Title: Helga's Most Brilliant, Ingenious, Stupendous, Plan EVER!

Author: TheyCallMeHelga

Genre: This story has everything! It's got romance! It will make you laugh, make you cry. There's adventure and drama! Even a little mystery…. Maybe even MORE than a little…This story is so super duper genius it will make your head spin!

Summary: The story so far…Helga comes up with an ingenious plan to get Arnold to fall in love with her: to find his parents! She finds Mr. Smith, which leads her to find the journal, which then leads her to Eduardo, who is in Ecuador, where they are headed to now!

Disclaimer: I don't own Hey Arnold! Mostly because they would probably cost a bunch of money that I don't (or ever will) have :P

A/N: I've left you guys hanging for a while so we'll get right to it… ON WITH THE STORY!

Chapter Seven: To Ecuador: Flight or Fall

"Hey ArnoldHey ArnoldHey ArnoldHey-"

Arnold's hand slammed down on his alarm clock and stirred at the interruption and a second later he was out of bed, stretching and yawning.

Today was the big day.

Arnold felt his chest tighten in excitement and he grinned. Within seconds he was dressed and he began heading down the stairs. Arnold's stomach grumbled hungrily as an aroma of pancakes wafted up through to his nose. He breathed in heavily, allowing the wondrous scent to fill his entire body.

He stepped through the doorway into the kitchen and met the sight of his grandmother at the stove flipping pancakes, whilst his grandpa was at the table scarfing them down.

"Hey there, Short-man!" Phil greeted once he caught sight of his grandson. He pulled up a chair and told Arnold to sit down. "How are ya feelin', Arnold? Are you excited?"

Arnold grinned at his grandfather, obediently sitting down in the chair beside him, and replied "Of course! Never in my whole life have I been more excited."

"Good morning, Arnold!" his grandmother greeted him, setting a plate of stacked pancakes down onto the table in front of him. Arnold looked down at the stack she cooked for him. The pancakes were shaped into a smiley face. "A happy breakfast, makes a happy child. And you are the happiest child I know, Arnold."

"Thanks Grandma," Arnold smiled at her and began slicing into his pancake.

Phil asked, "Do you have your stuff all packed?"

"Yep," Arnold answered between bites.

"Toothbrush?"

Bite… chew… gulp…

"Yep."

"Pyjamas?"

Bite… chew… gulp…

"Yep."

"Abner?"

"Ye- wait!" He shot a startled look toward his grandfather. "Abner!"

"Yeah!" His grandfather replied, drizzling his stack of pancakes in maple syrup. "I thought he might like to come along too. See the sights."

Arnold set down his fork and said calmly, "Grandpa, I don't think that's such a good idea."

"Yeah, you're probably right," Phil took another large bite from his pancake, "He might get sea-sick or something."

"Sea sick?"

"Because we're flying over-seas of course!"

"Oh, right Grandpa."

"Of course I'm right. How could you even think to bring Abner along –"

"I didn't –"

"– he could have been eaten by a…a lion! Gadzooks Arnold! Then he'd be bacon!"

"Grandpa," Arnold replied calmly with an amused smile playing on his lips. "We're not taking Abner. He'll stay here with Grandma."

"So… he won't be bacon?"

"No Grandpa."

"Phew," he let out a sigh of relief. "So Arnold, do you have all of your stuff packed?"

"Grandpa! You've already asked me that!"

"Oh yeah…" He smiled, thoughtfully. "Well, you better go get your stuff; we'll be leaving in fifteen minutes."

Arnold smiled to himself. No matter how crazy his grandparents were he'd always love them.

…..

Helga arrived at the airport terminal feeling completely shaken. This was a huge leap in her plan. Crossing the ocean to a completely different country was a massive step. It made Helga feel excited and scared at the same time. For the closer she was to finding Arnold's parents, the closer Arnold was to finding out her secret. And it scared her to no end.

"It's okay, you can do this." Helga reassured herself inwardly in a calm, soothing voice. "No problem, whatsoever. You're STRONG!"

She took in a deep breath and entered the airport terminal.

