NintendoGal55: Hello one and all, and welcome back to our latest instalment in our parody...if you can call it that, episodes! Today's awesome episode is "Dinner For Four"! What, oh what, kind of hilarious madness will escalate today?

SuprSingr: I have NOOOOO ide'r. :B But my best guess is a lot of flirting! XD :D

Disclaimer: For the LAST SMEGGING TIME, we do NOT own Hey Arnold! or any of the characters. All of this belongs to Craig Bartlett, Nickelodeon, and Viacom. PLEASE SUPPORT THE OFFICIAL RELEASE!/What she said. I'm just here to look perty. X3


"And the third prize goes to...Helga Pataki!" Mr. Simmons gleefully announced to the assembly crowd. Or lack thereof, given that there weren't many students in the auditorium at the moment.

Helga jumped in surprise in her seat, unable to believe she had actually WON something, and for this cause no less. A few rows down, where Arnold sat with Gerald, she saw him looking over at her with a big grin, giving her a thumbs-up in congratulations. She immediately turned her head away as she blushed madly, but kept her composure as she marched up onto the stage to collect whatever the heck was in store as a prize. That was her plan. Take it and go, moving right along. She just wanted to get out of here and walk home with Arnold already!

"A coupon for a free dinner for four at Chez Pierre!" Mr. Simmons announced, holding the coupon to Helga as she came up to the podium. "Congratulations, Helga!"

"Yeah yeah, thanks." Helga muttered, taking the coupon from him as she proceeded to walk backstage. "Dinner for four at some fancy-schmancy French restaurant...hmph! Just what I need." She grumbled to herself.

As she passed the red curtains, Helga blinked as she realized something. Dinner for four. She and three other people could dine out. In a fancy French restaurant, in a practically romantic setting. If she were, let's say, to dine with Phoebe, who would invite Gerald, who would invite Arnold...she could dine with Arnold! And he wouldn't suspect a thing! He'd figure she invited them to have a fun friendly outing all four of them together.

"Wait a minute...it IS what I need! A perfect excuse to dine with Arnold, and with our best friends there with us, he wouldn't suspect a thing! It's perfect! And not to mention I could even impress him with how utterly sophisticated I can be! Oh, it'll be just our first date! Except ten times better!" Helga wrapped the curtain around herself in excitement as her idea came flowing to her mind, as well as the fond memories of their first date back at Chez Paris. "I'll get him and our carefully picked stooges to come with me, namely Gerald and Phoebe... It's perfect! And he won't be any the wiser..." She smiled gleefully before tucking the coupon into her pocket. "Now that my plan is set, I just gotta find a way to invite Arnold without actually inviting him myself."

As she left, a thought occurred to her, and that was when the first part of her plan was put into action.

In the name of her little best friend, Phoebe.


Phoebe, smiling happily as she walked up to her locker, opened it up and prepared to put her math book back in when-


"Phoebe," and suddenly Helga was standing in front of her now closed locker, her finger pointed at her authoratively, "you're coming to dinner with me on Saturday night," She crossed her arms over her chest, her expression clearly showing she was dead serious as she continued, "five o' clock at a fancy French restaurant."

"I am?" Phoebe had to ask, a bit shocked at having all this suddenly thrown at her.

Helga just continued, "And you're gonna invite Gerald, and then you're gonna ask Gerald to invite a friend, see?"

And that was when it all became clear to Phoebe, her entire plan. She smiled. "Inviting!"


"So just you, me, heh... Helga, and whoever you'd like to invite to come along... like say your best friend?" She grinned on the other side of the phone line.

Gerald, currently in his house and holding the phone, couldn't help but roll his eyes a little at how glad he knew Arnold was gonna be about all this. He had to just cringe, really, just thinking about it. "Yeah..." He said a bit flatly. "Great. Thanks for the invitation, Phoebe. Me and my friend will be there."

He heard Phoebe utter her goodbyes, and the line go dead, before he hung up the phone. And as soon as he did, he groaned. "Have mercy on me. Arnold's gonna have a cow... and I'm gonna have to be the one to deal with it." He slid a hand down his face. Of all of Arnold's crushes, Helga was definitely THE worst of the bunch. Just being around Arnold for more than five seconds during his lovesick ramblings was nearly unbearable.

"Oh well..." Gerald said, trying to keep his cool. "Might as well get it over with." He picked up the phone and dialed Arnold's number to meet him at Gerald Field for a walk... possibly the most nauseating walk Gerald was ever going to go on.


Just as he'd thought, it was. On the other hand, at least he had some material to change the target of the situation they were talking about. After all, Gerald really wanted to try some of the things that French restaurants served. Like the blue, moldy, runny cheese they had. It sounded disgusting to most, but he was admittedly intrigued by it. And for that matter, it actually looked like a piece of yummy chocolate in comparison to Arnold's upcoming lovesick ramblings.

"So yeah, Phoebe said she could invite a friend, I guess that's me, and for me to invite a friend to that French restaurant dinner thingy Helga won. Saturday night at five, apparently." Gerald tried to be cool about it, but was bracing himself for the lovefest.

Arnold blinked a few times as he took in what Gerald was saying. Helga was inviting Phoebe, who invited Gerald, who invited him, to go out to dinner on Saturday night. That meant dining with Helga. With Gerald and Phoebe too, of course, but Helga most of all! In a fancy French restaurant. Just like back on their first (and sadly last) date. Even if they wouldn't be alone, it still would be...magical. To see Helga dressed in elegant splendor, her big blue eyes shimmering with happiness and passion in the candlelight, her hair falling all along her face and shoulders, her sweet lips coated with lipstick...

It was all it took for Arnold not to go into a lovesick stupor. His eyes went half-lidded, a goofy smile came to his face, and he was just gone.

Gerald sighed, shaking his head. "Hey Arnold, wake up! Come on man, stay with me here!"

"Oh!" Arnold snapped out of it and shook his head. "Sorry, Gerald. I uh...I mean...well, that's great! I'm sure it'll be interesting. I'll go."

"How did I see that coming?" Gerald rolled his eyes. "Whatever, man. I can't wait to try out that moldy, runny cheese those French people like so much!"

"Why would you want to eat moldy, runny cheese?" Arnold grimaced, his lovesick thoughts swept from his mind.

"I don't want to eat it! I just wanna look at it!" Gerald grinned.

Arnold made a bit of a groaning sound of distaste at the back of his mouth, and shook his head, just trying to forget about anything having to do with... cheese. He shuddered a little. "Whatever, Gerald. But I'm not going for the cheese at all, I'm going for-"

"Yeah, yeah, Helga." Gerald said, fluttering his eyelashes as he mocked him in an overly sappy voice, "You're going so you can act all sophisticated and charm Helga with your lack of knowledge of anything having to do with fancy food. And she'll be SO swept off her feet by the entire thing that she'll fall madly in love with you and you can live happily ever after!" Once finished with his mocking, he cut the sappy look all together and just laughed out loud.

Arnold, though, didn't look annoyed in the least. In fact, he almost looked... intrigued, shocked... just plain mesmerized, actually, so much so that he even stopped in his walking. "Gerald... that's genius!" The grin finally sprung out on his face. "I was just going to say I was going for the culture, but that's even better! Gerald, I can get cleaned up in my best, sweep Helga off her feet, and she'll finally be mine!" He was grinning SO much.

Gerald's thoroughly pwned face slowly faded out of Arnold's vision, his mind being overtaken by daydreams...

"Wow, Arnold, I never knew you were so... sophisticated." Helga grinned across from him, dressed in some frilly, sparkling pink gown with her hair falling over her shoulders and her big pink bow sparkling atop her head. Her face shone in the candle light.

Arnold smiled with half-lidded eyes, leaning across the table to take her hands in his. "Well, the last time we came here it was so unexpected, I didn't really know what to say or how to act around you, Helga. But now that we're such good friends, I feel comfortable enough to show you this side of me... kinda like how you got comfortable enough to show me the real side of you." He kissed her hand.

And of course, Helga melted at that and giggled nearly uncontrollably. "Oh, you..." She waved him off with the hand he hadn't just kissed and pushed a lock of hair out of her face, still holding back more giggles. "I must say Arnold, you're so witty and sophisticated, and so full of culture and class! I cannot help that I've just fallen madly in love with you!"

"And I you, my beautiful Angel." Arnold murmured tenderly, leaning toward her. "I've never met someone as wonderful and passionate as you, and I refuse to let you slip away further any longer."

"Oh Arnold...you wondrous soul! Kiss me." Helga puckered her pink, sparkling lips.

"I'm happy to oblige." Arnold murmured and leaned in to close the gap between them...

"Arnold! Hey Arnold! Would ya quit with your daydreaming already?" Gerald shouted, breaking his train of thought and daydream.

"Sorry, Gerald." Arnold mumbled as he regained himself. "I-I guess I'm getting a little carried away."

"I'll say!" Gerald rolled his eyes. "Not one sentence outta your mouth doesn't relate to Helga anymore, I swear."

"Hey...I talk about other things!" Arnold argued, looking away. "It's just... she's on my mind and I can't help talking about her a lot."

"Whatever you say, Arnold." Gerald rolled his eyes again. "Just try not to jump her at the restaurant, okay? I think we got enough goin' on without THAT kind of thing happening."

"Hey, I have more control than that!"

"I'm just sayin'..."

Arnold frowned a bit further, a small scowl in his eyes. "I wouldn't jump her..."

"But you'd want to." Gerald pointed out.

Arnold just sighed at that, conceding, "Fine, yes, but I WOULDN'T. I have much more self control than that, and plus, me suddenly throwing myself at her would kinda ruin the whole sophisticated, classy front I'll be putting up."

"I don't know about this, man." Gerald confessed, looking over at him. "Do you really think Helga is going to go for you being all sophisticated? Does she even LIKE sophisticated guys?"

"Well, why wouldn't she?" Arnold tossed back, shrugging. "Although I've got to admit, it is kind of funny Helga is taking us to some fancy restaurant..."

Helga appeared out of a trash can right at that point, listening in closely.

Gerald, not noticing Helga, just asked curiously, "What do you mean?"

Arnold scratched his arm a little, looking down. "Well, I don't know. Helga isn't exactly the most sophisticated person there is. She asked me just yesterday if I wanted to go spit in the river with her."

Gerald scrunched his face up. "Ew, man. It amazes me that she's even a girl. Spitting, scowling, punching. She's like the exact opposite of sophistication."

By this time, they were far enough away that Helga couldn't hear them anymore. Helga stood up out of the trash can, looking sad. "So... Arnold really doesn't think I'm sophisticated... at all?" She got out of the trash can, still holding the lid in her hands. She sat down on the ground, staring at the garbage can lid absent-mindedly. "So he only sees me as a friend because... I don't act like a girl. I'm like one of his guy friends or something?" She grimaced majorly at the idea of that. Immediately after, though, a look of conviction came to her face and she stood up, trash can lid still in hand. "Well, fine then, if Arnold wants a sophisticated young woman, then that's what he's going to get. No more acting like a BOY!" She threw the trash can lid like a frisbee, agressively, and it soared across the sky... and then hit a wall and made a direct drop down, a cat screeching in pain. Helga ignored all this, though, rubbing her hands together as she walked away. "Say goodbye to old rock-chucking, river-spitting Helga G. Pataki, and hello to the new and improved more sophisticated, feminine Helga Pataki." She went running off down the street then, plans already forming in her head.


"No, she's not, Gerald." Arnold defended, eyes dreamy. "She's sophisticated, just not in a fancy French restaurant kind of way, you know? But she's got such a wide vocabulary, and she always knows JUST how to put something to have it make the most sense as possible, she's a wonderful actress, and loves poetry and literature, and can be so passionate about them. And she's..." He chuckled lovesickly. "she's... definitely not a boy, Gerald..."


Helga inserted a casset tape into her stereo, which came with a large teddy bear holding either side of it. A fun gift, she had to admit. Not that anyone at school were to know, of course. The tape was to teach you how to be sophisticated in a fancy restaurant. She had set up a small table in her bedroom, with a few chairs, and using stuffed animals and dolls to serve as Gerald, Phoebe, and Arnold. Although her "Arnold" was a football with buttons on it, a mouth drawn on, and some feathers stuck on for the hair.

The table was set with plates and silverware, as all part of the practice for Saturday night.

"Do not be intimidated by cutlery. " Said the recorded voice on the tape in a thick French accent."Forks on ze left, knives of ze right, spoons on the right, on the right of the knives."

"Okay, okay...uh...salad fork, dinner fork, butter knife, steak knife..." Helga listed off the silverware to make sure she had them all, hoping she was even DOING this right.

"And remember to laugh engagingly. Hohoho! "

"Ahahaha..." Helga mimicked, trying to sound all cool and witty with her laughter. At least it's not evil...

"Snap your linen napkin before you place it on your lap. "

"Easy enough." Helga said to herself as she took the napkin in front of her, waving it to snap it in the air before placing it on her lap.

"Then turn to your dining companions and say 'Lovely little bistro, nest-ce pas?'. "

Helga turned to one of her dolls and gave a witty smirk, following along with the instruction. "Ah, lovely little bistro, ness paw?"

"Very good. Now you are becoming sophisticated. "

"Heh, this fancy stuff's a piece of cake. Just wait until Saturday..." Helga grinned to herself, feeling much more excited about the upcoming dinner for four. "Ah...it's going to be perfect..."


"Can't believe I'm doin' this..." Gerald groaned to himself.

"Come on Gerald, you know a lot about impressing a girl, there must be something I can do and say to sound sophisticated and fancy." Arnold practically pleaded.

"Well for one thing, you gotta be all cool and calm at all times." Gerald said. "Chicks dig gentlemen who work well even under pressure. And you gotta do the purr."

"The purr, Gerald? Do I really have to purr?" Arnold groaned, recalling the last time he'd been told to do that. "But Helga will think I'm just being silly! She'll laugh and probably do it right back, thinking I'm trying to act like an animal!"

"Trust me man, chicks dig the purr. Don't you remember? My fair senorita, and then you just purr."

Arnold rolled his eyes and turned back to his mirror. "My fair Senorita, hrrrr."

"That's the spirit, man!" Gerald patted his back. "And you gotta treat her like a woman. Kiss her hand, call her Miss, talk to her like she's real smart!"

"Okay..." Arnold was now already daydreaming about kissing her hand and praising about how wonderfully intelligent she was and seeing her bat her eyelashes in response...

"Stay with me!" Gerald nudged him. "Okay man, another thing you gotta do is no slouching! You gotta sit up straight and show you're real proper."

"I can do that." Arnold stood up straight, hands on his hips and grinning.

"No no no! You don't grin like an idiot! You smile, like this." Gerald showed him a simple, closed-mouth smile.

"Okay." Arnold smiled the way he did, trying to look relaxed.

"Now you're gettin' it. And you gotta be confident! Sophisticated gentlemen are all about confidence, man." Gerald went on. "And say big words, all those big poetic words, things Phoebe would say! Like...uh...antides...uh... that weirdo big word they use in spelling bees to scare kids!"

"Antidestablishedmentarianism." Arnold put in, now studying his hair. "Should I do something about my hair?"

"Nah man, a part of being sophisticated is to be a little unique!" Gerald shook his head. "Who says you can't have a little flare?"

"I guess you're right, I'll probably just make sure to extra-shampoo it."

"Whatever you say, Arnold... Anyway, you also gotta just bring in your gentleman tendencies and be twice as much of a gentleman. Then I think you're good to go!"

Arnold turned back to his mirror, and began to practice a bit. "Hello Miss Pataki, how are you this evening? Oh, you're doing well? Splendid! You look absolutely ravishing tonight. My fair Senorita, hrrrrr."

Gerald shook his head and palmed his face. "This is gonna be a long Saturday..."


Finally, it was Saturday evening, and both Arnold and Helga were freaking out...

