Disclaimer: I own nothing. Never claimed to and never will. But, one can wish and that my friends can't be copyrighted…or something of that nature. So Hey Arnold isn't mine but if it was it would still be on the air and any other copyrighted thing I might mention in this whim of a fanfic isn't mine. Doi!
Note from author aka me: Haven't written a fanfic in a while but electricity is out and I figured I should contribute again. Plus I'm not tired and there's nothing else to do.
Pure darkness. One second the lights in her room had been on and she had been listening to Billy Talent, while writing love poetry and the next it was pure darkness. A heavy sigh came from the girl sitting on her bed.
'Why me?' Was the question she asked herself, which she found she was doing more and more these days. With another sigh she grabbed her iPhone and turned on the flashlight application. (The most handy app there is.) She slowly groped her way to the door of her room, opened it and shouted, "MIRIAM! WHAT THE HELL…"but she never finished what she had been yelling because she realized half way through her sentence that no one but her was home.
This had been happening more and more recently now that Helga had turned 14 the month before. "Now she can take care of herself. No reason for us to stay in every night because I don't want to pay for a babysitter!" Bob had said with a laugh and a slap to his younger daughter's back. Helga's only response had been a scowl, in his general direction. Helga had given up. There was no point in fighting a losing battle, she had finally rationalized.
With a shake of her head she stopped thinking of things past and started to think of how to solve the problem at hand. Helga realized with a quick start that, "Wow, it really is dark…"Now she wasn't usually afraid of the dark or anything but this was different. It wasn't really the dark, no, it was the silence. How she hated it, the reminder that she was all alone in the house…in the world.
With a slight shutter, Helga moved her way to the stairs. Very slowly she worked her way to the bottom of the stairwell; the last thing she needed to do was trip and break her neck. "Now what?" She had no idea what time it was, she had been too busy daydreaming of Arnold. "Arnold…" his name escaped like a whisper through her lips. Oh, how she wished he was here to save her. She knew what he would do in a situation like this, he would laugh and light candles and declare it was time to swap ghost stories or something to that effect. Something totally ridiculous and yet…
"Something wonderful, something fascinating, something so Arnold…ahh." She finished with a sigh. Helga realized though that this wasn't really helping her current situation at all. But what to do? 'Nothing to do, guess I'll just go for a walk.' Helga looked down at her pink pajama bottoms and her 'The Mighty Boosh' tank top and wondered for a moment if she should really go outside dressed as such. Helga turned off the flashlight app and looked at the time on her iPhone. 'One a.m. huh? Maybe I should get some sleep…' "Nah." There was no school tomorrow so what did she care how late she stayed up, she knew her parents wouldn't. It was a safe neighborhood, no reason for a girl like her not to wonder around at this time of night. So she grabbed her keys, locked the front door and was off.
The first thing she noticed was that her front porch lights weren't the only ones out. It looked like maybe it hadn't just been a freak power surge. 'Maybe…..'She couldn't stop the thought even if she had wanted too. Maybe he was up? Maybe he too, had had a sudden urge to go outside. Maybe he too was outside on the stoop of the boarding house this very minute in his pajamas. Maybe…
Her feet seemed to move on their own accord, not that she would have had to think of it anyways. She had been there dozens of times, hundreds of times. Hell, she had slept walked there. If nowhere else in the world she knew the way to Arnold's house. Helga thought of ways to start a conversation the whole time she was walking there. But they always seemed to begin and end with calling him 'Football head' and insulting him in multiple way. She had gotten better in her behavior towards Arnold but hey no one is perfect and Arnold was most defiantly her Kryptonite.
"Helga!" With a snap she looked up and realized she had already walked all the way to his house. 'That quick? Was it even possible? Have I really been that absorbed in my thoughts? Oh, crap. Now what?'
"Hey football head. Lights out, huh?" 'Lame.' He just proceeded to give her that award winning smile he always had ready to stun her with and let out a soft chuckle. "Why yes it is but more than that what are you doing out at this hour? In your pajamas….?" He gave her the quick once over and she could feel her cheeks burning and knew she had to be as red as a tomato.
"It's a free county, bucko. What business is it of yours?" After that wonderfully immature comment Helga preceded in what she hoped looked like a glare, but she knew probably came out as more of a feeble stare. Arnold looked as if he was contemplating something. Like…? Helga could only hope he would say something fast because she had nothing else to provide to the conversation. She had finally taken the time to see what Arnold was dressed in and boy oh boy.
Boxers, he was wearing boxer. OH MY GOD! But no it got better, they were plaid. Adorable. He had an old shirt on that had the band name 'Flogging Molly' written across it. I like that band, Helga thought with an inward sigh. Then she noticed he had stopped contemplating whatever had been on his mind and was now starting at her in what she thought looked like a vagrant stare too. She only knew this because most of her life she had been directing that kind of look at him.
As if realizing he had been caught Arnold let out a small cough, "So home alone, huh?" Helga just stared at time another moment so stunned that she told him the truth. "Yeah, but how do you know?" She barely whispered. How had this conversation managed to get so awkward so quickly she wondered.
Arnold shuffle his feet for a moment before he answered. "I kind of gathered that you don't like being home alone, so…Power outage, who wants to be home alone during that, right?" With a half-smile Arnold finished his, lame, if not correct observation. 'Oh no, Oh no, Oh no no no no…' Ran across her mind a mile a minute. 'Retaliate!'