The terminal was so crowded. People were milling about in each and every direction. Some hugging and saying goodbye to loved ones, others trying to discipline their naughty children whilst at the same time trying to get to their flight on time, and most were lining up at the check-in counter to hand in their luggage.

Taking a shaky step forward she followed Bob to a very long queue.

"Looks like we're gonna be a while, kid," Bob said to her in a tired, frustrated voice as he wondered how long this would all take. "Why don't you head that way and try find your football-headed friend and his old man."

"Okay, Dad," Helga replied, relieved that she didn't have to wait in the queue. She followed Bob's directions to their gate.

"Gate number 31," she said to herself. "31."

She repeated the number over in her head as she passed the other gates.

28…

29…

30…

Her heart leapt up into her throat.

31

It loomed above her in bright, neon-red numbers, so bright that it burned into eyelids, straight through to her brain. It etched itself into her skull. This gate was going to open up and either let her into her heaven or send her straight to hell…

Her heart pumped furiously in her chest as she gazed around the seating area for her football-headed love.

Her eyes zoomed in on his beautiful cornflower hair, making her weak in the knees. She quickly smacked herself across the face, reminding herself that she was in public.

"Get a hold of yourself, yeesh" Regaining her composure she strode over to Arnold and Grandpa Phil.

"Hi Helga!" He greeted her brightly as she sat down beside him.

"Hey, Football-Head," Even her name calling couldn't upset him on a day like this.

"So," Arnold began. "Do you know how many hours it takes to reach Ecuador?"

"I don't know," Helga replied, stifling a yawn. She was still tired from having woken up so early and not getting enough sleep the night before. "Probably take quite a while. I hope there will be in-flight entertainment."

Soon their flight was announced and they stood up to board the plane. Helga and Arnold followed Bob and Phil onto the plane, but as they entered Bob informed them that he and Phil were flying First Class while Helga and Arnold had to ride Economy.

"We'll see you two kids once we reach Ecuador," Bob said before disappearing behind the blue curtain that separated the classes.

"I'll check on you kids later," Phil said kindly then followed Bob into first class.

Helga grumbled as she and Arnold made their way to their seats alone. She wanted to fly First Class too. She wanted to sit in large cushy seats. She wanted to fly in luxury, be pampered, and waited on hand and foot! Not be squished in ridiculously small seats near big, sweaty, stinky tourists and be fed crappy Economy plane food. It made her want to hurl just thinking about it.

Arnold on the other hand couldn't be happier. All that mattered to him was getting the chance to see his parents!

As they sat down in their seats (Arnold kindly giving Helga the window seat) Helga found that the small, squishy seats of Economy had their advantages. Such as the fact that she was sitting SO very close to her one true love that she could hear him breathing, she could smell his shampoo, she could see every mole, every line, every freckle on his perfectly featured face. Also they only had one armrest to share between the two of them which conveniently allowed their arms to touch.

She felt a tingle run through her.

Helga smiled to herself. This ain't so bad.

…..

Suddenly the plane shuddered to life. With a small 'ping' the seatbelt sign lit up, which they fastened immediately.

A voice over the PA system spoke to the passengers, "This is your captain speaking. It is currently 7am but remember to set your watches once we reach Quito. The weather in Quito is sporting a 26 degrees Celsius. Please take a few minutes to watch our flight attendances show you the safety instructions, even if you fly regularly. We hope you have a pleasant flight."

The plane headed down the runway, gathering more and more speed.

Faster… Faster… The aircraft vibrated roughly, the engine growled noisily.

Faster… Faster… The pressure painfully drove into their ears.

Faster… faster than a galloping horse… faster than a train…and suddenly…

The runway was no longer beneath them. Exhilaration rushed through the two of them as they were lifted into the air.

"Captain, we have lift-off." Helga muttered. Arnold looked over at her and grinned, which made her heart flutter. She grinned right back.

"So," Arnold said, turning to face Helga. "What happens when we reach Ecuador?"

"Well," she began to explain. "Our plane will be landing in Quito, Ecuador's capital city. From there we have to take a bus to San Lorenzo, where we have to find Eduardo – you know, that guy who-"

"-yeah I know," Arnold cut it. "The guy who took my parents away," he spat bitterly. He sighed and looked away.

