibrate the walls and then all the…"

"RATS! RATS EVERYWHERE! ARNOLD!"

Breaking off for a run in the opposite direction, Helga sprung off the ground and into Arnold's unsuspecting arms, screaming hysterically and pointing in fear.

"OHMIGOD! THERE'S SO MUCH OF 'EM! GET 'EM AWAY FROM ME."

End Flashback

Helga's ears pounded with blood as she went full speed towards the end of the Infirmary hallway. She use to walk slow in the fear of awaking the rats, but they always seemed to come out as if they knew and smelled her fear. Now she sprinted with all she had to get out of the hallway as fast as possible, and only keep her eyes on literally the light at the end of the tunnel.

She could hear the growling squeaks of the rats behind her and doubled her speed, turning sharply around a jagged corner. Helga wrenched the door free and slammed it behind her, as she swore she heard hairy splats and angry squeaks along the other side of the door.

"Helga my child, we were just about to come to meet you. You didn't have to rush out so quickly…"

Well maybe if you hired an exterminator, I could have taken my sweet time. Doh...

Instead of voicing these opinions, she plastered a fake smile on her face and just nodded her head to Sister Pegglet and the approaching family.

"Is this the little darling?" The stubby little man smiled, just a bit taller then Helga's height of 5"5'. His thin neck was almost hidden by his heavy and obviously expensive leather coat, and the thick black mustache and toupee seemed to match his obviously older face. "Honey look, her blond hair is just as bright as yours."

"But her eyebrow certainly isn't…" The lady muttered in distaste. "I thought I told you I wanted a younger one. One who's preferably cute enough to be seen with me, remember? One eyebrow just won't do." She gave the Sister an impatient glare.

"Oh honey…" The older man mumbled sadly. He turned to the surprised nun and quietly inquired, "Do you have any younger blonds?"

"Ye-yes. Right this way. Carry on your way Helga dear…"

Helga's lips stayed silent as the couple past. Feeling a little vindictive, Helga watched the odd couple past and saw the pink with white print on her bag. Looking down at her nurse smock, she realized where the print came from and started walking towards the stairs.

"Uck, "It" girl is so passé. Good ridden to bad fashion taste. "

Helga gave off a beaming smile as she could feel the death ray glare boring into her skin. Whistling innocently, she continued up the stars and looked at her watch.

Nine twenty-nine. Everyone's probably in the gym watching the Monday Movie Madness. Luckily it never takes Arnold long to escape…

And surely, waiting at the top was a goofy looking Arnold, bruises and all.

"That was a record. Was the family not smitten with you at first sight?" Arnold asked curiously. Usually blondes were the first ones to go, and Helga constantly had families asking for her. Usually it took no more then seventy two hours top for them to return her however.

"I didn't have enough fashion idiot taste to meet their standards. Apparently the IT girl didn't have it this time. Can you believe that football head?" Smirking lightly, Helga posed at each step as she made her way up, and Arnold pretended to snap pictures

"IT girl not having her IT. It's a scandal."

"Crimeny, like I'd want to be in some yuppie fashion family anyway." Helga muttered, and with a sudden itch of curiosity. "How the heck did you get up here quicker then I did?"

"Thank Jessica for that. She kind of showed me the faster way…."

Flashback

Once the shock of sting faded from his cheek, Arnold bolted up from his bed, following Ty's footsteps. He threw the remaining trash on the way out the door, and quickly thanked the emerging Nurse Butch for her hard work, like he did every time he ended up in Health Hell. The nurse simply snorted a response, muttered something along the lines of 'pansy', and let him go. Before Helga, she use to get intense pleasure of talking down to Arnold as she tended to his numerous injuries.

"Wait wait, Jess wait! Don't go, I didn't mean it like that!"

"Don't wanna hear it Arnold. And don't go calling me by that name. My little respect for you just dropped like a rock." Ty's voice echoed through out the stairwell, and hit Arnold from all sides.

"I didn't mean to sound like what I said! Wait! You don't understand! Helga's my best friend. I need her!"

"You need her? Pfft. You guys are all the same. You don't need anything." Ty half mock, half laughed callously. Arnold turned around quickly, unsure of where her voice was coming from. "I'm not going to let you hurt her. How often has she fought for you? You need her like you need a bodyguard. I doubt you even care if she got hurt in one of the fights."

"I'm not like them. Of course I care if she got hurt. Ty, please believe me. I'm not the type of guy to just use someone. I…" Arnold looked around frantically, needing to see her. She had to make Ty see before she said something to Helga, and the fragile relationship they built would be completely and utterly destroyed. His voice echoed along the wall, pleading and desperate as a man begging for a sip of water after days in the desert.

"Spare me the bull. She'd be better off without you…" Ty hissed furiously, though closer to Arnold then she was before.

"I know...I know she would. But please believe it… I need her, so much…"

A door behind Arnold slid open, illumining the dark hallway with eerie white light. Ty watched in surprise as Arnold looked at her with an emotion so deep within his eyes that she couldn't even find a word for it.

"Get in. We need to talk." She said quickly, and he stumbled into the old elevator.