A/N: And I return to the HA! Fandom with this little drabble I just threw together before going to bed. Enjoy.
"Cotton candy, darts, dunking Lila, free stuff! Man, this bizarre is gonna be great!"
"I must say, Helga, I was rather surprised that you volunteered for the kissing booth."
Helga scoffed, pausing to buy a candied apple. "Puh-lease, Phoebe. Like anyone's actually going to buy a kiss from me? I just sit there for an hour, read comic books, and bingo: I get my extra credit. It's going to be a cinch." She punctuated this by biting into her apple.
Behind the next stand, Brainy wheezed quietly. He had hardly believed it when he heard that Helga was going to be at the kissing booth this year. Did not believe it, in fact, until this very moment. The two girls moved on, browsing the stands and looking for games to play. He ducked expertly behind a garbage bin as they passed. Helga did not think anyone would want to buy a kiss from her. But Brainy…
Perhaps today would be the day, if he could work up the courage. Just the thought of kissing her, finally telling her his true feelings, made his heart speed up and breathing heavy. Heavier. He groped for his inhaler and took a pull off it to calm his asthma. Fortunately, he still had a few hours to get used to the idea. Until then...
Brainy slipped into the shadows, following Helga easily as he had for years.
Helga left Phoebe at the bean jar calculating volumes or something. She was due at the kissing booth. She casually moved her bag full of treats and goodies to her shoulder. They would help pass the time.
She reached the stand and saw Lila standing next to it. No one was sitting behind the desk. "Lila?" Helga raised her eyebrow inquiringly. "You volunteered here? Doesn't seem like your kind of thing."
"Gosh, no, Helga," Lila replied. "I was merely watching the table for Rhonda. I'm ever so certain I could never bring myself to sell kisses."
The eyebrow dropped. "Ye-eah. So where is Miss Rhonda Lloyd? Skipping out on her job?"
"Oh, no. I believe she went to turn in the money she earned to Mr. Simmons."
Sure enough, Rhonda appeared and approached the table. "Great, you're here, Helga. Thanks for keeping an eye on this, Lila."
Lila beamed. "I'm ever so happy I could help. Now if you will excuse me, Stinky is sitting on the dunking booth while I'm gone, and I'm certain I should be getting back." With a wave, she left.
Helga plopped down onto the hard wooden chair and leaned back. "So, how'd you do?"
Rhonda smiled smugly. "I filled up the entire jar." A smooching sound made her wince. Helga glanced to the side and saw Curly making kissy-faces at Rhonda. There was no guessing who had filled most, if not all, of the jar.
"Nice." Helga's tone dripped sarcasm.
Twenty-minutes in, Helga's bag was half-empty. She frowned, pulling out another Mr. Nutty. Maybe I should have rationed these out. She chewed on the treat considerately, skimming a wrestling magazine with her feet up on the table, reclining in her chair. The empty jar sat on the table, trash and crumpled wrappers scattered at its base. Patron's walked a wide circle around the booth; even wider when they noticed who sat behind the table. That suited Helga just fine. No one to bother her, and only 30 minutes left. And a nearly empty bag of treats.
She was just considering the possibility of calling some twerp over to get her more snacks when a shadow blocked her reading light accompanied by a familiar asthmatic wheezing. Helga lowered her magazine an inch to give Brainy the evil-eye. She almost told him to get lost, but caught herself. If he was only here for lack of anything better to do, she might as well send him on the errand.
Helga dropped her feet to the ground and tossed her booklet on the table. "What can I do for you?" she asked conversationally, expecting no response. Instead, the wheezing increased, and Brainy reached to the side and dropped a crumpled dollar bill into the jar.
Helga's eyes popped open. She stared at the money for a moment, then glanced sideways at Brainy, not sure she understood. This could not be what it looked like. Brainy flushed and looked away from her suspicious glare.
Her gaze turned withering. I should just tell him to get lost, she advised herself. Unfortunately, there were too many people lurking about. Not close enough to see everything, but within hearing range. If Brainy didn't tell Mr. Simmons that Helga hadn't done her job, someone else surely would. Then she wouldn't get that extra credit she needed to pull an A on her next report card.
"Ugh," she groaned softly. "I can't believe I'm doing this." She stood, arms crossed defensively, and Brainy's eyes leaped back to hers. Helga glared one last time. "Okay, Brainy, pucker up."
Helga leaned forward slightly, her lips in an exaggerated purse, eyes still open. Brainy's breath caught in his throat. He really should use the inhaler first, but she might change her mind! Quickly he leaned forward, closed his eyes, and kissed her.
Almost immediately, she started to lean back. Without thinking, Brainy grabbed her arms and pulled her as close as possible with the table in the way, and kissed her for real. He felt Helga stiffen and heard a muffled sound of protest. He ignored both and kissed her hard, trying to put all the feelings he'd kept bottled up for six years into this one, Earth-shattering touch. His heart thrilled every second she did not push him away. He grew dizzy with the heady sensation of kissing Helga. Then he realized he had forgotten to breathe, and it was lack of oxygen that caused his mind to cloud. He could feel the shadows start to close in and fought them. Not yet! Just a little longer. Far too soon, his brain ceased to function. Brainy's hands slacked as he slid to the ground, and the last thing he saw was Helga, wide-eyed and drooping-mouthed, staring at him as he passed out.