But ultimately, with their goals to be sophisticated for one another, it was all it took for them to keep their composures as much as possible. The four of them all met up at Chez Paris, having arrived separately, just as planned. They were all dressed as formal as possible for the evening. Even if Helga was the one who went all out the most, with Arnold as a close second (for a male's side of being formal, of course).

Helga wore a floor-length, pink sleeveless dress, accompanied by matching shoes, and full-length white gloves. Some of her hair was piled high onto her head, free from their pigtails, with the rest fallng along her shoulders in a light wave. Along with that was a silver headband, and a white purse.

For the most part,she looked pretty. No one outside of school would've recognized her if not for her unibrow. Even that just seemed to add to the charm she was putting on.

Arnold (completely fascinated by Helga's appearance) was in a plain darker gray suit, a white button-down shirt, and a red bow tie, with black pants, and matching dark gray shoes. Of course with his little hat perched on his head, exactly where it always was. Formal or not, he never went anywhere without his hat. Hey, who said sophisticated gentlemen couldn't wear little hats?

And as for Helga, she was just plain mesmerized by Arnold's appearance. Of course, she didn't show it on the outside, but inwardly she was captivated with him the moment she laid her eyes on him... but then again, that was true just on a regular basis. But she felt extra captivated by him tonight. He looked very smart and handsome in his suit, and his hair looked extra lucious tonight. Oh, how she wished to run her hands through those two tall stalks of cornflower hair...

But of course, her goal tonight was not to freak him out or throw herself at him like the desperate, lovesick girl she knew she was... Her goal tonight, ironically, was to do just the opposite. She was going to play hard to get, she wanted to come across as the beautiful, mysterious, feminine creature that he was friends with, but was only just realizing her romantic potential... And in order to do that, she had to be cool and calm and sophisticated as possible... without letting him know she was totally hitting on him the whole time.

Gerald and Phoebe both exchanged glances with one another, the mutual "eye-roll" looks clearly indicating how they knew that their respective best friends were hitting on each other without it seeming like they were doing so. It of course made them both want to just expose everything and for them to see the truth, and to stop this crazy thing.

Of course, Phoebe knew better than to do that, and Gerald knew he'd regret it if he did that too. They knew they had to figure out each other's feelings on their own, on their own times.

For now, they just had to try to deal with it as much as they could. Even if it wasn't always easy.

And it wasn't going to stop them from enjoying their evening.

"So babe...you uh...you look real nice tonight." Gerald managed, blushing a bit as he tugged on the collar of his red sweater.

Phoebe merely giggled in response, standing up a bit straighter unconsciously. "Konichiwa, Gerald. You look very handsome tonight yourself." She smiled sweetly, meaning it very much... the darkness of his suit really set off his hair, and the dark red of his turtle-neck sweater really brought out his eyes and set off his skin. Phoebe couldn't help but admire him a little inconspicuously with her eyes, her hands clasped in front of her, holding her purse.

"Well thank you, madame." Gerald took Phoebe's hand and kissed it, winking at her.

Arnold watched in amazement at how bold Gerald was, despite that he and Phoebe continuously denied that their dates were anything but. Still, it was helping a bit give him a boost! He looked toward Helga, and managed to try to put on his smoothest face, and speak suavely with as much confidence as he could muster.

"Well, you look...dashing tonight, my fair Senorita. Hrrrrrr." He threw in the purr for good measure, hoping against all hope she wouldn't laugh.

Helga in response to this just blinked... She honestly had no idea what the heck he'd just done. Although, despite her confusion, she had to admit... she was digging that purr. "Dashing? Arnold, did you just call me dashing?" She laughed her loddy da laugh she'd been practicing, before looking back down at him, her smirk unavoidable. "Arnold, dashing means handsome." Her giggle was inevitable at his cute little mix up of words. "But it's okay, if it's opposite day or something, Arnold, you look simply bewitching this evening."

Arnold's face fell, and Gerald palmed his own, shaking his head. All of his confidence just dropped like a hundred-pound anvil. "Um...well...er...I meant...uh..."

Helga, still too lost in her amusement at his cuteness, just giggled again at his stuttering and smiled. "But in all seriousness, you look really good tonight, Arnold." She reached over a bit absent-mindedly to straighten his bow-tie a little as she spoke, "Of all the people for Gerald to invite, I'm glad it was you. I would've invited you myself, but I really wasn't sure if French food was your thing." That, of course, was a big fat lie. But it was the excuse she'd come up with in case he asked, and what better time to use it than now? That whole being happy he'd been invited thing had just slipped out, so an excuse had definitely been needed. Done messing with his bow now she brought her hand away and smiled, leaning just a bit close to him... close enough to entice, but not too close as to make him think she LIKED being near him or anything... even if it was true. 'Pfft, this whole hard to get stuff is easy. I should write a book...'

"Well, 'course I had to invite my man Arnold." Gerald put in. "After all, what other friend woulda put up with ya?"

"Gerald!" Arnold hissed. He turned to Helga. "Well, it's okay, Helga. I'm glad we all did end up coming here together. It's...going to be a lot of fun." He would've brought up that they'd come here before on their first date, but decided not to for now.

Helga shot a short glare at Gerald before smiling back at Arnold again. "Yeah, I'm sure it will. Who doesn't love food, right?" She winked.

"Y-Yeah..." Arnold felt himself blush and he brought a hand up to rub the back of his neck.

"So, shall we go inside, ladies?"

"Allow me." Gerald promptly held the door open for them.

Helga just shrugged and walked in, not really caring.

Phoebe, though, giggled quite a bit and walked in, muttering her thanks to him in Japanese as she passed with a blush.

Gerald then nudged his best friend, whispering under his breath. "Nice goin', man! Way to be smooth and sophisticated!"

Arnold groaned at his sarcasm, a hand over one of his eyes and running down his face. "Ugh, I know, I know, Gerald. I don't know what happened. I just said the first thing that popped into my head."

"Smooth, man." Gerald muttered, shaking his head. "Just be confident and cool! You can do it!"

They rejoined the girls at the podium, while a bus boy was leading them to their table. Which was, ironically, the SAME table from before. From when Arnold unknowingly dined with Helga, and their first date. Now it was back again.

Major deja-vu. Arnold thought to himself.

The bus boy led them to their table and put a few napkins of cutlery and walked away, leaving them to take their seats.

Phoebe was about to take her seat when Gerald suddenly slid his way over to her and pulled it out FOR her, nice and smooth. It made Phoebe make a small noise in pleasant surprise before she sat down. "Thank you, Gerald. That was very gentlemanly of you."

"You're welcome, babe!" Gerald grinned, pushing her chair in closer to the table for her.

Meanwhile, Helga was just reaching her own chair...

Arnold immediately followed Gerald's example, though he would have done so regardless, and pulled out Helga's chair for her. "H-Here you go, Helga. Have a seat, my fair senorita."

Helga blinked, not quite sure what that whole Spanish thing was about (She didn't speak Spanish AT ALL and had basically no idea what he was saying, but she assumed it meant friend or something like that), before smiling and sitting down demurely, just trying to seem feminine and flow-like in her movements. "Thank you ever so much, Arnold." She fluttered her eyelashes a little, trying to flirt (even though she really wasn't too clear on what that word meant exactly... she'd never exactly flirted with anyone before, so she just hoped she was doing this right).

Arnold blushed considerably before he sat down in his seat across from her. "Y-You're very welcome, Helga." He managed a shaky, but sweet smile in her direction as he once more took in her beauty. It was so hard to keep his eyes off her... She looked so beautiful and sophisticated, like she belonged in this kind of environment. The way her golden locks seemed to glow like the sun in the soft dimness of the candlelight, and make her azure eyes pop more was so enchanting... "Helga, I...what I meant to say before...you look...well, you look really beautiful." He then inwardly smacked himself. He could've settled at her being just very pretty! But no, he went the higher road. What now!

Gerald just stared wide-eyed, unable to believe he'd done that.

Helga... Helga just... Oh, he'd just... and he was looking at her like... and he'd actually said... 'Oh, pinch me now, I'm dreaming...' she swooned mentally. Outwardly, though, her face simply heated up nice and pink and her large azure eyes grew even wider than before. "I..." Oh, she just... she couldn't even speak! She just wanted to grab him by his cute little bow tie and kiss him like no tomorrow! Her face was threatening to become very goofy, very quick, and as she desperately struggled against just grabbing him, she prayed that someone would help her get out of this before her heart just plain exploded. He'd never... never called her that before...

Arnold blinked, and immediately his face fell. "I-I'm sorry, Helga. I didn't mean to make you feel uncomfortable! I just wanted to tell you the truth, I..."

Phoebe, seeing that her friend was sinking and sinking fast, quickly took action. She inconspicuously as possible dropped her fork down onto the floor. "Oh." She made a small surprised noise, bending down to pick up her fork. But when she did, instead of leaning back up immediately, she jabbed it into her friend's foot hard enough to wake her up.

"Yowch!" Helga suddenly woke up from her heart-pounding stupor and blinked, seeing Arnold sitting before her and looking very dejected. "O-Oh, no, no, Arnold, it's fine... I was just... surprised. No ones ever called me... b-beautiful before..." Her entire face flushed, and she looked down shyly.

"Oh...well..." Arnold blushed, and cleared his throat. "I guess it's about time someone did. You look so...so...well...different, and so..."

Gerald's jaw dropped, eyes wide. Wow, he's really startin' to fall into 'lovesick' mode... He kicked his best friend's leg a bit.

"Ow!" He uttered, pulling his leg away. "I mean...um..."

Helga, having been hanging off his every word and leaning quite close to him now with rapt attention and an unwavering gaze of blue, just asked, seeming very interested and even a bit captivated by what he was saying, "Yes, Arnold?" She asked softly.

"...Sophisticated. And well, to be honest, I'm impressed." He managed, blushing all the more. He had to impress a young girl who was so sophisticated in her own right, and pulled off "Fancy French" sophisticated so...well.

Helga seemed to deflate a bit at his answer, but looked overall pleased. 'Sophisticated...' Wasn't that her goal now or something? To come off as sophisticated to him? Well... 'It's still early in the evening, and we haven't even gotten our food yet, so this is a VERY good sign...' Deciding she was content with his answer (even if it wasn't quite what she'd expected), Helga smiled and leaned a bit closer to him. "Oh, well, thanks, Arnold. You look pretty smart yourself in that suit." She nudged him, giggling. "And I'm not really sure what that purring thing was about earlier, but that was pretty cute." She purred at HIM this time, giggling to herself.

Arnold's eyes widened and he blushed more, but managed to smile coyly in her direction. "Well Helga, thanks. I guess I wanted to turn things up a bit." He purred at her in response and chuckled.

Gerald resisted the urge to facepalm, as he now realized his and Phoebe's best friends were now slowly ascending into flirting mode. Oh boy, where's a barf bag when I need one...

Phoebe was grinning, though, being a girl and knowing how long Helga had wanted Arnold. She couldn't help feeling pretty giddy for her best friend and what was taking place. Seeing Gerald's expression, though, she had to hide a giggle behind her hand.

Helga giggled, feeling her heart skip a beat at his purring... She wasn't sure what it was, but there was just something about it that made her feel all giddy inside. It wasn't even just cute, like she'd said, it was... attractive just in general, really. With her giggles ceased after a moment, and her eyes half-lidded, Helga responded sweetly, "Arnold, please don't get me wrong, I love the purring, but I have to ask... Why would you purr? It just seems so..." Her eyes drifted off, unwilling to finish her sentence. '...flirty.' Her face heated up at the idea.

"...Well, just trying to make it more fun, I guess." Arnold admitted, blushing a bit more at the total lie. He wondered if she realized that he was flirting with her using that. "What can I say, sometimes I can't help but try to make you laugh."

The happiness in Helga's smile faded, leaving a flat look on her face for a few seconds... 'So he wasn't flirting...' She didn't know WHY she was surprised. They were still JUST FRIENDS. And just because they were in a date-like setting and in date-like clothes, did NOT change that. Forcing herself to accept this fact, Helga managed to bring the smile back to her face and look Arnold in the eye again. "Well, it's definitely fun, Arnold. Who doesn't love acting like cats at the dinner table?" She purred at him again then, even going so far as dragging her hand down his arm, like a cat digging their nails into a cat-post, only much gentler, but still firm... though it was really just an excuse to touch him, and see if his suit was as expensive feeling as it looked.

Arnold laughed heartily, not quite realizing how his cover was taken literally. Even if that was the point in the first place. He suppressed a shiver when she touched him, pretending to be a cat. "That's true, Helga, who doesn't like to play cat and dog?" He made barking sounds toward her.

Helga just full blown laughed at that, punching him in the shoulder gently. "No one, Arnold. Everyone just LOVES playing cat and dog." She smirked. "Although I can't help but feel like you'd be the cat out of the two of us. You're always cleaing up yourself and everybody elses problems, and I'd be the dog because... Well, I'm simply more intimidating." She smirked.

Rubbing his shoulder, Arnold chuckled at her analogy. "But a dog is man's best friend. So you'd be a protector also, and not to mention very loyal."

Helga smiled. "Well, I AM a man's best friend in a way. I'm your friend. And I can promise that I'll never stop being your friend and I'll keep you from getting bullied ever. So that's something." She hadn't meant for it to sound so... sincere. But it did. She couldn't help but blush a little, but otherwise she stood her ground.

He smiled and blushed, feeling humbled and flattered. "Thanks, Helga. Since I'm a cat, I'll purr and let you know when I'm happy, and then curl up in a ball on your lap to take a nap. Otherwise, I'd let you have your space and then come right over to you when you want some company."

Helga chuckled and blushed, unable to stop the comment before it left her lips, "Well, you can curl up in my lap any time." She instantly slapped a hand over her mouth at having said such a thing, blushing like crazy.

Arnold's eyes widened, and so did Gerald's. He blushed considerably, rubbing the back of his neck. "Whatever you say, Helga..." A lovesick, goofy look came to his face as he glanced ever so slightly in her direction.

Helga, seeing that he didn't seem too suspicious or weirded out, just thankfully lowered the hand from her face and let out a small breath of relief to herself before responding with a bit of an awkward smile, her blood still betrayingly lingering in her cheeks, "Y-Yeah..." Gaining a bit of her confidence back, her voice got a bit of it's strength back, "Yeah, exactly. Whatever I say. I am the dog in this relationship after all." She flipped some of her hair back.

"Wait...isn't the dog supposed to be the one trained to obey commands?" Arnold raised an eyebrow, smirking at her playfully.

Helga's eyes widened at that one, and her eyes shifted around a bit, not quite sure what to say.

Phoebe, sitting next to Helga, couldn't help her mouth forming a small 'o' in surprise, too.

"Hot dang, man..." Gerald murmured, eyes wide.

Hearing this comment from Gerald and noticing Phoebe's expression, Helga's face settled into a scowl. "Helga G. Pataki takes orders from NO man." She stated firmly, crossing her arms over her chest.

"No?" Arnold challenged, grinning. "Well Helga, maybe you can be a cat. Cats don't take orders. ...And well, I'm technically someone who's at everyone's beck and call, that's kind of like obeying commands."

"Awwww, but I like it when you purr," she giggled out.

"Meow." He said, chuckling and then purring toward her flirtatiously.

Helga's face heated up and her breath caught in her throat, her heart pounding furiously. Yeah... she definitely liked the purr. The only thing she could manage out was a weak, "Woof."

"Meow." Arnold chuckled, and purred again. This time he touched her hand, leaning a little toward her over the table. "And you're cute the way you sound like a dog, Helga."

"Oh man..." Gerald mumbled under his breath, unsure of what to make of their flirty exchange.

Phoebe just giggled behind her hand.

Helga's face just got even pinker from not only his purr, and his compliment, but at his touch... it was searing through her hand and warming up her entire body in waves. And though she knew she was supposed to say something back, and something NOT completely gone and lovesick, she couldn't stop herself from just gazing into his face and smiling a tiny bit dreamily (thankfully not too obviously). And after a few seconds, she even managed to respond, albeit quietly, "Woof, woof." She giggled, and suddenly feeling a burst of courage she took his hand in hers entirely and leaned in closer to his face, practically nose to nose as she growled flirtatiously, like a dog that was being refused their favorite treat.

