note: So, I liked the last friend-ship fic I wrote, and I decided to do a Carlos/Phoebe one. Though, this one is in no way tied to the last one. Title is a variation of the Franz Ferdinand song "Tell Her Tonight", but it's changed for obvious reasons and I couldn't think of a better one.

I would have posted this sooner, but well, this is the second or so draft of this I went through. So, enjoy. :D

tell him tonight
by, the ultimateSora

The Walker High School Wildcats defeated the Cypress Springs Panthers 27-10, which was a big deal as it was the game determining if the Wildcats would go to the district playoffs. Ralphie and Carlos, two of the five juniors on the Varsity team, had attributed to the win, Carlos passing the ball and Ralphie scoring the touchdown. Wanda threw a party at her house for the boys, and the entire junior class came, the party becoming a rager.

Phoebe couldn't enjoy it. She had been in love with Arnold since the third grade, and every time she thought she'd muster the courage to tell him, he got a girlfriend. He was in there now talking to a cute brunette she knew was on the tennis team with D.A. named Parker Thomson. Arnold dressed like the popular boys, but he didn't act like them or hang out with them. Despite that, girls found themselves attracted to him, mostly because he was the cute, nice, quiet guy (or because Wanda and D.A. jumped any girl who put the moves on Ralphie and Carlos). Phoebe sighed, thinking he had gotten even cuter over the years, too cute for her.

Phoebe went outside, not wanting to see the two laughing with each other. She sat on one of the pool chairs, and she rested her chin on her hands. She didn't hear the backdoor open as the music from the inside was loud enough, but she felt someone sit down beside her.

"Beer?" It was Carlos. He held a red plastic cup out in front of her. "How Wanda got a keg is beyond me."

Phoebe gently pushed it away. "No thanks."

"Whassamatter, Pheebolino?" he asked, poking her with his elbow.

She grinned. "You haven't called me that since the third grade."

He shrugged. "It's an old favorite." He poked her again. "So, tell me. What be troubling you?"

"I don't really wanna talk about it," she sighed.

He nodded. "Hm hmm. This wouldn't have anything to do with a certain tall, red headed Jewish guy whose talking to Parker Thomson, would it?"

She felt her cheeks flush. "Carlos, I'm not really comfortable with talking to you about this."

He rested his arm across her shoulders. "Wow, you're bonier than I thought." She grunted. "Look, Pheebs, if you can't talk to me, who can you talk to?"

She shrugged, despite his arm on her. "Oh, I dunno, D.A., Tim...that tree over there."

He laughed. "Oh, Pheebso, you never had a problem being sarcastic with me." She couldn't help but smile. "Look, Pheebs, if you want to get Arnold, you need to grow some...well, wait...what would be the girl equivalent of balls?"

"I dunno. Ovaries?"

"Okay, well, then you need to grow some ovaries and just tell him."

She shook her head. "Carlos, he's dated girls way prettier than me."

"That has nothing to do with anything. Pheebs, you're a cute an awkward way...but I mean that in a good way!" he quickly added when she shot him a look. "Hey, if I wasn't with D.A., I'd date you." She cocked an eyebrow. "Okay, maybe not, 'cause that would be really weird."

She nodded in agreement. "Just a little."

"And if he doesn't like you back, it won't matter, because do you know what we guys love most?"

She turned and looked at him. "What's that?"

"We love confident girls. We love girls who tell us they like us because, not only does that tell us they have some self-confidence and such, but that there's someone out there that thinks we're awesome. And we males are very self-centered and need ego-boosts."

She giggled. "You helped win the playoffs-determining game. I think your ego's big enough."

"This is true," he agreed, grinning. "But you know, Arnold has a dick. And having that dick means he's a guy. And as a guy, he needs an ego-boost."

"So you're saying if I tell Arnold I like him, he'll get an ego-boost and decide he likes me?"

He shrugged. "It wouldn't hurt."

"I can't."

"Pheebs, I just want to see you happy. And I think the only way you'd be happy is if you came clean to Arnold about your feelings towards him. He's a nice and understanding guy."

She nodded. "Unlike you or Ralphie who would laugh."

He grinned. "Yeah." She playfully pinched his arm, and he pushed her to get her to get up. "Go on. Go. Go find him."

She got up. "Fine. But if he turns me down and I cry, I blame you."

"I'll let you hit me."

He held his hand out, and she shook it. "Deal."

She turned on her heel, took a deep breath, and she went in the house. The stereo thumped with the latest hip-hop song, and she made her way through a thick throng of dancing 16 and 17 year olds. She found Arnold talking to Parker in the living room, and she took another deep breath. She tapped Arnold on the shoulder, and he turned around, smiling when he saw her.

"Can I talk to you?" she shouted over the music.


"Can I talk to you?" she shouted again.

"Sure," he shouted back. He gestured to Parker he'd be right back, and they went upstairs to Wanda's room to find some quiet. They were surprised that it was empty, both expecting to find Ralphie and Wanda making out in there. "What's up?" he asked, closing the door behind them.

"Okay, I..." She took another deep, slow breath, and she closed her eyes, trying to calm her heart beat. "I'm just going to say it...I like you, Arnold. A lot. I've liked you since the third grade, and if you don't like me back, that's okay." She couldn't read his expression, and she quickly headed to the door. "I shouldn't have said anything..."

He grabbed her arm. "No, stay."

"You probably think I'm an idiot or something." She felt her face grow hot.

He shook his head. "No, no I don't." He sighed and looked down. "Look, if things don't work out with Parker..."

She held up her hand. "No, don't. I don't want you to feel obligated."

"No, that's just it." He smiled. "I like you, too, Phoebe, but I didn't want to say anything because I thought it'd be too weird. You know, 'cause of the friendship." His smiled faded, and she noticed his cheeks turn slightly pink. "I asked Parker out on a date tonight, but it doesn't mean we're official or anything." She nodded, understanding. He kissed her cheek. "How about I give you a call Sunday?"

She smiled. "Sure."

He kissed her cheek again, and he left the room. She left right behind him, and she ran into Carlos, who was coming up the stairs. "So, how'd it go?" he asked. She punched him hard on the arm. "Ow! So it didn't work out?"

She smiled. "No, it did. That was just for making me start S.A.D.S."