Author's Note:

Please read this! I usually skim past the author's notes, but I hope you read this! It won't be long!

The author's notes, not the story. The story will be pretty long.

This is a bit romantic, which is why I'm putting it under "romance," but it doesn't end the same way as most Helga/Arnold. I love Helga; she reminds me of myself in so many ways. David, I know you don't read fanfiction, which is why I'm putting your name here. I'm almost finished my play: please be my Prince.

Thank you.

The Play

Helga wasn't listening to Mr. Simmons drone on and on about the life cycle of some kind of grub. Instead, she was writing in her little pink book as usual.

~My dear, sweet beloved, your eyes are like mirrors.
Your crystal eyes, the power of which comes from a pure heart.
Our two hearts together would be ten times as strong,
We would never, ever be torn apart.~

Helga paused, chewing on her eraser. Now, *that* was an idea. A crystal powered by love… She turned a page and started to scribble down her idea. What if Arnold was a prince in olden days? What if there were a magical crystal that he needed, which could only be powered by pure, true love… She continued to scribble.

Arnold glanced over his shoulder, expecting to find Helga Pataki (A/n Spell check?) staring at him as she usually did. He was surprised to see her instead scribbling in that little pink book of hers, with an odd, sweet smile on her face. She never smiled like that. What was she up to?


Helga had finally gotten the idea perfect. Arnold as the prince, trying to rescue the princess, but his close companion, Helga, was his true love. Of course, she changed the names. Ever since Gerald had accidentally picked up her pink book that one time, she never signed her name to anything.

The princess, of course, was Lila, although her name in the plot was Startica. Too bad she ended up dying a tragic death, at the end. Arnold was Prince David, and Helga was Allysen, a peasant girl who joined up with David on his quest.

Though she started writing it at first to finally be able to be with Arnold, even if it was just a story, she started to see the characters real in her mind. Writing notes about this made her feel different than when she was writing her love poetry.

In the cafeteria at lunchtime, she didn't even notice Phoebe trying to get her attention. She was doing everything mechanically as she wrote, even writing while walking.

"Helga!" Phoebe finally said loudly.

"What?" Helga stopped scraping her tray into the trash with one hand and writing with the other and turned to look at the small Asian girl.

"You're throwing away food you haven't eaten yet!"

"I am?" Helga stared down at the tray she had been scraping. Yep, all the food that had been on it was uneaten. "Oh."

"What are you writing about so intently, Helga?"

"None of your beeswax," Helga snapped.

"Sorry," Phoebe said, in the same sweet agreeable tone she always used with Helga.

And suddenly, Helga realized that Phoebe was in the story too. She would… Helga suddenly saw it sharply in her mind. David heard about the magical crystal through a book, and Phoebe was the author's assistant. The author would have died, and only his assistant and last companion, Phoebe, who would have another name, of course, would remain to explain to David about how the crystal is powered by pure love. The crystal would be set in a golden amulet, held by… What?

She scribbled it down, not noticing that she was walking right into Arnold's path. Arnold, chatting with Gerald, didn't notice her either until it was too late.

They both crashed to the ground with a bump.

"Watch where you're going, football head!" Helga shouted angrily. Of course, she wasn't really angry; these "chance" crashes were always serendipitous for her, but she had to keep up appearances.

"Sorry, Helga," Arnold mumbled, standing up.

"You'll BE sorry if you knock me over again!" Helga dusted herself off, pretending to mutter angrily about clumsy blond boys, as Arnold walked away. She thought for a moment about how their hands had met just briefly as they bumped into each other, and sighed. She picked up her pink book, and started to write again. That's how Allysen and the prince met, after all. They would bump into each other, just like she did with Arnold nearly every day.


Over the next few days, Arnold began to notice that there was something different about Helga. She didn't stare at him or hit him with spitballs anymore. She never came to the baseball games, or played during recess. She was always just writing in that little pink book of hers. He'd learned that sometimes, during just normal life, she'd suddenly get this odd, sweet smile on her face. A moment later she'd be buried in her writing, lost to the world.

"Can I see?" he asked once, peering over her shoulder.

"No," she said automatically, not bothering to look up.

"Helga, a lot of us are getting worried about you. You don't talk to anyone anymore, you're always writing! Are you sick or something?"

She looked up at him with her eyes unfocused, and that odd smile appeared again. "Sick. That's it. The princess is sick, and-" she started to scribble again. Suddenly her head jerked up, and she scowled at him. "Listen, football head, it's none of your beeswax what I do, so could you just stop being so Mr. Nosy, I'll-solve-the-world's-problems for once, and leave the non-freaks alone?"