Helga stared at him, a little shocked at his acidity.

"Yeah, him…" She said softly. "Well, once we find him we will be able to pester him with questions concerning your parents."

"…yeah," Arnold responded, looking back up at her.

Helga watched his face, not exactly sure what to say to console him. She studied his face carefully. Bitterness was etched into his features and anger blazed in his eyes. She had never seen him look so angry in all her life.

"Yeah, I do have a few things I need answered…"

…..

A little while later, the plane was flying smoothly over clouds so thick that they could not see the ground. Arnold had calmed down considerably. He didn't know what had gotten into him earlier.

His parent's disappearance always left him feeling upset whenever he thought about what might've happened to them, but he could not remember a time where he was this angry.

"It must be suppressed emotions," Arnold figured. It was the only term he could think of to describe what was happening to him.

All these feelings - hurt, pain, anger, sadness, frustration, anxiousness - pent up inside him for almost nine years. For nine years he had always kept a smile on his face, ignoring all the pain and anger, and instead focusing on all the good things in life. Anything to keep him going.

But there would be no way he'd be able to keep compressing such strong emotions after being pushed down for so many years, especially once faced up against Eduardo.

Now it felt like he was hurtling toward 'it' (whatever 'it' was) at full speed, without an escape-pod, without brakes, nothing, just a head-on collision. And with nothing - not even a helmet – to prepare him for what would come next.

"But look on the Brightside," a tiny voice in the back of his mind peeked out. Aah… good old trusty positive-outlook conscience. "You might find your parents!"

"But wait!" Another voice cut in. Though, this one was unfamiliar to Arnold. It sounded aggressive and rough. He squirmed nervously in his seat at what this voice had to say. "What if we DON'T find your parents? What if something TERRIBLE had happened to them? Huh? What about THAT"

However, Arnold's trusty positive conscience always had an optimistic comeback. "Well, then at least we'd have some questions answered. At least we have the chance to find out what happened to them."

But this scary, new voice bit back quickly. "What if you NEVER find out? What happens if you don't even find Eduardo? THEN what? How on earth are you going to find out what happened to your parents if you don't find the man that took them from you in the first place?"

Frightened, Arnold thought that this voice won, for it was quite possible that they won't find Eduardo. Then what would they do in Ecuador?

Suddenly his tiny, trusty positive conscience said in a much stronger, more powerful voice, "Then at least you can say you've tried! At least you were able to go on an adventure, one with people who DO care about you, especially Helga…"

Arnold felt himself smile. This voice had won. This voice was so very right, he realised he should never have doubted it. This is an adventure, whether good or bad he'd be building himself memories that both he and Helga could share and enjoy together.

He turned his head and looked at the girl seated beside him. Helga was sleeping soundly, a trace of a small smile placed on her lips. She looked so peaceful. It made Arnold's smile broaden. He knew she wasn't so tough – well, she could be, but it wasn't her permanent demeanour.

In fact, now that he thought about it, seeing her like this – without a scowl attached to her face – she was quite pretty. Her long blonde hair – thought at the moment slightly askew and the bow unravelling – was always shiny, vibrant and clean. Her brown eyes so large and so round were the windows to a – yes, kind of complicated, but – a very beautiful and caring soul.

Arnold's eyes made their way down to her lips. Her soft, red, kissable-

"Don't!" His mind cried out. "Don't even THINK about it!" Arnold's heart thumped rapidly in his chest, frightened where his mind was almost about to head (at least… he HOPED that was the reason).

"No!" He thought to himself, "her lips aren't k-kissable, they're… uh, they're… smiley! Yeah, that's what they are…"

Suddenly Helga stirred in her sleep, startling Arnold out of his thoughts. He watched her shift slightly in her seat for a comfier position, whilst still sleeping.

She turned one way, then another. Finally settling with a position which left Arnold feeling slightly nervous and his heart beat rapidly increasing, - leaning her body so that her head was resting against his shoulder.

As she continued to sleep, Arnold slowly eased himself into his seat and allowed Helga to rest against him.

