Behind the Act

Chapter 4

As everyone else was busy staring at Arnold and Helga, Phoebe was busy dragging Gerald into the one place she knew everyone else would never want to be...

Back into the school.

As she dragged him inside, she absent-mindedly glanced up at one of the many clocks up on the wall, and seeing that the bell would be ringing in a matter of minutes. She knew that this conversation would have to be private though, and she'd have to find a more secured location, especially since everyone had become so interested in Arnold and Helga's relationship since their trip to San Lorenzo. With this thought in mind, she continued practically dragging him through the empty halls, until coming across a large wooden door with the metal words 'Janitor's Closet' screwed into the front. She opened the door up then, and dragged the bewildered, and now blushing boy into the closet along with her, closing the door behind them. She turned to him then, finally releasing her grip on his hand... his very soft hand, she mentally noted.

He stared at her, surprised speechless. He blinked. "Phoebe, babe, why the heck did you drag me into a janitor's closet?" His eyebrow rose, a half-smile spreading across his dark features, (even darker since the lights were off) their features only being high-lighted slightly through the light beaming in from under the door. "Is it because you like me or something and wanna kiss?" His eyes went half-lidded, his hands on his hips, though if the lights were on, one might have noticed the dark blush crawling across his face at his own words. "Because if that's the case, all you had to do was ask."

She blushed, as she continued to look up at him boldly, before shaking her little head rapidly back and forth in response. "N-No, no, Gerald." She giggled slightly, offering a friendly smile and gesticulating as she spoke further, "I've brought you here under purely scientific reasons."

His brow rose a bit more, his smile more broad. "Scientific as in-"

"No!" She squeaked, shaking her head and her cheeks becoming even hotter. "I-I just need to a-ask you some q-questions." She stuttered out, instantly feeling a bit frustrated at how easily she was able to lose her composure around the tall, charming boy. She cleared her throat abruptly then, her fist at her lips as she did so, before glancing back up at him a bit shyly and desperately trying to contain her blush. "About, Arnold and Helga's current status."

He blinked, before raising an eyebrow. "Huh?"

She smiled again finally, feeling the butterflies swarming around in her stomach finally cool down. "Yes, Helga has been acting a lot stranger lately. I met her at her house just like I always do on Mondays to walk to school, but when she came out she looked really anxious to go elsewhere. When I asked her where, she just stuttered out some excuse and ran off. I haven't seen her so flustered in a while. But the last time I did, it was because of..." She trailed off, glancing away with an unsure look before looking back at him. "She was also acting quite strange this morning when arriving at school, as I'm sure you noticed, and with... Arnold." She blinked up at him. "He seemed different as well. And since you're his best friend, I was just curious as to if Arnold has said anything to you about it. They've both been acting quite strange lately, especially since our trip to Central America."

His eyebrows furrowed at her in incomprehension. "Helga didn't tell you?"

"Tell me what?" She adjusted her glasses in the dark, staring up at him.

He blinked. "Well, back in San Lorenzo, Arnold made a little discovery... if you know what I mean..." He wiggled his eyebrows for emphasis.

Her mouth became a small 'o' shape, as she looked up at him with interest, wanting details. "What else? What kind of discovery?"

He almost chuckled at how interested she was in all this. So cute. "Well, as you know, the whole time on the trip, Arnold, me, and for whatever reason..." He held back the eye roll that was threatening to overtake him, realizing who he was talking to. "...Helga tagged along too. And they kept glancing these looks at eachother, and I think I even saw Arnold kiss her cheek once throughout the trip, but the biggest thing that happened between them was..." He stared down at her anxious, excited face with a dramatic look. "I caught Arnold and Helga in a full fledged LIP LOCK right before we all headed back to the buses!"

Her mouth dropped open, as she stared up at the boy with wide brown eyes. "Really?"

He nodded, his eyes shut as he did so, before he opened them and looked back down at her. "I kid you not. They were all over eachother!"

A squeal suddenly emerged from the shorter girl, as she practically bounced closer to him. She beamed at him, her hands on his arms. "Oh Gerald, I can't believe it! Finally!" She grinned even wider, her perfectly polished teeth gleaming even in the darkness of the room.

He stared down at her, blanking at the feeling of her touching him. After a moment, he finally blinked out of his daze and smiled. "Yeah, it's about time Arnold got a girl. Even if it's Helga Pataki, it's still-"

"No, Gerald, I was talking about Helga. Oh, she must be so happy! I can't believe she didn't tell me that her and Arnold finally got together!" She nearly squealed again at the excitement and happiness she felt for her friend.

Gerald's face became a bit solemn then, hating that he was probably going to be destroying her good mood. He hated to be the one to take that smile off her face... He sighed. "Well, I don't know if they're together..." He glanced away.

She blinked up at him, her grin becoming a bit less excited. "What do you mean, Gerald?"

He bit his lip. "Um, well, it's just, Helga was treating Arnold pretty badly this morning when we ran into her on the way to school, and they haven't talked ever since this morning when they came into class. And Arnold never did say that they were together or anything." He looked back down at her, seeing her excitement and joy gone but now just confusion and perhaps... thoughtfulness...? Though he didn't register the thoughtfulness in her gaze before rushing out the last bit, "But Arnold clearly expressed that he WANTS to be with her." He blurted out in a rush, hoping for her features to brighten again. He liked it when she was happy.

She was looking away then, absently letting her hands drop from his arms as she spoke thoughtfully, "I don't know, Gerald... perhaps he didn't tell you everything... Helga can be pretty secretive when it comes to these kinds of things... Perhaps they're just-"

The door suddenly opened wide, revealing a suddenly shocked Arnold in the doorway. He stared at them, unblinking for a moment, before gaining back his composure. "Uh-uh, what are you guys doing here?" He asked a bit anxiously.

They stared at him, Gerald being the first to speak up, "Well, Phoebe here just wanted to talk to me about something. What are you doing here?"

Arnold looked at the two, looking a bit distressed with his hands behind his back. He twisted one hand around his waist so he could glance at his watch, before quickly putting it back behind his back and looking between the two of them. "Uh... I just needed to..." He looked around the old room, before his eyes lit up. "Get a mop!" He proclaimed, grabbing a mop that was leaning against the wall beside the doorway. He grinned at the two of them. "The janitor asked me to get him one, and you know me, I just couldn't say no!" He turned to walk away, before turning around to them to quickly add, still with a grin. "And you might want to get out of here pretty soon. The rest of the class is going to be flooding in any second, and if they find you in here, I think you know what they're going to assume." He winked before walking out and shutting the door behind him, as they heard his last words being yelled back to them, muffled over by the door, "And it's NOT talking!"

They both stood there, dark blushes clearly spread across both their faces.

Gerald coughed awkwardly. "Well that was weird..."

She shuffled her feet a little, glancing away. "Yeah..."

Several moments of silence passed.

"We should get probably get to class-"

"Right behind ya, Pheebster!"


A/N: Busy, busy, busy. I can't believe I was able to actually WRITE something. It's amazing, right? I've just got so much I've been busy with.

Okay, to everyone who I usually review to frequently, I'm sorry I haven't reviewed your new chapters yet, but I am busy, and there's usually a lot for me to say in SOME reviews... *Glares at Azure129* ...Not that that's necessarily a BAD thing. *Grins*

I've also been slacking on messages that need to be returned. Sorry 'bout that. *Frowns*

And now then, it's late, and I need to get going.

Review, Kumquats!