"Well...meow, Helga..." Arnold's eyelids lowered partway as he smiled in a lovesick manner at their closeness. He purred then, stroking her hand.

Helga hummed a bit, savoring the feel of him stroking her hand through the thin material of her glove... but no matter how thin, she couldn't help but curse herself for having them on now, wishing so much for their skin to be touching... ANYWHERE. She growled lowly, though playfully and even a bit sweetly, leaning her face in close enough to where their noses were touching... TOUCHING. She mentally swooned, feeling so lost in him at that moment.

Phoebe covered Gerald's eyes.

Their closeness made Arnold both want to spring out of there, but he was growing to be so lost in her, lost in the girl he adored so much...especially now that he could smell her intoxicating perfume. She really outdid herself tonight... He purred lowly, gently squeezing her gloved hand.

Helga's once powerful growls were now reduced to nothing more than small gruff hums, feeling so weak from being so close to him... though despite the hot, melting feeling currently consuming her entire being, she did manage to squeeze his hand a bit back, even managing to stroke it a bit affectionately with her thumb...

Arnold now, his purrs were reduced to cute little mewling noises and the simple "Meow", and could feel his hand tingle under the affectionate touch of her own gloved hand, her thumb rubbing over his skin... His eyelids lowered further, as he gazed at her with such adoration. By this point, the rest of the world was ceasing to exist.

His cute little mewls and meows were seriously starting to get to her, and she could barely contain herself. She couldn't help but just reach forward with her free hand to put on his shoulder, pulling him closer ever so slightly. She just had to touch him more. The desire was overpowering her. She smiled dreamily, staring at him so very lovingly. She hummed in the back of her throat in response to his cute little cat noises, and suppressed a shudder at how he was looking at her... she couldn't quite put her finger on it, but there was just something in his gaze that was driving her insane...

The gaze on her lovely face was overpowering, as were her dazzling azure eyes, which never left his own. Arnold found himself surpressing a shudder at her adorable hums that had come from what was once playful growling. He uttered one last "meow" before the tension was killing him.

Very softly, he spoke her name, placing his free hand along her neck, fingering her soft hair. Leaning closer to her, this was when he couldn't take it any longer (and unknown to him, neither could she), when they leaned in and their lips brushed together.

Helga moaned ever so softly at their lips brushing, and spoke between their lips in the sweetest and lightest of voices, "Arnold...?" Her eyes were nearly all the way closed, but she just had to ask.

"Yes, Helga...?" Arnold murmured between their lips, losing himself all the more, but was able to muster enough sense to answer her.

Gerald's eyes widened and his jaw dropped. They were kissing right in front of them! He had seen it coming, given that they were making googly eyes at each other and leaning closer, but wow. He wasn't sure WHAT to think!

Phoebe just shook her head at him, putting a finger over her lips to keep quiet. She was looking out for her best friend as well as for Gerald. She knew if Gerald ruined this moment for her, Helga would kill him...

Nodding, Gerald just glanced toward them a moment, mouthing "Dang..." before turning his attention to Phoebe, managing to smile.

Helga, on the verge of dying and very nearly just blowing asking him so she could kiss him properly, but she just... had to ask before they got too serious with this... "What..." She breathed, not breaking contact with his lips for anything, "What are we doing?" She shifted her eyes up off his lips to his eyes, breathing onto his lips hotly and feeling his own breath mingling with her own. It was almost enough to just make her pass out.

Arnold shuddered a bit, also feeling on the verge of Rigor Mortis with the feel of her breath mingling with his own. His hand on her neck gently held her there, fingering her hair still. "Whatever we want it to be, Helga..." He was too far gone to clearly think of a better answer.

Helga's already half-closed eyes fell even more closed at his answer, and she melted closer to him at feeling his hand fingering her hair like that... every spot his fingers touched tingled and stung... but in a good way... a wonderful way, actually. She couldn't help swooning ever so lightly at his answer and pecking him on the lips a few times before pulling back again (but not breaking contact with his yummy little lips, of course), and responding sweetly, "A-And... what do we... want it to be, do you think... my handsome Senior...?" She just couldn't resist.

Arnold shivered in pleasure, and moved his hand to the back of her head, gently cradling her, all the while stroking her hair a little. "A kiss, I think...?"

Helga, basically his at this point, just managed to answer in a light, breathy voice, "Okay..." She was so gone.

"Helga..." He murmured lovingly, unable to help himself and he kissed her fully, but gently and tenderly, craddling the back of her head and still stroking her soft, golden locks.

Helga made a small, feminine sound of satisfaction and love and kissed back, squeezing his hand she was still holding and pulling him in closer by the hand on his shoulder. She just... had to get as close to him as possible...

Phoebe covered Gerald's eyes again.

Breathing rapidly and happily through his nose, Arnold felt himself melting at their intimate and sweet contact, not to mention glad to be able to kiss her like this practically scot-free! He leaned in closer to her, all the while gently angling her head to come closer, as he kissed her tenderly.

Helga, swooning like crazy inside, finally just couldn't take it anymore and she scooted her chair all the way over to his, their thighs nearly touching, and she just brought the hand on his shoulder fully around his neck, kissing him sweetly and lovingly and even leaning him back a bit. She was losing herself to him more and more, and was on the verge of just all out diving on top of him, but managed to hold herself back... kissing all sweet and affectionately was one thing, but just all out going crazy and making out was an entirely different thing... and she wasn't going there... not just yet...

Arnold felt to be in pure bliss, sharing this intimate affection with the girl he loved, and felt himself kissing her a little more...

"Hey!" Came a cheery voice. "I'm Jack, are you ready to or...der?" The young waiter stood by their table in shock, staring at the kissing kids, as if they were a couple in love.

At hearing someone's voice suddenly booming in so suddenly like that, Helga's eyes instantly popped open and she broke the kiss to look up at this 'Jack' character with wide eyes... though her arm was still around Arnold and his hand was still on the back of her neck, and he still seemed a bit dazed, and so was Helga... She really didn't know WHAT was going on... at all. Which was exactly why she was staring up at the young man with wide, confused eyes. 'Huh...?'

Blinking, Arnold, though still dazed, came to remember just what was going on and where they were, even if he too hadn't let go of Helga yet. "Um...?"

Gerald rolled his eyes, shaking his head. "Scuse me Jack, but we ain't good at readin' French. You mind giving us some English menus?"

Helga blinked, finally starting to come out of her daze a little. She shook her head, glancing down at the open menu on the table. "O-Oh... uh..." She broke away from Arnold a little, her arm still around him but managing to let go of his hand so she could look over at Gerald with a blink. "You can't read the menu, Gerald?" She did her loddy da laugh, albeit a bit weakly all things considered, and said, "Oh, you're so droll. I see you're not USED to sophisticated dining like I am... and Arnold here." She tightened her hold on him without thinking. "Why don't we order for you?"

"Well great! What'll you kids have?" Jack grinned as he whipped out his waiter pad.

"Oh, um...yeah, we can order for you guys...we-we've been here before...we know what's on the menu." Arnold blushed at her compliment and at how she was tightening her hold on him. He lowered his hand on her neck to lower around her waist.

Helga nodded at Arnold, luckily managing to keep herself from outright shuddering at his hand on her waist, and lifted up the menu to read off, "Okay, how about we start with the escargot, and pattie de foie gras, vichyssoise, of course... right, Arnold?" She glanced at him.

Arnold blinked, but realized he had to be all sophisticated and fancy, so he nodded. "Of course, Helga. Wouldn't have it any other way at all."

Helga grinned, looking back down at the menu as she read off, "Two orders of coq au vin, bouef bourgignon, duck a l'orange..."

Gerald blinked, looking from Helga to his best friend, then to Phoebe. "Wow...do you even know what all that stuff is?"

"Of course she does, Gerald." Arnold quickly nodded. "It's easy as pie."

"...Whatever you say, Arnold. Oh! And definitely order some of that smelly, runny cheese you French people like so much!" Gerald added.

Helga couldn't help but cringe at that one. "Why would you want any of that?"

"What? I just wanna look at it." Gerald grinned.

Arnold grimaced also, but tried to keep his composure, and unwittingly tightened his hold around Helga's waist. "Well...I guess if Helga wants to order you a piece..."

Helga shivered ever so slightly at him tightening his hold, but took a breath and managed to respond, "Okay, whatever. We'll have a few slices of cheese for Gerald, and then of course, pyrenees spring water for the table."

"Awesome! I mean, well, excelent, madame." Said Jack, taking their menus from them.

"I'll be right back with your orders." He jotted this down and walked off to the kitchen.

"Wow Helga, that was...well, very impressive the way you handled it all." Arnold admitted. "Very sophisticated." Darn, I wish I could've been that cool.

Helga just waved him off, smirking to herself. "Oh, it was nothing. I do stuff like that all the time." 'All the time, first time - What's the difference?'

"Oh, wow...what a coincidence, me too." Arnold blushed a bit.

Gerald snickered behind his hand, with Phoebe lightly tapping his leg with her foot, making him stop.

Helga did her loddy da laugh... although it came out as more of a giggle. She settled the arm around his neck to just around his shoulders, and leaned a bit towards him with a smirk as she asked, "Oh? Is that so?" The idea of Arnold reading or speaking French was unavoidably intriguing to her.

"Well, sure, ma belle. Hrrrrrrr." Arnold winked and purred, stroking her side a little before just simply resting his hand on her waist.

Helga giggled, somehow managing to suppress like the biggest shudder ever (though she was shaking ever so slightly), and leaned a bit closer to him with a grin, the spot his hand touched tingling incessantly. "Oui oui, Mon Cher." She had no idea what she'd just said, but knew it was a term of endearment, something like 'my dear' or something, and she really just wanted to see his reaction.

Shoot! What did that one mean again? He didn't know. Whatever it was, it sounded sweet. Arnold blushed and averted his gaze a bit, before glancing back at her. To be bold, he took her gloved hand with his free hand and kissed it, despite the material of her glove.

Helga couldn't help the small pleasant "Oh" that escaped her lips at his kiss, and she giggled. "Oh, Arnold..." She purred this time, grinning flirtatiously. "You're so charming tonight. I like it." Her eyes fell half-lidded.

"Well...why wouldn't I be? It's the right thing to do, to be charming for a lovely young lady like you, Helga." Arnold blushed a bit and shuddered at her own little purr. "No reason I can't charm you, ma belle."

"Ah jeez..." Gerald groaned under his breath.

Helga giggled uncontrollably in response, having to try and conceal them behind her hand.

Phoebe couldn't help but giggle also, only at what Gerald said instead.

"Here ya go, kids." Jack came back some moments later, placing the first course of food on the table before them. "Some escargots for you fine ladies and gentlemen."

"Oh, um, thank you, Jack."

"Merci, Jack." Helga said demurely.

"Yes, thank you, sir."

"You're welcome, I'll be back with the rest." Jack winked at them before walking off to another table.

"Man, these look awesome!" Gerald exclaimed, taking his fork and poking at the escargots. "Hey, these look like snail shells! Haha! That's pretty wicked, huh Arnold?"

"Huh? Oh! Uh, yeah, exquisite, isn't it?" Arnold gave a wide grin. Gerald kicked his leg and he immediately dropped it.

Helga, her arm withdrawn from Arnold's neck now, but his arm still around her (she didn't dare question it in fear that it would end), and was eating her own food warily, though she tried not to show it as she said, "Yes, Geraldo, that's what escargot IS. Snails. Doi." She smirked, taking a generous bite of her own... and seriously trying not to upchuck it right then. She somehow managed to hold it down, with a great deal of effort.

"Say WHAT?" Gerald's eyes widened and he dropped his fork in mid-bite, clattering on the plate. "EW! I play with these things at the park! I ain't eating them!"

Helga rolled her eyes. "Why not? There's nothing wrong with it." 'Just stay cool, Helga... You can do this... It's just snails...'

"Yes there is! EW!" Gerald pushed his plate away. "That's just gross!"

Arnold meanwhile tried a bite, and made a grimace, but kept it down. "Mmm...delicious...just as always."

Gerald gave him a dry stare.

Helga smiled at Arnold before looking back over at Gerald with a small eyeroll. "Oh, don't be so dramatic. You eat burgers and fries and milkshakes. Burgers are made out of big smelly cows, fries are made of potatoes that come out of the DIRT, and milkshakes are made of milk, doi, so they come out of a cow's BOOBS. And yet you're perfectly fine eating THEM, and yet eating a couple little snails is just SO gross?" She snorted. "Drama queen."

Gerald made a face and held his stomach, turning to his best friend. "And you call THAT sophisticated?"

"Come on Gerald, she's just having fun." Arnold whispered back. "You don't have to eat them if you don't want to."

Helga chuckled. "Yeah, Gerald, I'm just having fun." She fluttered her eyelashes and then laughed.

Phoebe giggled.

"I'm just glad she didn't order spaghetti." Gerald muttered dryly.

Arnold's eyes widened and he blushed at the idea, averting his gaze to look as if he were very interested in his plate.

Helga, having heard what he said, looked over at him blankly. "Why?"

"Um...n-no reason! 'Cause it's all messy and could get on our nice clothes and stuff!" Gerald tugged his collar, glancing toward Phoebe for help.

Phoebe smiled at him, taking over as she looked at Helga, "He's just afraid you'll make some grotesque Earth worm joke or something, Helga, all things considered."

Helga blinked, before all out laughing. "Oh. Pfft, whatever." She reached forward to grab some bread. "I'm not going to talk about worms at the table. I just said all that stuff before to make a point."

Gerald wiped his brow in relief. "Okay then! Thanks, babe. Said exactly what was needed to be said."

Phoebe just giggled, nodding her head. "No problem, Gerald. I'm glad to have found the words that you couldn't seem to quite find. It was no trouble."

Arnold chuckled a bit at the exchange, shaking his head.

Helga just broke off a piece of her bread and turned towards Arnold with a devious glint in her eye. "Hey, Arnold? Do you like bread?"

"Huh? Oh, yes! I do like bread, Helga." Arnold turned to her and smiled a bit. "French bread is delicious."

Helga grinned then, leaning closer to him. "Okay, you want some then?" She held up a small piece to his lips, smirking.

"Oh...um, of course, Helga." He blushed a bit, and took the piece she offered into his mouth. "Mmm...thanks, Helga." Following her example, he broke off a piece of bread also, and held it to her. "Would you like some too?"

"Oh brother." Gerald grumbled to himself, palming his face.

Helga, in response (and SO ignoring Gerald), just immediately wrapped her lips around the small piece of bread, even tasting some of his fingers before pulling her mouth off and savoring the bread in her mouth with her eyes closed. "Mmmm..." She swallowed, and slowly opened her eyes. "Delightful..."

You're delightful. Arnold thought, gazing at her adoringly for a few more moments.

Phoebe just sighed at their best friends once again descent into Flirt Land and whispered to Gerald, "Perhaps we shouldn't have come..."

"Here you go! Duck a l'orange for the happy couples!" Jack announced as he placed some more plates before the kids.

"More like happy couple and buddies." Gerald mumbled, but grinned at the sight of the food. "Now THAT is more like it!"

Helga just ignored the 'happy couples' remark and smiled at the waiter. "Good, good. Thank you, Jack." She grinned down at her big plate of food, feeling extremely excited to eat FINALLY something that wasn't ridiculously disgusting.

"Man, this looks awesome!" Gerald grinned, sniffing the meat. "Mm-mm! Smells fantastic!"

Much to his dismay, Arnold had to remove his arm from around his beloved's slim waist, but noted himself to replace it later on. Still, the sight and smell of the Duck a l'orange on his plate looked awesome. "Wow, this looks really..." He tried to think of a big word to impress Helga with. "Scrumptious."

