A/N: As always, your response astounds me. It's always so cool, especially in a small (read: cool) fandom, to get such feedback.
In this chapter, to complete the BFF POV, we'll be peeking into the mind of Phoebe. Here goes…
Because You Said So
It was the second weekend of fifth grade when Helga knocked on Phoebe's bedroom window, cheeks pressed against the glass.
Phoebe was awake immediately, and rushed to open the window. Helga tumbled through the sill and landed in a rather ungraceful pile at the small girl's feet.
"Are you all right, Helga?" Phoebe asked immediately, helping her up.
Helga cracked a cynical smile. "Just fine, Pheebs. Sure, I totally banged my knee and elbow… But what doesn't kill us just makes us stronger, right?" She stretched her arms behind her back. "Get dressed. I'll be waiting in your kitchen."
Phoebe did as she was told, and as she walked in the modern kitchen (a deep contrast to most of the house), she spotted Helga sitting at the table, drinking a mug of coffee. Phoebe smiled and grabbed her book off of the counter.
"Are you ready to go, Helga?"
"More than ready, Pheebs." As Phoebe left a note on the counter to tell her parents where she was headed, whom with, and when she expected to be back (she figured about noon – it was a bit after seven thirty now), Helga made her way out the door, waiting on the stoop.
"You're in a good mood, Helga," Phoebe commented as they walked down the street. While it was almost eight (and a Saturday), there were lots of kids running around, so the two had to be careful in order to stay together.
"I dunno why, Phoebe," Helga said, leaning her head back and inhaling deeply. "I just am. Woke up in a good mood. Early. That's how I found out about the ball game this morning."
"Let's hope that today stays pleasant for you, then," Phoebe said, keeping her book close to her chest.
Helga had been acting peculiar lately. While it was true that she still had her I-take-nothing-from-nobody kind of attitude, she had been getting rather…strange…in some ways. Except for the odd authority figure, she had been reserved around more people. Like Gerald and Arnold, for instance. After break, she seemed to avoid the two of them completely, for reasons still unknown to herself.
She sighed and her head dropped. It's probably nothing, she told herself. I'm just making a mountain out of a molehill…
"That's a good pitch, Helga!" Phoebe called out from her spot on the bench, book forgotten. "That's the third one that's hurt Harold!" Then, as an afterthought, added a "Sorry, Harold!"
He waved in reply and Helga caught the throw from Harold easily. "Thanks, Pheebs!" she yelled back. Which was another addition of her new strange attitudes. Helga had taken a nicer swing of attitude towards Phoebe lately, and while she didn't mind, she couldn't help but think that she was acting such forcefully.
Helga threw another pitch, but this time, as Harold grunted from the impact ("Old Betsy" must keep on getting stronger every day..), he stopped and waved at two approaching figures. "It's Arnold and Gerald!" he shouted to the others. Phoebe looked over at Helga, and – instead of her usual uncaring persona, saw that her friend had frozen up momentarily.
She shook herself out of it, though. Then, in another surprising act, she waved Phoebe over in a manner that heavily suggested that a conference was in order.
"What's the matter, Helga?" she asked.
"I don't think that we should stay around," Helga answered cryptically. "Trust me."
"Only if you'll tell me why later," Phoebe insisted, in a surprising act.
Helga shrugged. "Sure," she said, and then began peeling off her glove. (Which had actually been borrowed from Stinky, but he didn't need much persuading to give it to her.)
"Hey, dorks!" she said loudly. "I think that I'm gonna blow this fiesta and go home – ''
Phoebe looked over at Gerald and Arnold. Gerald was giving Helga a peculiar look as he neared.
"…Boxing soon," Helga finished. This part Phoebe was definitely surprised at; Helga didn't take boxing. She often claimed that she had taught herself well enough.
"Aw, come on, Helga," Harold complained. "You only showed up last week by chance. And we lost the week before without you!"
"Adam can handle it," she said, motioning towards him.
"No problem, Helga," he said in his smooth voice, taking the extra glove from Harold. "Make sure you can come next week, okay? It's great playing with you."
"Sure thing," she said, before looking over her shoulder. "Come on, Pheebs."
Phoebe looked back at Gerald, giving him a confused expression, before following her best friend across the street.
"Are you feeling all right?" Phoebe asked, trying to keep up with Helga's long strides. "You seemed to be feeling fine this morning."
Helga gave her a look that Phoebe immediately recognized that she was going to be defensive.
"I'm fine," she snapped. "I just wasn't in the mood to play around with Football Head and Jock-o. Everything's just peachy."
"And things at home?"
Helga raised and eyebrow. "Since we've gotten back from the beach, Miriam's been having her new friend Susie over all the time. They're both out constantly, dancing. And Bob's been focusing only on his health, and wanting to bond…" she shuddered.
Phoebe, not realizing why such things were such an awful annoyance, offered a small "Oh."
They turned the corner and arrived at Helga's big blue house.
"I'll see you later, Pheebs," Helga said, looking over in the general direction of the field. "Maybe I'll call about science. Or what we were talking about earlier."
"Okay," Phoebe said, smiling. "I'll see you later."
Helga went inside, the door slamming shut behind her. Phoebe continued to smile, this time almost ruefully, and turned around, tucking her book under her arm.
Something was wrong with Helga, and considering that Gerald had apparently noticed it too, she wasn't too off on her theory.
A/N: Yes, I'm going with the best friends first, but Arnold will be next. Promise.