Arnold smiled at her. *This* was the normal Helga. "OK, I guess you're just preoccupied. I'll leave you alone." But Helga's head had already turned back to her book.

"C'mon, Helga!" Phoebe was tugging at Helga's arm. "We really need you on our team!" The girls were playing dodge ball against the boys, and losing badly. Phoebe didn't want Gerald to think she was a loser, so she needed Helga to help their team win. "We're gonna lose if you don't help us!"

"Phoebe," Helga began angrily, "I am very busy here, ya know."


Helga sighed, and put down her book. "Alright, fine. I'm coming."

Within minutes, she was immersed in the dodge ball game. Throw, dodge, catch, throw, dodge, catch, the familiar pattern lured her mind away from the story she had been creating. Soon, she was having fun like she normally did.

"Ha!" Helga laughed at her ball hit Harold in the stomach. "Gotcha, pig boy!"

"I'm not a pig boy, and you're cheating!" Harold said loudly. Grumbling, he went to sit on a bench and wait for one of his teammates to catch a ball so he could rejoin the game.

Helga was watching Stinky carefully; the tall boy had the ball, and was eyeing her with a predatory gaze. She was tensed to dodge at any moment. Suddenly, Harold's voice distracted her.

"Hey, what's this book doing here?"

Helga whipped around to lunge at Harold, just as Stinky took advantage of the distraction and launched a round missile towards the blonde. It hit Helga square in the back, and she fell forward on her face.

All the boys held their breath, waiting for Helga's wrath and retribution to come upon Stinky, but instead of screaming at him, she instead lunged for Harold.

"Put that down!" Harold had been about to slip through the pages of Helga's pink diary. She snatched it out of his hand quickly.

"Hey!" Harold stood up, and suddenly Helga saw him atop a horse, with a black suit of armor, commanding an army of thousands.

She picked up her pencil form where it lay forgotten on the ground and once again strated to scribble, not knowing that the eyes of all of PS 118's fourth graders were on her.

A week later, after school, it was finished. Helga had the complete story all ready to be set down. And it seemed like everyone in her life played an important role.

Lila was the frail, dying, yet ever-so-sophisticated Princess Startica of the land who needed the power of the Amoray Crystal to save her. Unfortunately, she didn't die the tragic death Helga had planned, but instead was saved and became a sophisticated and independent queen of the land.

Arnold was Prince David, betrothed to and under obligation to try and save the princess, and the hero of the story.

Harold was the leader of the evil king's forces, Commander Cjelzik, who fought to the death with David near the end of the story.

Big Bob was even in the story as the princess' overbearing and pompous father. Since she couldn't kill off Lila, she killed off him instead.

Phoebe, Mr. Simmons, Gerald, even Principal Wartz all had roles. Each character matched their personality exactly, and each fit into the story perfectly.

And of course, Helga was the beautiful and resourceful Allysen, a peasant girl who joined up with David only to become his one true love. She also loved him; however, she thought he loved the princess, so she never said anything, but instead let the love eat her apart, until they found the Amoray Crystal and together activated its power, saving the princess and showing the whole world how love truly could conquer all.

So, late one night after Miriam and Big Bob had gone to bed, Helga laid out all her notes and began to write.

She wrote it in the style of a screenplay, and used the Shakespearian sonnet. The whole thing was one big Shakespeare play, except it was written by Helga. It took her until almost two in the morning, but she finished it. It was over a hundred pages long, all written in untidy handwriting, but it was done.

She blinked blearily at the pages, then fell forward onto her desk, worn out. She was asleep before her head hit the stack of papers with a rustle.


"Oh no!" Helga's head snapped up. "I'm gonna be late for school!" She grabbed her papers, homework etc., off the desk, and shoved them into her backpack without a glance. She rushed to tie her hair up in its mandatory pigtails, then leaped out the door without bothering to check and see if Miriam had forgotten her lunch, again.

Mr. Simmons was grinning as the students trudged back into the classroom from recess. Helga looked especially tired. But Mr. Simmons' impending announcement would change that frown upside down.

"Now class, I have a very special announcement to make." Mr. Simmons smiled at the class, as they groaned and stared up at him. "When someone handed in their homework assignment, I found something else in with it. Something that wasn't homework at all."

The class snickered, imagining all the things Mr. Simmons could have found that was not homework.

"A very special person has written a very special something, over a hundred pages long."

Helga stopped snickering and her head snapped up, a look of horror on her face.