Helga giggled at hearing such a big word coming out of Arnold's mouth, finding it cute how he'd suddenly gone from such an easygoing, carefree guy to someone who said words like 'scrumptious' and 'dashing' every five seconds. It was highly amusing... and extremely cute. She nodded in response, doing her best to ignore the pangs of sadness at not having his arm around her anymore, and said, "Yes, it looks positively succulent. Excellently cooked, and it smells delectable." She broke out her fork and knife and already started cutting into her food, her mouth watering just at the idea of having it in her mouth.

"Heck yeah! All that and whatever those words you just said!" Gerald eagerly did the same, cutting into his meat, and taking a bite of a piece. He grinned and patted his tummy. "Mmm-mmm! Now that is good meat!"

Arnold followed their examples, and tried a piece of meat. "Wow! It's delicious!"

"And here's your cheese, exactly as you asked for!" Jack came back, placing a plate of cheese on the table for them.

"All right!" Gerald took the plate and immediately beelined his nose to the smelly, runny, moldy cheese.

Phoebe, having just swallowed her first bite of duck and starting to cut into her next one, couldn't help but lean forward a bit and sniff at the smell. "Ooooh..." She cringed ever so slightly, leaning back. "That smells very... interesting."

"And by interesting, she means disgusting!" Helga exclaimed, holding her nose and fanning the area around her. "I can smell that stuff just from over here!"

"Aw, come on! It's cool! Here Arnold, smell it!" Gerald held the plate toward Arnold.

"I'm not going to smell it!" Arnold recoiled from it.

"Come on man, where's your sense of adventure?"

"Hiding until it's needed. Now take that away."

Helga grimaced, recoiling away herself. "Seriously, Geraldo, put that stuff away. And you said the SNAILS were disgusting. Ick." She cringed heavily.

"Oh fine." Gerald pouted, putting it aside. "May as well dig more into the awesome meat!"

Helga shuddered. "I think I may have lost my appetite after that episode."

Phoebe couldn't help but agree. "I have to agree with Helga." She stated, pushing her plate aside a bit.

"Oh well, more for me!" Gerald declared.

"Me too." Arnold pushed his plate away. "I'll have to ask Jack to take that away."

Helga shuddered. "Agreed. Well, this is great. We're in a fancy French restaurant with no appetite. Now what?"

"That's too bad." Arnold said sadly. He glanced at Helga for a moment. "Oh! Helga, you have a little something on the corner of your mouth. I'll get it for you." He took his napkin and leaned over to wipe her mouth with it. "There you go."

Helga's eyes widened at what he'd just done, and she blushed, looking away. "O-Oh, thanks, Arnold..."

"You're welcome, Helga." Arnold shyly sat back in his seat, blushing a bit. "J-Just wanted to help."

Gerald looked wide-eyed, turning to Phoebe. "Hey, you wanna slip out to a movie or somethin'? They won't notice!"

Phoebe couldn't help having to giggle quite a bit at that one, and she shook her head at him with a smile. "Gerald... We couldn't..."

Sighing, Gerald nodded. "Guess you're right, babe. May as well tough it out. She DID invite us, after all."

Phoebe nodded, smiling. "Indeed, Gerald. They're not going at it too bad, anyway. I'm sure things will be fine in just a minute." She glanced over back towards their smitten friends.

Helga blushingly glanced at Arnold, smiling ever so slightly. "Just like always, h-huh...?" She giggled a little.

"Yeah..." Arnold glanced toward her too. "E-Especially you."

Helga's blush grew even more and she had to just turn to him fully now and look at him shyly, clearly flattered, "R-Really...?"

"Well yeah. you're my best girl friend, so...of course I want to help you too. You-you deserve it, too." Arnold looked at her shyly, twiddling his hands on his lap.

"Let's hope." Gerald muttered dryly to Phoebe.

Helga bit her lip, looking down... before she scooted a bit closer to him and glanced at him, still feeling a bit shy but also a bit more confident, given what he'd said. "Arnold...?"

"Yes, Helga?" Arnold looked away a bit before looking back at her fully.

Helga giggled, looking at him full on now, feeling much less shy now that she could see how shy HE was. "I think I got my appetite back now..." 'My appetite for YOU is growing more and more with each second...' She inwardly smirked.

"Really, Helga?" Arnold looked at her also, blinking. "Th-That's good, I'm glad to hear that...I-I think I am, too."

"And I'm losing MINE..." Gerald muttered.

Helga's eyes glinted with mischief. "Oh? Hungry again, huh? Well then..." Helga picked up her fork and got a small bit of her duck on it, and then placed it in between her teeth and pulled it off the fork, leaving it there. She spoke through her teeth, "Come and get it."

Arnold blinked and stared in surprise. Was she actually...? Blushing more, he nodded a bit. "O-Okay, Helga." Trying to be bold, he leaned in, bringing one hand to her shoulder for leverage, and touched his lips to hers. He pried the piece of meat from her mouth and kissed her tenderly all the while. Pulling away, he chewed and swallowed the meat and smiled a bit through his immense blush.

Helga, eyes now heavily half-lidded with pleasure, just grinned through her blush and giggled. "I can't believe you actually did that..." she confessed. 'But I'm so glad you did...'

"Well...it's nothing new to us anymore..." Arnold blushed more.

"Ah jeez..." Gerald covered his own eyes, shaking his head.

"I guess that is true, huh?" She giggled, leaning in closer to him flirtingly. "I nearly forgot. We haven't really done anything for a little while, but you're absolutely right. We ARE a couple of weirdo kissing buddies, aren't we?" She leaned in right at that moment and showered his lips with kisses for quite a few seconds while he just sat there, paralyzed in love, before she pulled back, struggling with not going completely bonkers herself. "S-See? Nothing..." 'Other than sparks and electicity searing through my entire body and heating up through my core, letting every last molecule in my body know that I am completely and utterly yours, my love...' How she was managing to stay sane, she'd never know.

Arnold's entire face turned bright pink, bordering red, as he sighed a little bit and managed to sit up straight. "Y-Yeah...I guess we're really that different...but it's okay...right? As long as we're...you know, consenting." He took a piece of his meat, placed it between his teeth, and then boldly leaned over to kiss her once more, transferring the piece into her mouth.

"Mmmm!" She blinked in surprise, her heart skipping several beats at his bold move before she managed to muster up enough sense to kiss him back, impatiently bringing both of her arms around him and holding him there, pressing herself into him. She was so tired of all the cat and mouse. She wanted him NOW. He tasted like duck and Arnold and Heaven and perfection and GOSH DANG IT, SHE WAS JUST TIRED OF ALL THESE SMALL PECKS AND TEASING AND FLIRTING! IT WAS EVEN WORSE TORTURE THAN NOT HAVING TALKED TO HIM HARDLY FOR SIX YEARS!

Arnold squeaked a bit in surprise, freezing in place at her sudden bold and more intense reaction. But boy was he not letting it slip! She wanted a real kiss, she could have one. His hands rested on her waist as he kissed her back, now completely devoid of the rest of the world.

Gerald's eyes widened and his jaw dropped, his fork falling onto the table and missing his plate. He tried to say something, but Phoebe clapped her hand over his mouth again.

Helga, feeling just completely FED UP, pressed him hard against the back of his chair and kissed him intensely, doing her best to implant it into his head that only friends or not, he belonged to HER! 'MINE!' She moaned then, her heart completely aflame from his hands on her back, and her soul practically trying to just completely leave her and melt into him. 'Arnold, Arnold, Arnold...' It just felt SO good to finally have him like this, even if he was only kissing her back to humor her, or play with her, or flirt with her outright, she just didn't CARE! As long as he was in her arms and she was in his for just a minute or two, she'd be content for the rest of the evening and would keep her hands to herself. Just ONCE!

A deep sigh escaped his nose as their kiss grew more intense and passionate, he nearly fell limp! It was a wonder no one else in the restaurant seemed to notice, thankfully. He just happily kissed her back, holding her close. Whatever made her want to kiss like this, he didn't care nor did he think about it. If they wanted to really be "Weirdo Kissing Buddies", why not? He raised one hand up to gently play with her hair.

Helga's entire nervous system all but shut down at his hand being in her hair, and she honestly felt like she was losing her mind. She pulled away from his lips a moment, though of course still pressing into him and arching into his arms, and said breathily, "You're cute in your bow tie, and you're a really good friend, and you have really green eyes and you're so worldly and cultured and I... I..." Her head was spinning, she was so lost in his eyes and she was struggling with not kissing him immediately again, but she wanted to hear what he had to say back.

Arnold's heart pounded and he felt just so ELATED! How Helga had become so wonderful to him in a matter of a couple of months was beyond him, but he couldn't help himself. Ever since their date, nothing between them was the same. Most especially after their Cheese Festival outing. He smiled more, and brought his hand up to touch her cheek gently, pecking her lightly. "Thanks, Helga. You're...well, you're a great friend, and really lovely, and really sophisticated and cultured, too. I'm glad we're here like this...really."

She really was just babbling words from her tormented heart now, completely lost in him and everything he was and ever was before and ever would be. She just felt completely loopy in love at that moment, and leaned into his touch all the more, closer to his warmth, his care, his essence... "Oh, and I'm so glad we are too. I didn't know what I was missing out on before. I'm so glad we're friends and can be like this together. You're like my best friend and I... Oh, I just love you so much. No ones ever made me feel so happy and warm. You're the best friend any girl could ever have. And your lips taste like cotton candy!" She dove back in then, kissing him fervently, once again losing herself in him before she pulled back again, just to gasp for air and run her fingers through his hair. She was just SO glad that it was slow night for the restaurant tonight, because otherwise she just KNEW people would be making complaints.

Arnold shuddered in pleasure and managed to regain himself a little, calming his rapid breathing and pounding heart. Helga G. Pataki was just a wonder. A pure wonder. How could he have missed out on something so great? He regretted not having reached out to her further in the past. But at least now they were here, and didn't that count?

"Me too, Helga. You're my best girl friend, and well..." He managed to reach for his glass of water. "I'm glad we're finally friends."

Helga just continued to run her fingers through his hair, her eyes half-lidded in adoration and love. "Me too... friends forever... and ever..." 'And ever and ever and ever...'

"Friends to the end." Arnold managed, giving her a hug and playing with her hair.

Helga, just continuing to stare at him dotingly, just continued running her hands through his hair, petting him affectionately. "Yes... 'til the very end..."

Gerald palmed his face, unable to fathom just how silly this was. Here they were, obviously a little more than infatuated with each other, and having just kissed like a couple of lovers, and were STILL fixated on being "just friends". He was at loss for words. He just wanted to scream "YOU TWO ARE IN LOVE! WILL YOU STOP WITH THE FRIENDS THING?", but he knew he couldn't. It would mess things up BIG TIME.

Phoebe couldn't help but exchange a knowing, frustrated look with Gerald.

"Escallopes for you all!" Jack announced as he came back to the table, placing a few plates of scallops topped with some sauce and vegetables.

Only this time, his presence didn't quite deter the two "friends", as they just continued embracing and staring at each other.

"Hey uh, thanks, man!" Gerald said, smiling nervously.

Helga hummed in response, not taking her eyes off of Arnold. "Oh, thanks, Max..."

"...Um, it's Jack." Jack blinked, looking from one pair to the other. "...Okay then." He walked off, confused.

Gerald whispered to Phoebe. "You were right, people DO think they're a couple..."

Phoebe nodded to him. "Indeed. They really haven't been giving them any reason to think otherwise."

"No kidding." Gerald whispered. "If I hear one more 'we're best friends' phrase, I swear I'm gonna pop 'em."

Phoebe just giggled, shaking her head. "Do try to resist, Gerald. They can't help that they're blind to each other's affections."

"Understatement of the year." Gerald mumbled. "But I know I gotta resist, or else Arnold's gonna hate me forever and Helga'll pound me to the ground."

Phoebe nodded, looking away shyly. "Indeed, Gerald, and that would be very sad... I'd miss you."

"Awww...thanks, Phoebe." Gerald blushed a bit, patting her hand. "I'd miss you, too."

Phoebe just blushed in response, smiling at him.

Gerald grinned. "So! You wanna make a real good outing and go see a movie with yours truly sometime?" He winked at her.

Phoebe giggled, leaning up to him just a bit flirtatiously. "That sounds delightful, Gerald... as long as we're not going to be using the 'just friends' excuse, either... After this whole experience, I must say that I've truly learned that..." She glanced at Arnold and Helga, still wrapped up in each other in their own little world. "I really don't want to end up like that..."

Blinking, Gerald realized what she meant and blushed heavily, but nodded in agreement. "S-Sounds good, babe! I agree with you! It's a date!"

Phoebe just blushed in response, and nodded shyly.

"All right then..." He turned to their best friends. "HEY! WAKE UP!"

This time, Arnold jumped a bit and stared around, wide-eyed. "O-Oh...um...sorry, guys..." He rubbed the back of his neck in embarrassment. "What were we talking about?"

"Um...nothin', man. Anyway, we got scallops! And I just FINALLY regained my appetite, so you guys better eat it!"

Helga giggled, still feeling just a bit dazed. "Sounds good to me." She picked up one of the scallops and took a generous bite out of it, before stuffing the rest into Arnold's mouth and kissingly pushing it all the way into his mouth before she separated herself from him and started eating her food, still snuggling fit into his arms, just waiting for him to finish what was in his mouth before she could feed him again (Did she mention he belonged to HER?).

Gerald's face immediately went blank. "And I lost it again."

Phoebe giggled a bit. "You don't have to watch them, Gerald."

Arnold blushed a bit at her action, and finished his bite that she had generously fed him. "Mmm...wow, this is really good. And the sauce adds a perfect flavour to it."

Gerald just looked over at her, his face still blank. "Well, how can I not watch them when they're RIGHT THERE being shoved in our faces? It'd be like trying to ignore it raining hot acid. It's kinda hard." He shuddered.

Helga giggled, picking up a bit of the vegetables and leaning into his arms with the forkful. "Yeah, definitely. It's really delicious." She brought her hand holding the fork up to his mouth again, pressing it against his lips. "Now open up again, Mon Cher."

"I know, but you can look at something else." Phoebe blushed a bit shyly.

"Oh...thank you, Helga." Arnold accepted the bite, chewing thoughtfully. "Mmmm...wow, delicious."

Gerald had immediately opened his mouth at that one, like he was about to respond, but then he suddenly closed it and his eyes went blank again for a moment... before he grinned smoothly and sat his head in his hand. "Like you. Good idea, Pheebs."

Helga nodded, her eyes lively with love. "Yeah, very." She picked up a bit for herself and ate some herself, before swallowing and giggling a little as she looked over at him and said, "Oh, and the food is pretty good, too."

Phoebe blushed and giggled, looking at him with a shy, but sweet smile. "Yes...like me. And I will do the same to you as well."

Arnold blinked, and blushed even more. He took his fork and picked up a scallop piece with a couple of vegetables, making sure to dab it in the sauce, and held it to her lips. "Would you like some more, ma cheri?"

Gerald grinned. "Sounds good to me, babe."

Helga blushed shyly and nodded her head, wrapping her lips around the bit of scallop and veggies and pulling away with the food in her mouth. "Mmmm..." Her eyes were closed, and she just took a few moments to savor it's rich flavors.

"All right. ...Well, aside from everything, this is quite nice, isn't it?" Phoebe smiled a bit more, shyly eating some of her scallops.

"Oh, you have a little bit of sauce on the corner of your lip, Helga. I'll get it for you." Arnold leaned over to her and wiped it off with his mouth and tongue, then kissed her lightly as he did so, before pulling away.

Gerald, still just staring at her and deliberately ignoring a certain two, just took a few bites of his own scallops and shrugged. "I guess it could've been a lot worse. But you being here has really helped, Pheebs." He took her hand under the table and gave it a light squeeze.

