I don't own Hey Arnold or any of its characters namely Helga and Arnold. But, thank you for the interest in this story and I truly hope you enjoy this next chapter as much as I've enjoyed writing it.

Arnold speedily drove towards Helga's apartment to pick her up; praying he wouldn't be getting a ticket

As he pulled up outside the doors of her apartment, Helga began walking out to meet him.

He couldn't help noticing how well she looked in her fashionable pink dress and matching heeled shoes, an outfit even the great designer 'Rhonda' would approve of.

Arnold smirked at the thought.

As Helga came closer his smiling stopped, and was instead replaced by a blank but truly appreciative expression. He took more of her appearance in; she didn't need to wear a lot make-up she knew she could pull of the 'natural' look; he also noticed her ringlet curly hair held back from her face by a half ponytail with an all too familiar pink ribbon.

She had been standing near his passenger side door, for a minute or two more than necessary, making the silence between them now uncomfortable for her.

He was staring at her and seemed to be caught up in thought, hoping to 'snap' him out of it and 'bring' him back to the present reality she said, "Hey, Arnold."

Still not eliciting a response she tried again, "Arnold…"

Finally registering the use of his own name, Arnold a little caught off guard blinked and replied, "Yes, Helga?"

Seemingly out of his trance Helga decided to be brave and pose a question, hoping it would cover up that she had been observing him, observing her, "Arnold, would you mind getting the door for me?"

Arnold's cheeks reddened as he replied, "Oh of course not Helga, I'd be happy to."

Arnold fumbled a bit, as he got out of his driver's seat and opened his own door, crossing the front of his car to Helga's side.

He opened her door, and then offered her his hand…

She smiled gratefully at him as she took his hand and slid onto her seat, for some reason her smile had produced a tender feeling inside of him, causing him to smile warmly back at her.

As he closed the car door after her, his hands rested on the frame for a few seconds, and he was asking himself, "What's going on? Why am I so nervous? It not like Helga and I haven't gone places together before, maybe it's just because I want everything to go perfectly tonight. Yeah that's why."

Arnold's stomach churned a bit, as if to say it didn't quite buy his reasoning.

As he walked back to his side of the vehicle and got in, he told himself, 'I'll explore these questions more in depth later, now's not the time though. Not tonight. It's Helga's night; I'm not going to blow it by acting strange around her.'

Helga was having thoughts of her own, "The old football head is acting a little off tonight. I wonder why? He's the one who invited me out after all.'

"Footba," Helga catching herself, "I mean Arnold, are you okay?"

Arnold chuckled at her slip up as he said, "I'm fine Helga. And you know I don't mind after all these years what you call me. I'm actually quite fond of your old 'nicknames' for me, even if my football head isn't quite as football shaped as it used to be."

Helga joined his laughter while saying, "I'm sorry Arnoldo, I guess old habits die hardest."

'At least we're laughing now, that's much better,' Helga thought to herself.

'At least we're laughing now, that's much better,' Arnold thought to himself.

After their laughter calmed down, Helga asked, "So Arnold, where are we going? All you told me to do was dress a little semi-formally. What's the big mystery?"

Arnold replied, "That's where the whole surprise thing comes in. It's for me to know and for you to find out, Helga dear."

'Did Arnold really just call me dear?' Helga wondered.

'Did I really just call her dear?' Arnold wondered.

Not wanting to spend the evening torturing herself with such questions, Helga interrupted the momentary silence stating, "Arnold, you know how I feel about surprises."

"Helga, even if you don't admit it; I know you like the good kind of surprises. You trust me don't you?" Arnold said in reply, not really sure why he had asked such a question.

'Yes, Arnold. If I can't trust you who can I trust?' Helga thought.

Though, in mock defiance Helga stated, "I guess we'll see. Or, I could just beat it out of ya, and find out that way."

Arnold looked at Helga in a seemingly intimidated way.

Helga looked at him in a stern, determinedly daring manner.

She realized he had grown taller than her long ago and she really realized he was stronger than her, especially since they had really begun hitting the gym together in college to give their minds a break from their studies (the man was built underneath the sports coat, long sleeve dress shirt, and dress pants he was wearing); still she couldn't resist taunting him for old times sake.

It wasn't long in their stare down, before they both broke and laughter filled the car again.
In good spirits they continued to drive towards their destination.