This ain't so bad…

…..

Helga woke with a start and gazed around with groggy, half opened eyes. She turned to her left and looked at Arnold. As if feeling her gaze upon him he turned to look at her, and smiled.

"Hey, you're awake," he greeted her.

Helga gave a great big yawn in reply. She was trying to think of what it was that had pulled her out of her sleep. Her eyes grew wide with realisation, remembering what it had been. What was still happening.

Oh God.

Oh God Oh God Oh God Oh God…

The aeroplane was shaking!

"Arnold!" Her voice squeaked as she shot him a startled look, "Arnold, what's that?"

Arnold, immediately noticing her panic, asked her with concern, "What is it Helga?"

The aircraft shuddered even more violently.

"That!" She cried, her voice very high pitch. Her eyes were bulging in terror, her hands gripping the arm-rests tightly.

"Helga," he reassured her in a soothing voice. "It's only turbulence, nothing to worry about."

"Are you sure?" She growled, shooting him a doubtful glance.

"Of course I'm – Woah!" Arnold was cut off as the plane took a sharp dive. Their hearts leapt up into their throats. They were falling. They we're plummeting through the air like a brick.

Helga felt her body being wrenched upward, out of her seat. Her knuckles we're turning white as they gripped her arm-rests more tightly. She felt as though her stomach was about to hurl.

Oh God Oh God Oh God!

The seatbelt sign 'pinged' on.

Helga hurriedly clipped hers together. Arnold did the same.

"The aircraft is currently experiencing some turbulence," announced the captain over the PA system, "as we're flying through a thunderstorm. It is requested that you remain seated…"

"THUNDERSTORM!" Helga shrieked hysterically, her heart beating crazily inside her ribcage. "That doesn't sound like nothing to me!" She quickly turned to look out her window and for the first time noticed the large black clouds they were flying through. Rain pelted against her window pain.

Fear swelled up inside of her like a massive balloon, pushing up against her lungs. I can't breathe!

She reached into her seat pocket and grabbed the safety pamphlet. 'Your life-jacket is located underneath your seat…' she read, making a mental note. Her eyes gazed over the safety exits and brace positions. Helga then scanned over the images of the little people jumping out of an exploding plane. She gulped. 'This isn't good…' She shoved the pamphlet back into the pocket and tried to focus on the in-flight movie. 'Great, re-runs of Lost!' Like that would make this situation a whole lot calmer. Not.

"It will be alright," replied Arnold, switching off the TV screen. He was trying to keep calm.

"Alright!" she screeched, trepidation emanating from her. "Have you not noticed the lightning? Oh my god, we're gonna die…"

"We're not gonna - " But Arnold was cut off once again as the aircraft gave another huge lurch and it spilled, dropping with intensive speed, twenty feet… fifty feet… one hundred feet… two hundred feet… Plummeting through the air the plane continued to shake ferociously.

The aircraft juddered as something collided with it, ('lighting,' Helga thought suspiciously) throwing the aeroplane sideways.

People screamed. Bags flew around. Drinks spilled.

This was like a bad dream. This wasn't supposed to be happening to her. These things only happened to people in movies. She had seen 'Alive'. She didn't want to crash and end up like in the movies! She didn't want to die and then be eaten by starving surviving passengers who had no food or anything but her bloody carcass to eat!

The lights began to flicker, which did not ease Helga's anxiety one bit. She screamed, along with many others onboard, as the lights went out and they were plunged into darkness.

"Oh my god, we're going to die!" Her mind thought fearfully. "We're going to die and we're never going to find Arnold's parents! We're going to die and he won't even know I love him!"

She looked up at him with wide eyes. She had to tell him. It was her last chance!

"Arnold!" She gasped, trying to be heard over the loud, roaring engine. "Arnold, there's something… I need to tell you something!" She searched her mind for the right words, the right way to say it. But how do you tell someone you love them minutes before you die?

"Helga, we'll be alright," he reassured her. She was freaking out and he had to think of something that could calm her down. With a lame attempt he presented her his palm. "Here, take my hand!"