Helga, now paralyzed in his arms, just struggled against falling against him and swooning. Luckily, she managed, but only after glancing over at him and noticing a few little crumbles of scallops on the side of his mouth. "Oh, you have a little something on the side of your mouth, too, Arnold." She knew it was small, but she needed some way of turning the tables around, or else she was just going to lose it. And so she leaned forward and did a long lick off the side of his own mouth, licking up all the crumbs, before going back and just pecking a few times around his mouth to make sure the entire area was swept (or rather kissed) clean. "There we are. Much better." She giggled.

"Thank you, Gerald..." Phoebe giggled and blushed a bit. "For the most part I am very glad I came. And you being here too has been worth it as well."

"Thank you, Helga. You're very sweet." Arnold blushed a bit more, and held her a little closer. His heart pounded, his insides were numb and heated, it was all a huge mess. But a wonderful mess.

Gerald grinned charmingly, although if one looked close enough, it was just a TINY BIT obvious that he was blushing. "Thanks, babe. Glad to hear it."

Helga, in response just giggled and wrapped an arm around him again, keeping him close. "Yep, that's me. Sweet ol' Helga G. Pataki." She giggled at the silly idea, but coming from Arnold, it was more than flattering.

"Me too." Phoebe ate the last of her scallops, smiling in delight, and then placed her now free hand over his that rested on her other one.

Gerald just smiled.

"Yep." Arnold winked at her, and then gave her another bite of scallops and veggies. "Here, Helga."

Helga giggled and instantly ate the bit of food off of the fork and swallowed, before leaning in closer to him affectionately and gazing at him a bit. "Thank you, Arnold..." She leaned into his chest a bit, enjoying his presence.

"You're welcome." Arnold marveled in how she snuggled into him and he felt like a million bucks. "Meow." He mewed, playing with her a bit.

Helga giggled, putting her hand over his heart and feeling it pound beneath it. It surprised her a bit, but she figured it was just because he was a little freaked by how close she was... but she didn't care. She just wanted to be close to him, and dang it, he was just going to have to get used to it. "Woof, woof..." She played right on back, stroking his chest with her hand.

Phoebe glanced at them at the corner of her eye and couldn't help but smile. It was so cute! If they weren't so blind to their love for each other, it would've been cuter.

"Meow." He said again, and held her closer, stroking her hair. "It's so nice being here with you like this, Helga. I'm...really glad you invited us."

Helga just giggled again and continued softly stroking his chest, leaning into his warmth and savoring his hands stroking her hair. "Well, technically, I just invited Phoebe. Gerald was the one that invited you... but I'm really glad he did. Tonight really wouldn't have been the same without you."

"Thanks, Helga... I'm glad we all came, it's been great." Arnold suppressed a shudder from her stroking his chest and hair, it made him smile goofily. "It was great coming back here again, especially all four of us here together."

"Yeah, but I'm especially glad we got to come here again together..." Helga couldn't help but mutter out quietly, sweetly, as she reached the hand that was in his hair down to stroke the light, cute hairs of his neck. They were just calling for her love and attention.

"And here's our special for tonight! Fettucine noodles with a French twist sauce!" Jack announced as he came back to the table, placing two large plates of fettucine with a red sauce on them sprinkled with grated cheese. "Enjoy, you lovebirds!" He winked as he refilled their water, and then left.

"Well hey! That looks good!" Gerald grinned. "...So wait, we gotta share?"

Helga giggled. "Well, it's one big plate and we still have our old plates. We COULD just get what we want off of the plate and onto our individual ones... but I don't think I'm going to." She fluttered her eyelashes at Arnold, not really thinking about it too much. She'd really just started running on pure instinct with him lately, and with how affectionate he was always acting, she figured it was a good thing.

"Me neither." Arnold murmured, staring at Helga adoringly. "I don't mind sharing with you, Helga."

"Oh brother." Gerald groaned, shaking his head. "Well you guys do what you wanna do. I'M going to eat it the right way. You with me on that, babe?"

Phoebe just nodded, smiling in a bit of amusement. "Yes, Gerald, that does seem more acceptible to me."

Helga just ignored the other two at the table, gazing at Arnold lovingly back, and still batting her eyelashes here and there. "Wonderful..."

"Sounds good to me, then!" Gerald turned his attention to Phoebe. "Allow me." He scooped some of the noodles onto her plate. "There you go, Pheebs."

"Yeah..." Arnold took his fork and proceeded to eat some of the noodles. "Mmmm...wow...this is really delicious!"

Phoebe smiled happily at Gerald. "Konichiwa, Gerald. That was very kind of you."

Helga took a generous forkful of the noodles too, popping it in her mouth. "Mmmm..."

Gerald, now with his plate full of noodles, too, didn't even notice that a few of the noodles were hanging off the original serving dish and just went away with putting in a big bite full of his own into his mouth. "Oh yeah..."

Both Helga and Gerald continued eating their noodles, but soon found that they were having to lean forward to in order to eat up more of the noodles, and before either of them knew it, they were nose to nose with each other. Both their eyes widened...

Arnold slurped some more noodles, and then the sight caught his eye. As did Phoebe's. The two of them stared at the awkward sight for a few moments, all of them unmoving.

A tinge of jealousy coursed through him and Arnold's eyes narrowed. How DARE this happen! Helga's MINE! ...Okay, not mine, technically, but...! No! I won't let this happen!

He immediately took his steak knife, and cut the strand in between them to break it.

Phoebe sighed in relief. "Thank you, Arnold."

Helga, the noodle now broken, just sat back in her seat now, her face twisted in some weird, utterly awkward and unknowing of what to say way, as well as Gerald's at the moment. And the only thought on either of their minds was, 'ceinfowhngiogiohwghrjf.'

"Are you all right, Gerald?" Phoebe asked in concern. "I'm sorry that had to happen, it must have been uncomfortable for you."

"Helga?" Arnold reached over and gently held her face in his hands, concerned. "Helga, are you okay?"

Gerald just blinked a few times, his face still twisted oddly. Not quite repulsed as he was... just... ew. He blinked a few times, finally managing to come out of his state of... he wasn't even sure. Awkward. Just... awkward. He looked over at Phoebe, rubbing the side of his face. "Okay... that was even worse than that time at the Carmen play..." He cringed at the memory.

That one managed to break Helga out of her awkward stupor also, and she shook her head a little and blinked, and then instantly shot her head around and scowled at Gerald. "I thought we had a silent agreement to NEVER SPEAK OF THAT EVER AGAIN."

Gerald shrugged. "I guess I didn't get the memo. I can't read your MIND, Helga."

Helga just scowled.

"Um, Gerald? Can I talk to you for a second?" Arnold said seriously, clearing his throat.

Helga blinked at that one, looking over at him with a hint of sadness, though she tried to hide it. "You're leaving?"

Gerald just blinked. "Uh..."

"Huh?" Arnold looked back at her. "No! No, of course not, Helga. I wouldn't do that."

Helga pouted. "But you just said..."

"I just need to talk to Gerald for a second, we'll be back!" Arnold grabbed his best friend's arm and dragged him aside out of earshot of the table.

Helga blinked, looking over at Phoebe with a bit of her brow extended up. "What was all that about?"

"I haven't a clue, Helga." Phoebe murmured. "I'm sure they just need to sort something out."

Helga just shrugged. "Whatever. Boys are weird."


Gerald, stumbling along behind Arnold, tried with all his might to stop Arnold from dragging him along anymore, but he was determined... "Arnold, geez, where's the fire?"

"Gerald...what were you doing?"

Gerald was immediately taken aback at this randomly yelled question, and had to just blink a few times. "What are you talking about, Arnold? I-" He became fed up. "Will you please stop dragging me wherever?"

Arnold let go, and took a deep breath. "You know what I mean. You had the same noodle strand that Helga did!"

Gerald blinked, his face twisting awkwardly for a few seconds just at the memory before he blinked out of it and looked at Arnold with an incredulous look. "And what, Arnold? Did you think I did it on PURPOSE or something? I had no control over it! It just happened! It's not like it's the first time or anything!"

"How did you not notice it? And-...wait, what do you mean it's not the first time?" His eyes widened, unsure whether to be surprised or jealous.

Gerald rolled his eyes, regretting having ever mentioned that in the first place. "Whatever, man. I was just really absorbed in the flavors in my mouth and wasn't paying attention. Next thing I knew I was nose to nose with Helga. These things happen. And as for the other time, it was no big deal. Remember back when we were at that play Carmen?"

"...Yes, remember, but what does that have to do with anything?" Arnold now was confused.

Gerald sighed, his face twisting awkwardly just at the mere memory. "Well, I kinda dozed off a little listening to my music, Helga fell asleep, and when we both woke up at the end of the play, she was kind of laying against me." He cringed. "It was one of the most awkward moments of my life."

"...I didn't even notice." Arnold groaned, shaking his head. "...Okay, okay. I'm sorry Gerald, really. I guess I really can't help myself these days. I just get so jealous! I'm sorry. I really need to control myself a bit better."

Gerald couldn't help the eyeroll that took over him a moment. "Oh, come on, Arnold, if there's ANYONE you don't need to feel jealous of, it's ME. I'm your best friend, and I'm not attracted to Helga in the least. I just think the god of fate has a really sick sense of humor is all." He waved it off. "But I can understand you being all jealous. After that whole Arnie deal, and all the guys just in general that have shown an interest in Helga, I can see where you'd feel kinda paranoid."

"But I feel terrible, Gerald. It's like Helga's some kind of toy I don't want anyone else playing with. But she's not a toy! She's so much more than that!" Arnold held his head in his hands. "I've just gotten so paranoid, so possessive...that's not how love should be! I trust her, it's those other guys I don't trust!"

Gerald frowned. "So you don't trust your best friend?"

"No, no, I do. That was a stupid, paranoid, jealous moment for me."

Gerald shook his head at him. "Well, just for the record and so you know for sure, if anything weird like that ever happens again, it in NO way means that I suddenly want your girl." He shuddered a little. "Heck, I have a problem comprehending how YOU want her."

"I understand, Gerald. I'll remember that." Arnold looked down at the floor. "I know it's weird, considering everything, but it's how I feel. I...I love her, Gerald."

Gerald nodded sympathetically, putting a hand on his shoulder. "I know, man. You don't have to tell me. I can tell." Gerald frowned, rubbing the back of his neck a little. "And hey, as for feeling jealous and possessive... Well, I know that it seems like that SHOULDN'T be how love should be, but it's part of the package, Arnold. You're going to feel happy, and jealous, possessive, sad, and sometimes you're just plain gonna want to cry... if what I've read from my mom's magazines is correct, anyway... and that's just how love is, Arnold. It doesn't make it right or anything, but it's just something you're going to have to deal with. You know?"

Arnold considered that for a moment, and then nodded. "I guess you're right. That makes sense. ...Well, anyway, let's go back to the table, okay?"

Gerald held him back by the shoulder with his hand, looking at him firmly. "Only if you promise not to freak out on me if anything weird like that happens again, okay? It's almost just as uncomfortable for me as it is for you, so just keep that in mind. Okay? And before we go back, again, I'd like to warn you of some other guys you're gonna want to watch your back for, okay?"

"Okay, Gerald. I'll keep it in mind and...wait, what do you mean by that?"

Gerald looked away a bit awkwardly, a bit afraid of what he knew was inevitably coming. "Well, since I've been such close friends with Pheebs, she's told me a few things about Helga and a couple other boys... if you know what I mean." He gave him a meaingful look, hoping he'd get it

"..." Arnold was appalled. "Helga and other boys?"

Gerald slapped a hand over his mouth to quiet him down, putting a finger over his lips to signal for him to keep quiet. "Shhh, man, not so loud. But yeah, Helga's had a few little flings with a few other guys... One of them you already knew about, but I'm sure you've probably completely forgotten about by now... I was going to talk to you about this after dinner tonight during our sleepover, but since we're already talking about it here and now and you seem to be having some problems with this stuff, I figure it might be as good a time as any." He shrugged.

"Helga's...been with other boys?" Arnold demanded, his voice muffled.

Gerald shushed him again, looking around to make sure no one was looking at them. He quietly led Arnold over to the men's room and shut the door quietly behind them before turning to Arnold blankly and answering, "Yes."

"Who?" Arnold wanted to know, getting steamed. Not at Gerald, but at the situation, and whoever dared laid their undeserving hands on Helga!

Gerald just shook his head at his best friend, having known this was going to happen but unable to resist the urge to be a bit annoyed by it. He sighed, leaning against the bathroom wall as he explained. "Okay, according to Phoebe and my own memory banks, Helga's 'been' with three guys before you came skipping in with your big, stupid grin. And those guys are Stinky, Harold, and, big shocker, Ronnie Matthews."

"...And I actually helped Stinky get back with her." Arnold realized. "And Harold? Harold? When did that happen? ...And how in the world did she get with Ronnie Matthews?"

Gerald just sighed again, attempting to patiently explain. "Well, according to Phoebe, from what Helga told her, you remember that one field trip to the Chocolate Factory where Helga and Harold got lost together? Well, apparently during their little 'adventure,' Helga ended up saving Harold's life and he told her that he thought he loved her. And then afterwards, they went to Wrestlemania together."

"But he's older than her! That's just wrong!" Arnold grimaced at this.

Gerald just shrugged. "I'm just tellin' you what I was told, Arnold. And according to Helga through Phoebe, that's what went down. He even hugged her."

"HUGGED her? ...No wonder. She can be so huggable. I-I mean...he doesn't deserve her!" Arnold held his head again. "...And what happened with Ronnie Matthews?"

Gerald smacked his lips a little, trying to ignore his friend's jealous tirade for the moment. He'd deal with it once he was done explaining off the guys he had to look out for. "Well, according to Phoebe, Helga was hung up on Ronnie Matthews for quite a while. The story is that Helga hated Ronnie Matthews, but when Phoebe won that contest to go meet him, she dragged Helga along with her, and Helga and Ronnie ended up having a lot in common and bla bla. Helga ended up getting a little crush on him, and according to Phoebe, even Ronnie seemed kinda fond of Helga himself."

"...He's more than ten years older than her! He can't possibly get romantic with a child! That's really creepy!"

Gerald rolled his eyes massively. "Says the guy that was all hung up on a thirty year old teacher AND a sixth grader."

"Hey, I've learned my lesson in that, Gerald." Arnold groaned. "But this is serious! Who does he think he is? Helga's just a child!"

Gerald just shrugged. He didn't know what to say.

"...What am I saying, Ronnie and her have a lot in common and like each other, don't they? And he can give her so many things I can't. I can't even drive!"

Gerald, at this point really trying to keep his total amusement from showing, just decided to hold out a TEENSY bit longer (just to see what would happen) and shrugged again. "Not to mention the fact that he has actual muscles and a deep, Spanish tan."

"That too! Oh, what was I thinking? How I can prove to be good enough for her when I can't even tell her I'm in love with her? ...Ronnie may be older than her, but who am I to argue with love?" Arnold groaned and looked down at the floor sadly. "She might even pretend I'm Ronnie because she misses him."

Gerald, full on snickering at this point behind his hand, went on in an overly strained voice (trying to hold back his laughter), "Y-Yeah, man... and not to mention that thick Spanish accent of his and how you can barely even understand what he's saying half the time." He chuckled a little unavoidably.

"Gerald, it's not funny. What if they're meant for each other, but are torn apart by their age gap?"

Okay, that one... Oh, Gerald just couldn't take it anymore. He fell straight away to the floor in full out laughs, practically convulsing on the ground.

"Gerald! Why are you laughing?" Arnold wanted to know. "This isn't funny! I didn't know Helga liked other boys or even Ronnie! If she would rather be with him than me, then why should I hold her back just because I'm jealous?"

Gerald, still laughing insanely, managed to get out a few words somewhat coherently amidst his laughs, "Arnold... Helga... She didn't even... She got over..." He chuckled, wiping some tears from his eyes and sitting up, finally able to speak an actual SENTENCE, "Arnold, Helga got over Ronnie within like a week because he never called her back or cared about her in the least. Heck, he even got a girlfriend and announced it on live television just a few days after having met her. Helga can barely stand Ronnie AGAIN." He laughed.