"It's a very beautiful play, entitled "The Amoray Crystal," and it's an exciting fantasy adventure, with soldiers and magic and love and duels and a beautiful princess." Mr. Simmons waved the huge stack of papers at the class. "I was reading it, and I must say, that it nearly made me cry in some places." He sniffed, and rubbed his nose. "It was that beautiful. So, with the permission of this play's very special author, I'd like our class to perform it as a fundraiser on St. Valentine's Day."

Helga tried to sink down in her seat. How could she have mistakenly grabbed a hundred extra sheets of paper with her homework? She must have been more tired than she thought.

Mr. Simmons leaned over on his desk. "So what do you say, Helga, will you share this wonderful play with the rest of the world?"

Helga could feel her ears burning as everyone in the class turned to her with a gasp. She tried to sink further down in her seat, but Mr. Simmons was waiting for an answer.

"O-O-only," Helga choked out through a very dry throat, "only if I can do the casting."

"Of course! You tell me who'll be playing what parts, and I'll go copy the scripts."

Helga felt like her worst nightmare had come true. Now the whole class would be reading something she had written! And yet…

Now would be the perfect time to insist that *she* play Allysen, and have Arnold play David! Perhaps, when he heard the love in her voice and actions, he would come to love her just as deeply!

She sighed, hearts in her eyes. This would be perfect.

The next afternoon, no one was playing dodge ball during recess. Everyone was reading what had been dubbed "Helga's Play." And everyone was loving it.

"Oh!" Harold sobbed from his seat against the brick wall. "This is so beautiful!"

"What page are you on?" Gerald asked, flipping through his copy of the script.

"The part where Jeanne, the author's assistant, tells the soldier that even though she loves him she can't tell him where the prince went." Tears were splattering onto Harold's pages.

Phoebe stood up. "I'm playing Jeanne!"

Gerald stared at her, his mouth dropping open. "I-I-I'm playing the soldier."

Phoebe blushed. "Would you like to rehearse our parts? Only for practice, of course."

"Sure, start at page 21?" Gerald put on his suave talking-to-the-ladies voice.

"Alas, alas, darling soldier, my love be truer than the words in yonder tome,
However, my loyalty runs deeper than even from where my heart pumps blood into my veins."

"Fair lady, beest ere the dawn this your home,
Know that I serve the king who reins,
And my love for you is strong,
But I must needs know where the prince-"

"Nay, gentle soldier, nay long
Shall you await my answer."

They had been stepping nearer to each other as they alternated lines, and they kissed as Phoebe whispered "answer."

"Hey!" protested Harold, "that doesn't come for another page! Hey!" But the two weren't listening.

"Helga," Mr. Simmons said, "you've picked out parts for everyone except David, Startica and Allysen. They're the main characters, you know. You have to have them chosen soon, so we can start memorizing lines!"

Arnold, Gerald, and Lila were also in the room. They drew closer, as Arnold and Lila still hadn't heard their parts yet.

"Umm, Arnold is going to be David," Helga stammered, staring at Mr. Simmons. Crimeny, this was harder than she'd thought it would be! "And Allysen will be…"

She glanced over, and saw that Arnold was staring at Lila and crossing his fingers. "Um… Allysen will be…" Shouldn't she say that she was planning to play Allysen? Wouldn't it be the perfect opportunity to show Arnold how she felt? "Allysen will be…"

Arnold's gaze flickered from Lila for a moment, and he stared striken at Helga as she started to say her own name.

"M-m- LILA!" she choked out. Lila gasped and smiled, clutching her hands beneath her chin.

"Really? Why, that's ever so sweet of you, Helga!"

Arnold whispered "Yes!" to Gerald, who gave him a thumbs-up.

"And I'll be playing Startica…" Helga whispered to Mr. Simmons, who was already handing the scripts to Arnold and Lila. She stared dejectedly at Arnold, who was grinning and casting covert glances at Lila, who was blushing as she read her part.

"Crimeny!" Helga muttered to herself, kicking at a stone as she walked home. "I finally have a chance to tell Arnold how I love him more than life itself, and what do I do? I give the part to Li-la," she stressed the word, "and make him… happy." She considered that for a moment.

"Hey! Hey, Helga!" A voice behind her, calling her name. She turned around, to see Arnold racing up after her. He bent over, trying to regain his breath.

"What is it, football face?" she snapped.

"I wanted to thank you," he said. "This play is really great, and I wanted to thank you for giving me the lead part. I know that this play must be special to you-"

"Geez, Arnoldo, in a minute you'll sound like Mr. Simmons." She sighed, and waved her hand. "Don't act like it's a favor, alright? I had people in mind for all the other parts, and you're the only one left."

"Yeah, well thanks," Arnold said, pretending to ignore her mean tone as she crossed her arms and looked away from him. "Gotta go, see ya!" He took off running.