"So what dorko! I don't like being home alone! W-What business is that of yours anyway? I can't believe you would talk to me like that! I ought to punch your lights out! I ought to-to…" Oh, no. Helga could feel it happening, she was going to cry. Ever since she had turned 13 instead of punching out the person she was having the conformation with, she wanted to start crying. Puberty, sucks.
Even though Arnold was a 14 year old boy and should know nothing about what to do if a girl started to cry, this is Arnold after all. The boy who acted like he was 50 the day he turned 5. He slowly walked down the stairs of the boarding house and proceeded to cover the rest of the distance over to Helga. With a sympathetic smile he started to pat her shoulder. "It's late and I'm tired if I wasn't I would, I would…."*sniff* *sniff* Helga started to mummer but was quickly quieted by the feeling of Arnold's hand on her shoulder, her bare shoulder. Arnold seemed to receive the same shock on his hand because after a few friendly pats, he just started to stare at his feet with an odd expression.
"You can stay the night here if you want."
Helga slowly turned her head to face Arnold, "Really?" was the only word she managed to form. Could she really believe her luck? Was this really happening to her? Helga G. Pataki? Oh rapture oh joy oh my.
"Um, yeah. We could um, go up on the roof and um, you know talk about stuff or something of that general nature. I'll keep you occupied, no need to worry. You'll be ok." As Arnold spoke Helga could hear the confidence slowly build in his voice. He wanted to protect her. Her prince, her knight in shining armor. Keep her occupied? Um, Helga could think of a couple of not rated 'G' things that would defiantly keep her 'occupied.' But he needed an answer! 'Don't sound too enthusiastic, Helga old girl.'
"Yes, I-I would love to spend the night. Um, thanks Arnold you're a good friend." They looked at each other for another moment and exchanged friendly smiles. Slowly Arnold started to walk back towards his house with Helga closely trailing behind. She caught a soft whiff of his deodorant. 'Oh, wow. He smells good. Remember keep hands to self! Do not mess this up!'
He opened the door and grabbed the flashlight, Helga could only assume, he had placed it here earlier. Turning it on Arnold looked over his shoulder at her and said in a whisper, "You had better hold my hand, even with the lights on it is sometimes difficult to work your way around the halls here." Helga thought she heard him mummer something about his Grandmother and her clutter but she was too busy thinking about holding Arnold's hand.
When they joined hands it was different then when he had touched her shoulder. That had felt like a fire but this felt familiar, like they held hands every day. Arnold's hand just seemed to 'fit' into hers, the way she always knew it would. She thought he could feel the connection too but….what did she know?
They made it to Arnold's room way too quick for her liking till it really hit her, she was in his room.
At night time, 1:30ish…
In their pajamas….
Still holding hands….
Arnold finally noticed they were still holding hands and let hers go, with what she hoped she sensed was a bit of resistance. "So I figured we could grab my sleeping bags from the closet and sit on the roof. Here's a lot more light out there with the distant city lights and all…Hold the flashlight will you and direct it into the closet for me?
He proceeded to his closet opened the accordion doors and pulled out two bundles, bundles Helga assumed were tightly tied sleeping bags. He tossed her one and Helga nearly lost her balance, it had been substantially heavier then she had been expecting. "What you got in here Football head? A couple of bricks? Geez."
"Um, well Grandma was the last one to use the sleeping bags. Something about a Zombie attack or…well, I think she put rations in the middle of them, then tied them super tight so we could carry them with us to…" Arnold stopped his half-hearted explanation and just shrugged his shoulders. Helga tried to sniffle a giggle but Arnold still heard her and managed to crack a weak smile.
"You know geek-bait, she may be crazy but your Grandma's awesome. I mean Zombie attack? That's actually pretty freakin' cool. Wish I had a Grandma that did that sort of thing. Have you ever read 'World War Z?" Arnold looked over his shoulder at her and gave her an extremely surprised look.
"You read that book?" Helga's only answer was a glare. "I mean, yeah, I've read that book. Who doesn't love hordes of the undead coming to eat your brains out, right?" Helga nodded her head in agreement. Then the light switch went on in her head. She had the perfect idea how to spend the night on the roof with Arnold and not fall asleep half an hour after getting up there. Helga wanted to spend as much time with Arnold that was possible.
"Zombies, that's the reason the lights went out so unexpectedly. They must have killed the guys at the electric plant and during the vicious mutilation, spilled the soda that had been resting near the main switch and blew all the circuits. It's a full on attack and the only way to combat them is to shot their heads off while strategically hiding on the roof." and with that Helga gave Arnold a knowing nod and wink.
Arnold looked surprised; Helga could see him working it all out in his mind. Then a serious expression broke across his face.
"We're in danger here. Need to move as fast as possible. Here I have the pillows. Let's move, move." With that he ran to his bed threw the sleeping bag on to it along with the two pillows and climbed the bookshelf to open the latch to his window. "Come on Helga. Throw me up your sleeping bag first, then the other things."
That was all the encouragement she needed. She ran over to the bed and started to toss the sleeping bag to Arnold thru the open window. This wasn't going to be a boring night at all.