Arnold blinked a few times, utterly perplexed. Especially at how stupid he was acting there. How could he have not known that? How could he have said such stupid and irrational things? Why was his jealousy and paranoia getting the better of him? ...It was all part of love, as Gerald said. He just had to deal with it. "...So...she doesn't like him at all?"

Gerald, still grinning down on the ground, just shook his head an affirmative 'no.'

"...Oh." Was all Arnold could say.

Gerald just chuckled, standing up off the of the floor and dusting himself off a little bit. "It's okay, Arnold. I can't exactly blame you. I've seen worse." He shrugged, though, of course, still grinning.

"...Man, I really am letting all this get to me." Arnold held a hand to his forehead. "...Come on, let's just go back to the table now."

Gerald grabbed his arm, though, once more. "Wait, man, there's just ONE more that I might have left out. I'll tell you if you want, but I seriously doubt he's too big of a threat to you for Helga's affections, but he IS a sort of factor." He shrugged.

"...There's more?" Arnold groaned.

Gerald, grinning at the funny reaction, just nodded. "Yeah, yeah, man, just one more. I wasn't going to tell you this one 'cause I thought it was kinda stupid to mention, but I think you might appreciate the irony of it."

"The irony? What do you mean?"

Gerald chuckled. "Brainy." He said simply.

"...Brainy? Brainy? BRAINY!"

Gerald blinked in shock at this over-the-top reaction, recoiling back just a bit. "Yeah, man, what?"

"...I tried to help Brainy get together with Helga! Back when we had done the e-mail assignment, when I liked Mary Margaret and thought she was e-mailing me but it turned out to be Siobhan." Arnold recalled. "Brainy was talking about HELGA. And she thought it was a cruel joke I pulled on her, but when it actuality it was Brainy who loved her."

Gerald blinked at him in surprise. "Wait a minute... so this whole time you KNEW Brainy was in love with Helga?"

"It was a strange mix-up, Gerald. But I didn't know exactly. And now I really know." Arnold recalled, and sighed. "I almost got them together."

Gerald blinked very slowly... before laughing out loud. "OH, man, that's even more ironic than just the basic picture of the quiet, creepy Brainy suddenly FEELING things!" He laughed loudly.

"Hey, Brainy is still a human being! He's just quiet and introverted." Arnold protested. "...I guess I really can't be too surprised. I don't know much about him, but I know he likes poetry, and I know Helga likes poetry too." A thought occurred to him then, and Arnold paced a bit, thinking. "Wait a minute. That means...that means Brainy actually liked Helga far longer than I did. ...That means he..." Now he looked utterly broken. "He loves her more."

Gerald shrugged, still laughing a little. "Well, from what I heard from Phoebe, Brainy's been in love with Helga for years, tracing all the way back to kindergarten. He's been her stalker for YEARS." He shrugged, just assuming Arnold already knew all this and continuing on, "But anyway, man, yeah, he's liked her longer, but whatever-"

"Stalker? And since Kindergarten?" Arnold palmed his face again. "And I barely liked her two months now. I already feel down knowing Helga doesn't feel that way, but to have to live with that for six years? That's...crazy."

Gerald just blinked, just piecing together in his head that Arnold apparently DIDN'T know after all. "Well, I don't know, man. According to what Phoebe said, Brainy's been koo koo for Helga for years. Although, Helga doesn't seem to know or care to figure it out, though. But wait a minute, you said Helga thought it was all a cruel joke and that it was actually Brainy that loved her... What are you talking about?" He scratched his head a little.

"Brainy came to me, saying that he wrote an e-mail confessing his love to her. But she thought he was someone else, I don't know who, but she wrote back to him saying she loved him back, thinking he was some other boy. Brainy was surprised, thinking she knew it was himself, and he came to me asking for help. I was shocked and I didn't know what to do, but eventually I got into helping him out. I went with him to meet Helga there, which she said for "Golden Hero" to have a flower on him so she'll know. For some reason she didn't see him and ignored him, and was thinking I was Golden Hero." He shrugged. "But when she saw it was Brainy, she got angry and thought we had pulled a cruel joke on her."

Gerald blinked, an eyebrow raised. "That... is weird..."

"I know it's weird, Gerald. But I guess I kind of underestimated everything and...well I felt bad she thought it was a joke, and I felt bad for letting Brainy down. I guess he...really does love her a lot. I'll bet she could too if she ever gave him the chance. They seem to have a bit in common." He sighed then.

Gerald, feeling a bit uncomfortable at the very unexpected turn this whole thing had gone, just continued on a bit with what he'd been told, "Well, like Phoebe said, Helga really doesn't feel that way about Brainy. But according to what you said, it sounds to ME like Helga is hung up on some other guy if she's just been completely ignoring Brainy for six years. Normally girls immediately latch onto guys that like them. But instead, Helga's pushed away every guy that's ever shown interest in her - Stinky, Harold, Brainy... There's a pattern goin' there, man. She's rejecting everybody in her path. That only happens when a girl is already hung up on someone."

"...That's true, isn't it?" Arnold realized, blinking. "But who could she possibly like? She hasn't even mentioned anything like it. I mean. well, not that I'd pry into her private matters, of course. But I don't know, unless this guy doesn't go to our school or is in another class, I'm pretty stumped."

Gerald just blinked blankly, completely flabbergasted with how utterly dense his best friend could be.

"...Anyway, let's go back to the table, Gerald. I think we've kept them waiting long enough. Besides, I really need to mull this over." Arnold opened the door to leave the bathroom.

Gerald just shrugged, following him out. "Whatever, buddy."

Arnold breathed out deeply, deciding to just stay calm and not let this get to him now. It was time to just be cool, be sophisticated, and not think about this kind of thing. Not now. He didn't want to further ruin anyone else's evening, especially not Helga's.

"Sorry about that." He said upon their return. "We had A LOT to talk about. Sorry, Helga."

"It's all right." Phoebe assured. "Is everything okay?"

Gerald smiled at her, sitting down. "It is now."

Helga just frowned at Arnold. "I thought you said you weren't going to leave me. You were gone for like twenty-five minutes. Our food is cold."

"I'm so sorry, Helga." He stood before her and held her hand. "I never meant to keep you waiting. I really didn't. I'll make it up to you, I promise. Keeping you waiting was inexcusable, and I'm really sorry."

Helga stayed frowning for a couple more seconds, even almost scowling... before her face instantly lit back up and content again. "Okay. I forgive you. So who's up for dessert?"

"I would like some dessert." Phoebe said.

Arnold smiled in relief, and kissed her hand before sitting back down. "Sure, dessert sounds good."

Helga smiled, suppressing a small sigh at his kiss, and looked down at the menu. "Great. So let's see what they've got here..."

"I would like some crepes, Helga." Phoebe said. "Do they have crepes on the menu?"

"I'll have some chocolate mousse cake." Said Arnold, looking a little bashful as he fell back into nostalgia. "It's so delicious here, it really is."

Helga giggled at Arnold's choice of dessert and smiled at him flirtatiously. "Yes, we'll definitely be getting mousse cake again. And sure, Pheebs, we can get crepes. And I myself am kind of curious about the creme caramel stuff, so I'm gonna get some of that for us all to try. And then lastly, some old, smelly, runny cheese cake for Geraldo." She laughed.

Phoebe couldn't help but giggled at that.

"Oh ha ha." Gerald rolled his eyes. "Real funny."

"Oh come on Gerald, it's pretty funny." Arnold chuckled.

"Congrats, Helga. You got yourself a Yes Man." Gerald muttered.

Helga pumped her fist in the air, still staring at the menu with a grin. "WHOO!"

Phoebe giggled.

"A 'Yes Man'?" Arnold blinked, confused.

"A yes man is someone who blindly agrees with what everyone, usually the person they follow, says or does." Phoebe explained.

Helga laughed. "And in English, that basically just means you agree with everything I say because I'm just that awesome."

Arnold looked a little surprised before he laughed a bit. "Whatever you say, Helga."

"AHA! You see?" Gerald laughed. "You have become Helga's own Yes Man!"

Helga grinned proudly, bringing an arm around him. "Well, of course he has. He's my best friend. Phoebe's my best friend. And all my best friend's just can't help but agree with me at all times, because I am always right. Isn't that right, guys?"

Phoebe, giggling uncontrollably at this point, just answered weakly, "I-Indeed, Helga."

"Of course, Helga." Arnold beamed and brought an arm around her waist. "It's hard not to."

Gerald turned to Phoebe and patted her hand. "But you're still awesome too, babe."

Phoebe giggled once more, and blushed shyly. "Thank you, Gerald..."

Helga, likewise just blushed a bit shyly, though she DID have a bit more confidence at the moment than her small friend, so she managed to lean herself further into him and smirk into his face, stroking his chest again. "Yeah, and plus Arnold is a guy. I can totally seduce HIM into always saying I'm right." She was clearly just joking around, if the large grin on her face was any indication.

Gerald snickered. "You don't know how right you are. ...For once."

Arnold blushed heavily, knowing that was true. And before he could stop himself, he whispered into her ear, "You can seduce me anytime." And then turned away to sip his water casually.

Right when Helga was about to mouth off to Gerald, Arnold had delivered this whispered reply and totally short-cirtcuited her brain for a good few seconds... Finally, though, she managed to find her brain again and she shook her head, turning back to Arnold. "Oh? Is that so? Well then, admit that I'm the greatest thing since catnip or else..." She smirked playfully.

Arnold chuckled and smiled adoringly at her. "You're the greatest thing since catnip." He said honestly. "Meow."

Helga could only blink in surprise, having not expected him to admit to that so easily.

"What's wrong, ma cheri? Are you at loss for words...?" He then looked concerned. "Are you okay?"

Helga just blinked, before shaking her head and looking at him, still a bit surprised. "Oh, nothing. I guess I just wasn't expecting it to be that easy." She giggled.

"Well, you'd be surprised, I guess." Arnold glanced away again, blushing a bit.

Helga smiled. "I am surprised. I guess you really are my Yes Man." She chuckled.

I guess that's all I can be to her. Her best friend and yes man. Arnold thought glumly, but decided not to dwell on it right now. "Well, what can I say...you just have that power."

Helga beamed proudly, running her fingers up his chest, one by one. "Yes I do." She smirked.

Arnold shuddered a bit, and drummed his fingers along her waist flirtatiously. "Wouldn't have it any other way." He whispered to her.

Helga let her eyes fall half-lidded, and she jokingly ran her hand up and down his arm before bring it up to the back of his neck and twirling a few of his hairs around her fingers, just waiting for a reaction.

Her action made him blush, and in response he stroked her side a little, marveling the soft feel of her dress.

Helga giggled at his obviously captivated look and grinned, just continuing to caress his head. "Well, there you have it. You are not only my best friend and Yes Man... you are also my love slave." She beamed.

"Love...slave? ...I'm your love slave?" Arnold managed, surprised, and his eyes brimmed with hope. "...You want me to be your love slave?"

Helga beamed at him. "I don't want you to be, you ARE. It's a simple fact of life nowadays. You are my little footbal headed love slave." She touched the tip of his nose ever so gently and affectionately with the end of her finger.

"...Good point, Helga." Arnold smiled, and took her hand, kissing it. "I guess that's true."

Helga grinned. "Of course it is."

"You guys want any dessert?" Jack enquired as he came back to the table.

Helga just waved him off with a, "Yeah, and some caramel creme and cheesecake, Jack." She turned around to him then and grinned, fluttering her eyelashes. "Please... my love slave here gets so impatient."

Even Gerald couldn't help bursting into laughter, and Phoebe giggled behind her hand.

Arnold blushed immensely and Jack chuckled as he jotted down their orders.

"Awesome then, I'll be back." He grinned at them before leaving.

"I don't get impatient..." Arnold murmured.

Helga giggled, running her fingers through his long tufts of hair. "Oh, sure you do. You just don't know you do." She giggled.

"Helga..." He chuckled, unable to help himself.

"Well, you are her yes man. Arnold." Phoebe giggled uncontrollably. "It's quite adorable."

Gerald rolled his eyes, despite that he was smiling. "Not to mention gag worthy."

Helga giggled, caressing his cheek. "What do YOU think Arnold?" She asked sweetly, staring him into the eyes.

Blushing hard, and feeling bold, Arnold leaned to her and pecked her on the mouth, chuckling to himself. "Guess I still won't have it any other way."

Helga chuckled, running her hand down his neck slowly. "Well, that's why you're MY love slave. Because... you know..." She blushed a little, fingering around the light, blonde hairs on the side of his neck.

Oh, her fingers in his hair and neck! It was heaven. Whatever happened to them, he sure didn't want to go back. "Because you know...what?"

Helga shrugged, her fingers working along his neck and then drifting up ever so slightly to caress his ear and even the sensitive part just behind it and around his hairs. "Oh, you know... that we love each other..." She said it so easily, as if it were nothing new, just obvious, every day knowledge...

Gerald immediately looked to them in shock. Were they FINALLY going to admit it?

"Yeah, that's true..." Arnold murmured, playing with her hair as well.

Helga giggled, thinking he knew exactly what she meant (which wasn't true in the least), and just trailed her fingers down his neck to trace his spine, giggling all the while. "Exactly. And therefore, you are my little love slave..." She smirked devilishly.

Phoebe couldn't help exchanging a surprised glance with Gerald.

"Well, no reason to defy nature, right?" Arnold stroked her side again, smiling adoringly and blushing a bit more.

"Dang..." Gerald murmured, still wide-eyed.

She couldn't help but blink at that one, not quite understanding him, but in no way stopping her minestrations. "Oh, and what does that mean, Arnoldo?" She traced her fingers back up his spine this time.

"Well...um..." He blushed hard, looking away a bit.

Helga was persistent, though, and really just wanted to know. She brought her hand away from his back and used it to turn his head to look into her eyes, and though she didn't mean to, she was looking at him very compassionately and sweetly. "Come on, Arnold, you can tell me."

"It's like you said, it's kind of...natural, I guess."

Helga smiled, shrugging as she stroked her hands through his hair more. "Yeah, I suppose. It's definitely nothing out of the ordinary, right?"

"Not to us it isn't, that's the point. And well, if it works...it works." Arnold played with her hair some more too. "That's what matters."

Helga smiled. "That's right, love slave. There's nothing wrong with loving someone as a friend."

"...No, not at all..." Arnold murmured, smiling at her coyly.

Helga nodded, smiling. "Yeah."

"Here's your desserts!" Jack came back to the table, placing their desserts on the table. "Enjoy 'em!"

"Thank you, very much!" Phoebe exclaimed happily.

Helga removed her arms from Arnold completely and picked up her own plate of it, staring at it with hungry eyes. "Yum..."

Gerald grinned. "Cheesecake! Sweet! ...literally!"

Phoebe giggled behind her hand. "It all looks very delicious."

Kind of takes me back... Arnold thought to himself as he once more recalled the first date as he eyed the chocolate mousse cake. That one evening that changed their lives forever. Within each other and together, of course. He smiled a bit at the memory. That wonderful memory...

Helga ate her cake. "Tastes even better than the first time." She smiled.

Gerald ate his cheesecake.

"Really, Helga?" Arnold took a bite of the cake, and felt himself wiggle a little. "Mmm, wow..."

Helga nodded, glancing at him. "I know, right?"

"Yeah, it does." Arnold smiled a bit more. "Oh, Helga. You have a little bit on your lip there." He leaned over and wiped it with his napkin, like before, and the first time too. "There you go."

Helga giggled, and smiled in return. "Thanks, love slave."

"You're welcome...um..." Arnold fidgeted a bit sheepishly. "Love master?"

Helga laughed out loud at that, and then looked over at him with a grin. She grabbed him by his little bow tie and jerked his face nose to nose with her. "You better believe it, buster."

"I-I do believe it..." Arnold murmured, sheepish and yet sweetly.

Helga giggled and stared at him affectionately, petting the back of his head. "You do?"

