Disclaimer: Hey Arnold! is created by Craig Bartlett.
Synopsis: Eugene just couldn't get the image of Curly in that white bride's dress out of his mind and leaving him in a crypt just didn't seem right. Anxious to see his friend again, Eugene returned to the cemetery.
Mark This Day
The others kids were still laughing as they continued to walk away from the cemetery—or bone yard as Stinky had call it, but it was difficult for Eugene to jump onto their bandwagon of mockery. Although he could have found the whole ordeal to be somewhat humorous, the redhead failed to do so when images of Curly in that laced white dress were still swirling around his mind like an annoying bee that just refuses to leave a person alone. Eugene patiently waited for the party ahead of him to turn the corner before briskly sneaking his way back towards the field of tombstones.
He dashed down the gravel pathway towards the crypt with haste, his stomach churning and tingling with alarm as the sun continued to dip closer and closer to the horizon in welcoming the evening darkness. Eugene kept his eyes peeled for the large, stone burial chamber where Curly was imprisoned. Upon reaching the tomb, Eugene placed his palms onto the cold, iron doors then pressed his ear close enough to feel the chill of the metal.
"Curly," he said. "Curly! Can you hear me?"
"Hey!" a familiar voice came from inside the crypt, muffled by the stone bricks. "So you came back to free me from your vengeful deed, did you? Well, you better hurry up because it's almost dinner time!"
"It's me, Eugene" the redhead tried to assure him that he wasn't one of the others. "I'll get you out but I just need to find something to open this door with."
"Try finding that mallet that I was using," Curly suggested. His voice sounded less hostile now, probably from the recognition that Eugene sounded sincere enough to truly want to free him.
Eugene spun around the area and scanned the ground for the mallet. When he spotted the wooden tool lying in the grass, he picked it up, mindful of its weight and began slamming it against the heavy iron gate. A few bangs in and Eugene was already beginning to feel exhausted and with no signs of progress to motivate him to continue.
"I don't think it's working…" Eugene panted, setting the mallet head down and leaning over it to catch his breath.
"No, no!" Curly called from within. "It's working. I can see the plank breaking. Just keep trying!"
"Okay," Eugene sighed heavily and picked up the large hammer once more.
He pulled his arms back fully and let out the most powerful swing that he could muster up. Again and again, slam! Slam! Unit the wooden plank behind the iron door made a promising snap, allowing his last blow to barge the metal doors open completely.
And there he was, still bound in rope and sitting on the marble casket but no longer wearing that lovely little white dress. Eugene let the mallet drop to the floor as he raced towards Curly to untie him.
"Looks like I kinda owe you one," Curly chuckled.
"It-it was nothing," Eugene brushed him off. His arms were still sore from his endeavor which made untying the ropes somewhat difficult.
The moment Curly was released from his bonds he hopped off the casket and turned to Eugene with a crocked smile.
"Thanks," the bowl-haired kid said casually.
Eugene looked into his eyes and returned his smile but ended up looking away with a slight pinkish color developing on his nose.
"Can we leave now?" Eugene whined. "This place is giving me the willies."
"It's not so scary," Curly said but began to walk out of the crypt with Eugene at his ankles.
The sun was still inching its way down, indicating that Curly was correct; it was almost time for dinner. Eugene felt a fearful twinge in his stomach when he started to think about what his mother might do if he was late for her cheesy lasagna Friday surprise. Without much more thought, he quickened his pace after Curly. Their walk together towards the cemetery entrance was silent. Neither of them seemed to have anything to say but Eugene continually noticed that Curly would glance back in his peripheral as if checking that he was still there. Eugene only looked away with redness on his face.
The only sounds that came were from the scurrying of their feet. That was, until a loud rustling sound erupted from the nearby shrubberies and a dark, shadowy figure, only as big as a small dog, sprung across their feet.
Eugene let out a terrified yelp and wrapped his arms around Curly's for support. The two of them stopped dead in their tracks.
"Jeez, don't freak out!" Curly cried. "You're so jumpy… It was probably just a squirrel or something."
"Can we just get out of here?" Eugene whimpered into Curly's upper arm. He'd seen enough black shadows and creepy figures in one day already.
"Let's go," Curly urged.
Eugene felt his friend pry him away, making his heart almost sank until he realized that Curly was holding onto his hand firmly, leading—or more accurately, pulling—him towards the graveyard entrance. Eugene allowed Curly to lead the way and in a sense, it seemed like the boy with the bowl-haired cut was the only thing that was keeping him from completely losing himself to fear in the field of corpses.
The time that they had walked together hand in hand seemed to flow by quite swiftly. Eugene soon found relief to have finally stepped beyond the front gates of the cemetery. His still noticed Curly's grip on his hand but it wasn't long until his friend had released his hold.
"Th-thanks, Curly," Eugene murmured.
"I should be thanking you," Curly shrugged. "For getting me out of that pickle those guys put me in."
"Well," Eugene began. "It didn't feel right to just leave you there."
Curly chuckled and Eugene followed suit as they started to walk down the street together.
"Just a quick question," Curly broke the silence.
"Did you really mean what you said about my dress?"
"Of course," Eugene smiled. "I thought you pulled off the bride look much better than Helga did. And your red socks totally make the look."
Curly smirked and nodded to himself. "Why, thank you. I'm glad someone appreciates my feminine taste in fashion. Anyways, I'm heading this way."
"I'm going the opposite direction," Eugene said.
However, before either of them parted ways, there was a short pause, a standstill in time. Eugene accepted his friend's thank you but he had hope that there was something more. Curly's pretty white dress was gone now and there was no way they were ever going back to the cemetery again just for that. Eugene let out a short "um" and stared at the ground shyly, not knowing what to say. It was a bit strange to just say their farewells and leave each other like this, knowing that they'll meet again at school.
Before Eugene could think anymore, Curly came up close and wrapped his arms tightly around his waist. Eugene's eyes widened at first, taken by surprise, but he quickly recovered from the shock and returned Curly's embrace.
No other words were exchanged after that as they parted ways and from their hug. Eugene smiled to himself all the way home. His little adventure through in the graveyard wasn't all that bad. He was still disappointed about not being able to see Curly in that pretty dress again but perhaps that evening would mark the day that Eugene finally had a day where everything went right.
I hope that wasn't a complete fail. But aren't they cute together? xD
I wrote this for leskuh because she basically got me into this pairing through her awesome artworks! I know there aren't a lot of male/male fanfics out there in the Hey Arnold! fandom, but this is probably aimed more at friendship than actual romance. I mean, they're in the fourth grade for goodness sakes! (Save for Helga, of course). Ha-ha. It's sort of fluffy but I think it turned out alright. This is my first experience writing about either character so it was interesting. I hope you enjoyed it though! Please leave any suggestions or critiques.