"Arnold, are you listening to me?" She snarled with frustration. You try to tell a person you love them and what do they do? They ignore you! "It's important! I lo- "

"Helga, just hold my hand!" He interrupted. "Take it!"

"Fine!" She growled, snatching his hand and holding it tightly.

"Now what is it you want to tell me?"

"Arnold, I lo-" but she was cut off again as oxygen masks popped down from the compartment above their heads. The captain instructed every one to put theirs on.

Helga looked around desperately, watching everyone put on their masks. She couldn't put hers on until she confesses to Arnold! She watched him begin to fasten his, already forgetting her need to tell him something.

Arnold glanced sideways at her and noticed her gazing at him with a look of desperation and panic.

'What's she doing?" He thought, anxiously and slightly annoyed. "Why won't she just put on her mask, for god sake!"

"Helga, put on your mask!" He ordered her, exasperated.

"But -" She began to object.

"Just do it!" He yelled.

Felling slightly put-out she quit her protests and put on her mask. Now how was she going to tell him? As the plane hurtled vertically downward she felt a large lump begin to form in her throat. Her chest tightened as her eyes began to sting. Crimeny! She was crying! Big, salty wet tears were rolling down her cheeks. She could feel her face going red. She turned away from Arnold and looked out the window so that he wouldn't see.

"This is just great!" She thought sarcastically to herself "I'm only nine and I'm going to die before I even have the chance to tell Arnold I love him! And for him to love me back…"

Arnold glanced over at Helga. She was staring out the window, her shoulders were shaking violently. He could tell she was sobbing, and that she was trying to hide it. Immense sympathy swelled up inside him. He wanted to be able to do something for her – anything – to get her to stop crying. He wanted to help her. He wanted to make sure everything would be alright for her.

"Helga," He started softly, his voice muffled from the mask. He reached out an arm and turned her to face him. Her eyes were shiny with fresh tears and her face was all wet. She looked down and tried to cover her face with her hands, but he pulled them away. "Helga, it's alright." He comforted. "It's alright to cry."

She didn't reply, but her eyes told him that she understood. He lifted the arm rest which sat between them. She allowed him to wrap his arms around her in a tight, comforting hug. Helga shut her eyes tightly and buried her face into his chest and cried. Her tears soaked into his t-shirt, but Arnold didn't mind…

They sat together, holding each other for several minuted before Arnold looked up and noticed that they had slowed down. They were flying straight again. He gazed around and saw that all the other passengers were removing their masks and breathing sighs of relief.

Helga's eyes were still shut tight. She was waiting for the hit, the big impact from when they crash… but none came! She felt Arnold's arms loosen their grip around her and she looked up to find out why.

He had removed his mask and was smiling down at her. Confused, Helga sat up straight and looked out the window. The plane was flying steadily and it looked as if the storm had passed. There was no trace of black, menacing clouds or lightning.

Helga relaxed into her seat and looked back at Arnold.

"I told you we weren't going to die," He said, an amused smile placed on his face.

"That's right," Helga started; a hint of sarcasm in her voice. "I forgot that you're psychic." She smirked playfully.

"So what was it you wanted to tell me?" He asked, remembering her constant nagging from earlier.

"Um… nothing," she said, "Just, you know, that if you died I'd miss you."

Arnold smiled, "I'd miss you too, Helga."

….

A/N: Hey hey! Now, what did ya'll think of that? Pretty deep and meaningful stuff going on. Pretty scary, wasn't it? Well, I'm sorry for such a very late update. I actually went away for a few weeks, where I had no computer to type on or anything! And then my dad banned me from the net… lol long story… nothing bad though. But the trip gave me plenty of time to write lots more for this story! YAY! Aaaaannnnndddd…. I had plenty of inspiration while I was flying too. Yep, sitting in an airport terminal waiting for your plane can get pretty boring so I did most of my writing then.

Well, I hope you all haven't abandoned me! Please REVIEW:D:D:D

Thank You's:

CaCtUs0405, acosta perez jose ramiro, Dark Lady of the Sith, RPkira – thanks heaps guys for taking the time to review my work! You've all been real helpful!