"Of course, Helga. What kind of love slave would I be if I didn't? What kind of friend would I be if I didn't?" Arnold smiled very fondly at her. "Ma cheri."

"Mon cher..." She giggled, continuing to pet the back of his head, as if he were her puppy... "You know, I could get used to this whole love slave set up." She giggled. "it's funny and you make a cute love slave..." She pecked him on the nose.

"I'll be anything you want me to be, Helga..." Arnold mentally swooned at her petting, chuckling and blushing a bit.

Helga's eyes fell even more half-lidded, and she petted a little higher up on his head. "Is that so...?"

"Yeah..." Arnold murmured in a lovesick manner, his eyes half-lidded as he gazed at her.

Helga couldn't help getting lost in those green eyes, gazing at her like that. It just made her love him more that he'd started looking at her like that. She didn't know what that look was about, but she loved it... "Oh, Arnold..." She uttered out breathily.

"Helga..." Arnold murmured breathlessly, touching her face gently.

Helga could barely think with how his hands were touching her face, or breathe with how he was looking at her, and she sure as heck wasn't capable of actual MOVEMENT. She just stayed put, uttering out pleasurably, "Arnold..."

"Yes, Helga?" The lovesick boy murmured softly to her, caressing her cheek.

Helga gulped at his gentle touch, and managed to respond quietly, "P-Please don't stop because I ask this... because it in no way means I want you to... but I have to ask... W-What are you doing...?" Her blue eyes connected with his.

"Being a good friend, and love slave." He shuckled a bit, but smiled. "And well, I like being affectionate to you Helga. I can't help it."

Helga flushed entirely, feeling so very humbled by all this... This angellic boy wanted to be affectionate with her because he liked it and just couldn't resist himself... and over her, just plain old Helga... It made her feel so... just so... Oh... "Arnold..." She leaned forward and gave him one, small, but very meaingful and linger peck on his cheek.

Arnold blushed at her sweet action and smiled all the more, and kissed her on the cheek in response as well.

Helga just giggled and shook him off, scooting her chair away so she could eat her cake in peace. She would've stayed there if she'd thought she could control herself and keep herself from licking the chocolate off his lips, or kissing away any smears, or even just wrapping herself up in his arms, but this really wasn't getting her anywhere with him... He kept saying 'friend.' So clearly, that's what he viewed her as. And so she decided that she'd endulged herself enough tonight. Now was the time to enjoy her cake and reflect a bit...

Phew. They're done! Gerald thought. "So, uh...good desserts, huh?"

"Yeah, they are." Arnold felt himself smile as he too did the same, feeling better. Yet there were still lingering thoughts at the back of his mind that continued to bug him. "Really delicious."

Helga nodded, taking a large bite right at that moment. "It's so rich... Simple perfection." She swallowed and sighed, her eyes a little googly... She just hoped no one realized she'd been talking more about Arnold with that last comment than she was about the cake...

"It's all very delicious indeed!" Phoebe finished her crepes. "Wow, I'm very full now."

"Delicious and very sweet all around." Arnold murmured, talking more about Helga than the cake. Not that anyone noticed, he hoped.

Helga nodded in agreement. "Well, great, so everyone satisfied then? No one have anything else to add here? 'Cause this is probably the last time we'll be coming HERE any time soon..."

"I'm fine, Helga." Arnold said, putting his fork down. "I'm pretty full now."

"So am I! No more for me!" Gerald declared.

Phoebe burped. "Oh!" She coughed a bit, trying to cover herself up and blushing quite a bit. "E-Excuse me..." She giggled, smiling sheepishly. "Well, I suppose that was all the answer I needed to give."

Helga laughed, shaking her head. "Okay, great. Garcon!"

"Better out than in I always say!" Gerald chuckled.

Jack came back from a nearby table. "All done here?"

Phoebe just blushed even more, looking practically on the verge of just hiding under the table in total embarrassment.

Helga nodded. "Yes."

"All right then, here you go." Jack handed her the check booklet.

Helga took it from him with a smile. "Thank you, Jack." As the waiter walked away, Helga pulled out her handy dandy coupon and began sliding it into the booklet slot. "And I'll be paying for everything this evening, naturallment." She felt SO fancy...

Phoebe peered over for a moment, and then looked a little surprised. "Um...Helga?"

Helga looked over at her, the booklet still open in her hands and a carefree smile on her face. "Yeah, Pheebs?"

"Um...your..." Phoebe pointed to the coupon when she saw what was written on it, looking at her best friend with worried eyes.

Helga blinked at her a moment, not quite understanding, before she looked back down at the coupon in the booklet and her eyes instantly bulged as she noticed the differing restaurants. "Gah..."

"What's wrong, Helga?" Arnold asked in concern, noticing her gaze.

Helga looked up at him in distress, before looking back over at Phoebe with a wide panicked gaze, seeking her salvation from this dark pit her happy little world had suddenly been emersed in.

Phoebe nodded. "Well...it would seem there was a bit of a mistake here. Helga actually received a coupon for Chez Pierre, right across the street. And it was mistaken for Chez Paris...so, in short, we ate at the wrong place."

Arnold's eyes widened. "Oh...well, gosh. Don't worry about it, Helga. It was just a mistake. We'll just tell them the truth about what happened."

Helga hit herself in the forehead. "OH, Football Head, that'll just get us in trouble. We'll end up washing dishes for HOURS. Our hands will be so pruned up that we'll have old folks hoarding around us for WEEKS afterward."

"But Helga, we should tell them the truth." Phoebe said. "It's all we can do. They should understand, even if we do have to repay our mistake by washing dishes."

Gerald put his foot down at that part, standing up. "Hey, hey. I did NOT come down here to end up washing dishes for hours. I was a GUEST. The only thing I did wrong was trust you guy's judgement."

"Gerald, it was an honest mistake." Arnold reasoned, standing as well. "We all were in this too. Look, let's just tell them the truth. I know it's not fun to wash dishes, but it's the right thing to do."

"If we lie, it will make things worse." Said Phoebe.

Helga hit herself in the forehead. "You two suck... And I simply don't get it. How did I, evil manipulator number one, attract YOU two as friends?" She shook her head, massaging her temples.

A hurt look came to Arnold's face and he looked down with a small sigh, unsure how to respond to that.

"Helga," Phoebe interjected. "I know this isn't what you wanted out of this. But we have to tell the truth. If we don't, we'll get in much bigger trouble. Possibly with the law if we're not careful."

Helga's pupils dilated at that. "What? No, no, no, I'm an elementary school bully. I can't go to juvy!" She ran a hand down her face. "Ugggh, I hate moral dillemnas... I have an idea! How about you guys discuss it, and I just sit here and grin like an idiot and nod to whatever you guys say. 'Cause it's late and I'm tired and SO not in the mood for this kind of stress. So converse away!" She grinned.

"Well...I'll go to talk to the manager and explain our situation." Phoebe said. "After all, what happened was nothing more than than a honest mistake. And I will offer that we can pay them back in an alternative way as opposed to washing dishes. Or we can offer to each contribute some money to pay off the total as well."

Helga nodded, grinning.

Gerald just shrugged. "I ain't got no money."

"Well...then I suppose we can go with option one." Phoebe reasoned.

Gerald blinked, smiling. "Sounds good, babe. And I'll go with you." He slid over and put his arm around her, grinning.

Phoebe looked at him with wide eyes and blushed a bit, giggling. "Why, thank you, Gerald. That would be nice. It would help since you could vouch for me."

Gerald nodded, his eyes half-lidded. "You know it, babe."

"All right, then let's go." Phoebe smiled at him appreciatively and stood up from her seat, as he did as well. "We'll be right back, will you two be all right by yourselves?"

"Oh...yeah, we'll be fine, Phoebe." Arnold assured her kindly. "We'll wait here for you guys and then settle the matter however it turns out."

Gerald and Phoebe waved and walked off toward the back of the restaurant to go and request to speak to one of the waiters so they could see the manager.

Arnold meanwhile shifted a bit in his seat, and tugged at his collar nervously. "...Um, Helga?"

Helga looked over at him, finally dropping the grinny look as she looked at him, looking kinda tired. "Yeah, Football Head?"

"I...want to come clean with you about something." Arnold murmured, now looking ashamed. "And in advance, I want to apologize."

Helga had to blink at this, her eyes widening. "What could you possibly have to apologize for? You haven't done anything 've actually been very wonderful tonight, and... Well, I've gotta admit myself... I'm kinda impressed." She looked at him kinda shyly, feeling pretty smitten with him in his cute little suit. "I didn't know you were the sophisticated type..."

Arnold blinked, and blushed a bit, feeling pretty flattered at her sweet compliment. "...Thanks, Helga. That's really nice of you to say. ...But that's the thing. ...I'm really not sophisticated. I was...it was just an act. I was trying to be all cool, suave and sophisticated, like in those movies."

Helga's shy eyes instantly went wide. 'He was... faking?' "You were? But... why?" She raised one side of her brow at him, not understanding why he'd do such a thing.

Because I love you and wanted to impress you. Arnold wanted to say, but instead all that came out was, "Because...I was trying to...impress you."

Helga's already wide eyes went even wider. 'He... I... impress... What?' "You were... trying to impress me? ...But why would you want to do that?" She blinked, looking on the verge of full on blushing.

"Because...I...I..." Arnold tried to fish for the nerve to just say it. "I..."

Helga watched him intently, her heart pounding at what he might say and ideas and theories all racing through her mind.

"I...didn't want to mess this up. I wanted to impress you, to prove that I could be like a sophisticated and fancy gentleman, since we were invited to a fancy place like this." Arnold looked down now, inwardly scolding himself for not telling the REST of the truth. "I'm so sorry, Helga. I should never have been so dishonest with you. I really...should've just been myself from the start. ...When I see how sophisticated YOU are, it makes me realize just what a big phony I really was, when you were genuine."

Helga's entire being was immediately shot with a million little needles of guilt. "G-Genuine, huh?" She was literally shaking in dishonesty and guilt. Oh, he'd had enough guts in him to admit to having faked it all, and she... Oh, she... 'No, I can't tell him! I can't... that'll just make this entire evening pointless... I wouldn't have impressed him at all then... and this entire night will have just been for nothing...' But still... he thought she was genuine, and he'd done the same thing, and he'd told her the truth, and she loved him, and... 'Ohhhh, stupid guilt... Worst emotion EVER...' She looked at him shakily, managing a smirk. "Well then, I guess I'm a better actress than I thought."

Arnold blinked, looking at Helga with surprise and confusion, wondering just what she was talking about. "Huh? What do you mean, Helga?"

Helga finally stopped her shaking, and a new look of determination set in on her face. She looked Arnold straight in the eye, her fists clenched under the table. "Arnold, I lied too. I'm not sophisticated. I faked everything."

"...You did?" Arnold stared at her in surprise. "...Wow, Helga...I never...would've thought. ...Why did you?"

Helga sighed, deflating a bit in defeat, though she still managed to look at him. "I did it because I... wanted to impress you, too." She rubbed the back of her neck, her eyes starting to shift around as she admitted, "We were going to this fancy restaurant, and I overheard that you didn't really think I was sophisticated or feminine at all. And since we're friends now, that kinda just... bothered me, I guess." She shrugged, still looking away and blushing.

"...Oh." Arnold realized, and looked at her sympathetically. He reached over and held her hand. "Helga...you are sophistcated. Just...not quite like what fancy people would think. You don't have to be a fancy woman to be sophisticated. You like poetry, you love Shakespeare, you have a wide vocabulary, you read a lot, you're smart, and you're passionate. ...I think you're very sophisticated. Maybe not in a fancy ballroom way, but...in your own way. And I love that about you."

Helga's heart skipped a bunch of beats, and her breath caught in her throat. "L-Love?" She knew that was probably an odd way to reply to such heartfelt and sweet assurance from him, but it just immediately struck at her mind... and her heart.

"Yeah..." Arnold murmured, and held her hand, playing with her gloved fingers lovingly. "You're wonderful just the way you are, Helga."

Helga's entire face flushed, especially from him playing with her fingers like that. "O-Oh... Thanks, Arnold, and, um... for what it's worth... You're great just the way you are, too. With your giant football head and big, stupid grin..." She giggled, gazing at him a bit. "You're charming, Arnold, and I love you just the way you are. You're the... best friend a girl could have. You don't have to be all sophisticated and classy. I love how relaxed you are and how we can just relax and get a pizza or burger. High maintanence, snotty guys really aren't my thing." She scrunched up her nose. "If I wanted to be friends with someone like that I'd just go out and start hanging with Rex Smyth Higgins or something."

Arnold beamed at her happily, and felt as if he were falling more and more in love with her, if that was possible. "Thanks, Helga. That really means a lot to me. You're really the best friend a guy like me could have too, you really are. ...It's a lot more fun sitting around with a pizza, watching a cheesy horror movie and laughing about random things." He kissed her hand.

Helga smiled at him fondly, savoring the feel of his lips against her hand, even if it WAS against her glove... Having that thought yet again, and hearing that he liked her not being so much the picture of 'sophisticated,' Helga finally just got fed up. She took her hand back from him rather suddenly and pulled off both her long gloves, throwing them down on the table, and she let down her long hair and threw out her headband, then pulled her old pink bow out of her dress and tied it up in her hair; big, pink, and true. Once she was feeling comfortable again, she looked over at Arnold and grabbed him over by his little bow tie, and untied it and unbuttoned his coat.

Arnold blinked in surprise at what she was doing, but he smiled wide as it set in. She was shedding their little facade and showing how they should just be themselves: not fancy restaurant material. And that was just how they liked it. The simple things in life were what made everything special to them.

"Helga..." He marveled softly. "Are you doing anything tomorrow afternoon?"

Unbuttoning the first two buttons of his white shirt (just 'cause), and ruffling up his pressed and ironed coat and shirt with her hands, Helga just answered, smiling, "No, why?" She finished 'messing him up,' and pulled back, pulling back a piece of hair from her face and placing it behind her ear.

"Well, the burger joint not far from Slausen's is having a half-price on everything day tomorrow, and if we go in the middle of the afternoon before dinner time but after lunch, it won't be too crowded. I'll buy! And then if you want we can go back to my place, and watch some fun movies. You know, a way to make up for all this and do what we do best. Would you like that?"

Helga looked extremely intrigued at this little suggestion, and she grinned, reaching over to grab his hand and shake it. "Sounds great to me. It's a date."

Arnold grinned back, extremely elated, and wishing deep down it WERE a date. "Well, great! I'll pick you up at two, would that work?"

Helga nodded, smiling. "Sure. And as a rule, if you show up on my stoop in some monkey suit again, I'll spit on you." She smirked.

"Is that a threat?" Arnold chuckled, smirking back at her.


"So, if I showed up on your doorstep with a ring in hand and a monkey suit on, would you still spit on me?"

Helga's eyes widened at that, and her smirk immediately disappeared. "What?"

"You heard me." Arnold chuckled, smirking playfully, but a grin was eating away at it little by little. He did mean it as a joke, of course, but there was a teeny part of him that just couldn't help but say something like that.

Helga blinked very slowly... She knew he was joking, but... Well, was there even any need for explanation? 'A-A ring...?' After a few more blinks, though, she finally managed to respond, "Well, yes, I would, but only as a start. After that I'd push you, scream at you, and slam the door in your face... and then call you later to accept your proposal." She smirked.

Laughing, Arnold shook his head and felt himself just want to dance with glee, even if they were just playing a silly joke. "Sounds like something you'd do, Helga."

Helga smirked even broader. "You know me well, Football Head."

"You can say that." Arnold winked at her.

She blushed.

A minute later, Gerald and Phoebe returned, looking immensely relieved.

"All right, everything is settled!" Phoebe announced. "They have allowed us to pay them back in incriments for the next few weeks until the entire bill is paid for."

Gerald blinked at that one, and looked over at her. "Incriments? I thought they said we could just pay them a little bit now and give them the rest little by little for a while until the bill is paid over."