Helga sighed. "Why can't I ever reveal my innermost feelings to you? Why must I suffer this unending torture of unrequited love? Why? Why? Why!?!"

"Why," Big Bob snarled, "do you want *me* to star in this little skit of yours?"

"Look, Bob," Helga started to snarl back, but then changed tactics. "I don't think *anybody* at my school has a beeper, dad! If you read these few little lines for me, then you could open and close the show with a ad for your beeper empire!" She had never tried to placate her father before, and, strangely, it worked.

"Hmm. No beepers, eh?" Bob rubbed his chin as he considered that. "Alright then, what're my lines, Olga?"

Helga handed him the script, not bothering to correct him.

It was the final act. Helga, in her long princess gown, lay on a huge canopy bed. Arnold and Lila rushed in from the side of the stage, holding each other's hands. The audience was absolutely loving the play. Normally during school productions, most parents left after their kid had said all his or her lines. But nobody was leaving this time. Everyone was staying, and most of them had their tissues and handkerchiefs out to mop up tears.

"Behold!" Arnold stopped. He was a great actor. "My love, the princess awaits on yonder sickbed, dying and alone!"

"Ah," Lila said. She was also a pretty good actress. Her only problem was that even lines which were supposed to sound sarcastic sounded sweet coming from her. "So you do admit that she that lies there is your destined one."

"Not so!" Arnold grabbed both of Lila's hands, and stared into her eyes. "My love, I say unto *you*¸and not unto her! For my love you are, and shall always be."

"But you are son of a royal blood, and I merely a common thief! Your patriarchal line should never agree!" Lila stumbled over the big word, and Helga winced on the bed. At least she wasn't mangling her lines, like Stinky had managed to do.

"To heal her, to hasten her ruling, we must go, before the power of the Amoray shall wain like the moon."

"We must awaken her to rule, or civil war shall break out soon." Lila agreed, pulling the crystal, which was actually a prism, from around her neck. Both Arnold and Lila held it up in the air.

Helga felt the hot white spotlight shine on her, coming from the side of the stage to make it appear as if the crystal itself was illuminating her.

"My, what strange dreams forgo me!" Helga said, sitting up slowly. "And yet, perhaps the dream still continues. Pray, who can you be?"

"Two people, destined, united, and forever to be lovers," Arnold whispered the last word, turning to Lila, who was blushing badly.

"Then let-" Helga choked on the line. She had written it with a triumphant scene in mind, in which *Lila* would pronounce blessing on Arnold and *Helga*. "Then let ye be wed, and by royal decree let no man, mischief or magic ever draw you twain!"

Though this was the climax of the play, Helga closed her eyes, as Arnold and Lila fell into each other's arms for a kiss, as the curtain fell.

The two broke apart, and Helga watched them warily. Arnold congratulated Lila, then turned to Helga with a strange smile. She glared at him.

"What awful acting!" she said angrily, throwing up her hands. "You absolutely butchered my story, football head!"

"Thanks, Helga," he said, accepting the comment as the compliment she wanted it to be.

The curtain rose as all the actors came out to take their bows.

"And don't forget that your ticked stub will provide a dollar off any beeper at Big Bob's Beepers!" Helga's dad yelled out to the audience as the curtain fell once more.

Helga was the last one to leave the school that night. She sat in the classroom that had served as the girl's dressing room, and sighed, resting her head in her hands. She had just completely destroyed any chance she had with Arnold, and basically helped him gain love from Lila. But her play had been a success. That little detail comforted Helga a lot.


She whirled around, startled, to see Arnold standing there. "Davi- Arnold?"

"I wanted to ask you something about the play." He leaned against the doorframe, as Helga pretended to just be gathering her makeup and costume together.

"What could you possibly want to know, Arnoldo? I mean, you just *starred* in it for Pete's sake."

"Well," there was that odd smile again, "I just noticed that everyone's characters seemed to match their personalities. Like Gerald being all suave, and Harold being obnoxious, and your dad being loud, and Phoebe being quiet and wordy."

"Yeah, and your point is?" Helga shot him her best glare.

"Everyone was in character except you and Lila." He leaned against the doorframe even more, watching her carefully. "I think when you wrote that play, you were planning on being Allysen, and letting Lila be Startica. Those characters matched your personalities. And yet you let Lila be Allysen. Why?"

"That's ridiculous!" Helga scowled at him before turning back to pretend she was busy again. "I never wanted to be Allysen! Why would I want to pretend I was in love with you? I thought maybe simpering sweet Li-la would prefer the role, and maybe I wanted to be the princess! Just buzz off!"

Arnold shook his head, and smiled at her. "Whatever you say, Helga."