Phoebe giggled. "That's what I meant, Gerald. Now then, do either of you have some money on you?"

"Um..." Arnold reached into his pockets, digging for some change. "I have some change, and a five."

Helga frowned, looking through her purse. "Eh, this thing was mostly just for show, but I did put in a few bucks in case anyone brought it up." She pulled out a couple tens.

"All right then, I have ten dollars on me." Phoebe pulled a ten out of her purse, laying it on the table with Arnold's money. "That should cover part of it tonight."

Helga looked at all the money in front of them now, sitting on the middle of the table. "Criminy. That's thirty-five dollars and some odd change, and even THAT doesn't hardly cover our bill." She stood up from her seat, rolling her eyes. "Geez, that's the last time I eat at this place. The food isn't delicious enough to be handing over half of my college fund just for a little duck and some pasta. Criminy..."

"Well, it's all we can do for tonight, Helga." Phoebe murmured, shaking her head. "But at least we don't have to wash dishes, right?"

"That's one way of looking at it." Arnold agreed, standing up.

"Whatever..." Helga muttered dryly, stuffing her gloves into her little purse. "I just want to go home, wash off this make up, and go to bed." She grabbed Arnold by the arm and linked hers with his. "Come on, love slave, it's a long walk home."

Arnold blinked, and grinned widely, nodding. "Whatever you say, Helga." He turned to Gerald a moment. "I'll meet you back at the boarding house later. I think Phoebe might need someone to walk her home at this hour, anyway."

Phoebe blushed and giggled. "Thank you, Arnold. And thank you for tonight, Helga. Despite everything, it was quite enjoyable." She looked at Gerald fondly.

Helga grinned at her knowingly. "Yeah, it..." She looked to Arnold. "was definitely very enjoyable." She finally managed to drag him completely out of the restaurant, and was now walking down the street with him.

Phoebe giggled and smiled as she watched them depart for a moment, before taking Gerald's hand. "Shall we go as well, Gerald?"

Gerald grinned, trying to ignore the hot stinging feeling in his cheeks, and gripped her hand back. "Sounds like a plan, babe."

Phoebe smiled more and fixed her little sailor hat a bit before she led the way out of the restaurant and out onto the street.

Back with Arnold and Helga, though, Helga was walking casually down the street, her arm linked with Arnolds.

The cool night air felt quite refreshing as they walked along, and despite all that had occurred, it was indeed quite a good evening, even for them.

Arnold looked up at Helga for a moment, gazing at her adoringly, before looking straight ahead. "Helga..?"

Helga, feeling totally content and in love, just looked over at him with relaxed eyes. "Yeah, Arnold?"

"I...I know things kind of messed up, and didn't go as planned, which is a shame, but...for the most part, it was a great evening. I'm...really glad we all came together for this." He murmured, looking away. "I really enjoyed myself."

Helga smiled at him, and leaned over to kiss his cheek. "Oh, it really wasn't so bad. It was just a little mix up at the end there, and it gave us the chance to admit to having been a couple of fonies and set up a friend date tomorrow. So it all ended well in the end."

Arnold blushed a bit, smiling goofily. "Yeah...that's definitely the brighter side of the whole situation, Helga."

Helga yawned, and used her sleepiness as an excuse to lay her head on his shoulder as they walked. "It was also really great because we got to hang out again. I'm really glad we can hang out as friends like this now, Arnold... I didn't know what I was missing out on all those years I hated you."

"Believe me Helga, I feel the same way. I didn't know what I was missing out on all those years either. ...But well, we're together now, right? I guess that's what matters." Arnold blushed more but happily allowed Helga to rest her head on his shoulder.

Snuggling her head deeper into his neck and closing her eyes, she just allowed Arnold to guide them along the sidewalk to her home. "Yeah... you tried being my friend all that time, but I didn't listen and just pushed you away... I'm sorry."

"It's okay, Helga...you can't change the past. All you can do is learn from it."

She smiled at that, and sighed happily, snuggling closer to him as they walked. "And I have, Arnold. Definitely."

Arnold sighed happily too. "I know, Helga. ...And I'm really glad."

"Me too."

The two friends (secretly pining for each other) soon made it to the Pataki household. One light was on in the living room, incidating Big Bob was likely home and watching television. They went to her stoop, and gently let go of each other, much to their dismay.

"So...um...l-like I said, it was...a lot of fun, Helga. Especially since we got to be together again."

Helga nodded, feeling disappointed the night had to end so soon. "Y-Yeah, Arnold, I had a lot of fun... It was kinda like our... first date... the night I realized you weren't such a dork after all." She playfully punched him in the shoulder, stalling as long as she could. She didn't want him to go...

"Yeah...and made me realize things about you, too." Arnold murmured, rubbing the spot. "...That's why I ordered the cake, to bring back a nice memory."

Helga smiled at him shyly, her head bowed down a bit and her face flushed. "Y-Yeah, that's why I ordered it, too... E-Even though the whole romantic thing didn't work out between us that night, I... I still really enjoyed myself. You're a good friend, Arnold."

"I did too, Helga. I really did." Arnold murmured, glancing at her shyly. "I'm actually really glad you snapped up and demanded we go on that date. It's really helped me realized a lot of things. And...you're a good friend too, Helga. I really can't say how happy it makes me that we're best friends like this."

Helga's blush only grew at hearing all this from him, and she glanced down. "I'm really happy we're best friends, too, Arnold..." 'Even if it burns at my soul every minute of every day that you'll only ever love me as a friend...'

"Even if...we're not exactly normal." Arnold chuckled a bit, blushing at that implication. "Well...people do what works, right?"

Helga shrugged, still feeling sad things were coming to an end. "Yeah... and for some reason, we're just the type of friends that can't keep their lips off each other." She blushed insanely, but held her ground... even managed to look him in the eye.

"I know, we are." Arnold agreed, bringing his arms behind his back and looking her in the eye too. "Helga...if it ever does make you uncomfortable, just let me know and we won't do that again, okay? I-If anything at all makes you uneasy, just telll me."

Helga looked up at him in surprise, blinking. "Oh no, no, Arnold, i-it doesn't make me uncomfortable at all. Nothing you've done, and nothing you could ever do. Trust me, if you ever HAD done anything that bothered me when we were kissing, I would've punched you." She smirked. "But I didn't now did I?"

"...No, you didn't." Arnold murmured, nodding. "And I guess...I would've spoken up if it made ME uncomfortable a long time ago."

Helga smiled, looking up at him under her blonde bangs. "Then I guess we're both okay with it... so..." She took a small step closer to him, her heart pounding.

"So..." Arnold took a step closer to her also, his heart pounding so hard he could practically hear it.

Helga bit her lip, wanting so badly to kiss him but feeling pretty unsure. "Um..." She scooted just a little closer, her pulse racing faster and faster.

Oh, to heck with everything. Unable to take it anymore, he stepped over to her, and gently held her cheeks in his hands. Before he could stop himself, he leaned up to her level and kissed her. Sweetly and tenderly, but with a tint of passion.

Helga's eyes widened at him suddenly coming onto her like that, and her hands instantly went to his sides for support, since her knees had instantaneously gone as weak and wiggly as gelatin. "Mmmm! ...Mmmm..." Her eyes fell droopy before finally closing, and the hands on his sides instantly went all around him to his back, holding herself to him.

Arnold shuddered at her response, but his hands took on a mind of their own and reacted faster as they gently buried themselves in her hair. Maybe things weren't exactly what he hoped they could be, maybe she was hung up on someone else, maybe they weren't working out romantically...but at least they had an outlet to relieve tension, right? Was that what this was? Just an extra friendly way to show they cared? And because they happened to enjoy it?

He blushed all the more as they kissed, and felt her coming closer to him, making him jump in pleasure.

Helga very nearly died at his hands gently weaving themselves into her hair, his fingers working themselves into her scalp... it literally felt like it was killing her... Oh, but in the most pleasurable of ways. She couldn't help taking a bit more control of this impulsive situation and pushing him up against her door, her hands working their ways up his tux coat to hold him all the more closer to her... and her rapidly beating heart...

Arnold let out a surprised moan, but made no protest against her actions as his hands lowered to her shoulders for leverage. She was taking control! Oh, how her passion was absolutely intoxicating...

Helga could feel Arnold starting to fall a bit, and so she tightened her hold on him under his coat. She pressed him further up against the door, even almost lifting him up a little, and worked her hands completely up his jacket, running along his back and spine. After such a long, stressful night it felt good to get all this tension off her shoulders... and she was taking full advantage of the opportunity...

He shuddered at her actions and felt himself melting even more, if that was possible. A moan of appreciation for her help escaped him through his nose, and he clung to her shoulders tightly, the straps of her dress being lowered aside to feel the full softness of her bare shoulders.

Helga shuddered quite hard at all of this progressing, and she desperately searched for some way to repay him... Her lips never leaving his, and her tongue having long before worked it's way in through his lips, she worked one of her hands down to untuck his shirt and lay one hand up underneath on the small of his back, just testing the waters... she couldn't help but tremble a bit in unconscionable nervousness over what she was doing... She'd had many dreams of doing this before, but now that it was actually happening, she could hardly believe it...

Her actions made Arnold freeze as he felt the contact of her hand on his bare skin. He shuddered and continued kissing her back heatedly, while his own hands caressed her bare shoulders.

Helga shuddered back, happy he seemed to be responding positively, and began working both of her hands up his back, against his bare skin.

Shuddering in pleasure, he could feel his skin heat up and tingle where her hands touched his back. He'd never imagined this kind of contact before! And yet now...it was something he never expected to like. Not that he would expect her to do that on a daily basis, of course. He groaned at the back of his throat, holding her tighter.

Helga, in response to his groan, just moaned back lightly and ran her fingers down his spine, savoring the feel of his warm, living skin... It made her so happy to have him so close like this... His big, bulky sweater and button up shirt had always felt like barriers to her, and it was so nice to have them gone for once... She worked her fingers into each groove of his spine, delicately, amazed at how much more defined they felt when there were no clothes over them.

Arnold groaned, falling more and more limp, and he continued caressing her soft, bare shoulders lovingly. Her hands on his back were just burning, in the best way possible! The need for air was getting to him, and though he hated to pull away from her mouth, he knew he had to.

Pulling back a bit, their lips still touched, but were separated a bit more for the sake of allowing air.

Helga panted quickly and hastily, desperately trying to get her fill of air as fast as possible so she could kiss him again. Her hands still worked along his back, though, and she held him all the more tightly at feeling him nearly slipping from her hold like that. She couldn't help but ask, "A-Are you okay... Mon Cher?"

His breath caught sharply in his throat, but Arnold managed to nod. "Yeah...I'm great. ...A-Are you okay, Helga?"

She just barely managed a nod, still panting. "Uh huh..."

Arnold panted a bit, and he kissed her cheek, then the corner of her mouth, before pulling back a bit. What a girl... I don't know how she does it or even why she wants to be so passionate with me, but...she's just wonderful at it. Not just that, but the fact it came from her, Helga G. Pataki, such an interesting girl able to make you feel and see a variety of emotions, and be so wonderful at the same time...

Helga shivered a bit at his lips on her like that, and she held him a little tighter against her as she kissed the corners of his mouth, and along the sides of his head. 'Such a cute football head...' She thought happily as she finished her last peck, right on his ear, before pulling back a bit herself, her pants finally ceasing. "You're cute in your tux, Football Head..." She whispered with a dazed giggle, pressing him up against the door.

Shuddering a bit, Arnold smiled lovingly at her. "Thanks, Helga. ...You look really pretty in your dress."

She blushed, though a smirk couldn't help creeping onto her face as she mashed their noses together. "You're just saying that..."

"No, Helga. I'm telling you the truth." Arnold murmured. Ironic, isn't it...

Helga smiled softly, running her hands gently down his back. "I know..."

Chuckling, and shivering at her touch, he leaned in and touched their lips back together in a sweet, lingering peck before pulling back a bit. "That's good..."

Helga's eyes very nearly rolled back into her head and she almost collapsed herself, but she somehow managed to keep her rapidly shaking knees from giving out on her. She couldn't keep back the small swoon that had been building up in her throat from somewhere deep in her heart, though, and she blushed when it came out. Trying to cover up her small slip, she leaned forward and gave him her own lingering, sweet peck, though of course, this being Helga, there was a fair amount of passion put into it as well. She pulled back after a few seconds, and just snuggled their bodies closer together against the door, never wanting to let him go... "Yeah..." She bit her lip to keep from swooning again. 'Stupid Arnold, making me get all mushy...'

Lucky for her, Arnold caught the sound but attributed it to her just simply being happy, and a little tired as well. He held her close, taking in her sweet vanilla scent that was mixed within her perfume, and only seemed to add to how intoxicating she really was tonight. "Yeah..." He murmured, tracing her spine through her dress with one hand.

Helga shuddered hard against him at his fingers tracing her spine like that... it was like a line of electric heat and zaps just running up her back where his hand went... It felt almost painful... But the best kind of pain there was, of course. She snuggled her head into his neck, placing a small kiss there, before just resting, her eyes closed, and savoring his presence there in her arms. He smelled kind of like... pineapples tonight. She giggled at the thought.

"Helga..." Arnold murmured, his hand that was on her back now went up to play with her hair as he stared at her adoringly with a half-lidded gaze. "You...smell realy nice." He said lamely for lack of a better thing to say.

Helga swooned lightly to herself at that, tightening her grip on him and laid her head against his chest, snuggling it deep underneath his chin, her hair brushing against his face. "Thanks, Arnold... You smell good tonight, too..." She caressed his back a little with her hand, just enjoying his warm skin under her loving fingertips, and closing her eyes to just savor his warmth.

Some strands of her hair brushed and tickled his face, but he didn't mind at all. In fact, he really liked it, being able to feel its softness and smell its fruity scent. He sighed happily and hugged her closer, keeping one hand to stroke her hair and the other to trace her spine. "You really know how to make things a lot more interesting, Helga. I could never get bored with you if my life depended on it."

Helga, feeling very vulnerable with him in this position, couldn't help but glance her big blue eyes up at him at this, unsure... "R-Really?"

"Yeah, you really do. I have so much fun with you no matter what we're doing. Whether we're just sitting around talking about random things, or we're going somewhere like Dinoland or something. It's like there's always something new."

Helga closed her eyes at that, and sighed with a smile, before snuggling back into him, caressing his back. "I know what you mean... I've never been bored with you either... Mostly you always made me want to yell, but lately since we've been friends, all you've really made me want to do is..." Her words drifted off, afraid to finish that.

"Is...what, Helga?" Arnold asked curiously. He then paused, and shook his head. "Never mind. You don't have to tell me if you'd rather not, Helga. I won't force you."

"...I've just wanted to hug you and hang with you, okay?" She lied. "I've never had a friend like you before, that's so kind and genuine about everything he does... Or who makes such a great love slave." She giggled, snuggling into him more.

"Oh...okay, Helga." Arnold chuckled as he processed this, holding her closer and feeling himself smile. "Well, I do my best, I guess. And well, I've never had a friend like you before either. You're so exciting and energetic, it becomes very infectious."

"Yeah, and you're really mellow and down to Earth... it makes me feel a little more sane when I'm around you." She gave his chest a little kiss, right over his heart.

Arnold shuddered a bit at her action and blushed some more. "I never realized how much our differences really balance us out pretty well. It's kind of interesting, isn't it?"

Helga grinned to herself at that, her head snuggled into his neck to hide her giddy expression from him. "Very... I guess that's what makes us such a great pair..." 'Oh, Arnold... my love...'

"It does..." Arnold felt himself smile a lot wider, as he lay his own head against hers. "Who would've thought, huh?"

Helga smiled a bit more at that, sighing against his neck in love. "Yeah... Arnold and Helga... once enemies, and now best friends, kissing on my stoop... under the moonlight, far away from the peeking, judgemental eyes of our classmates... C'est La Vie..." She traced a little heart over his chest with her finger, still snuggled into him tightly against the door.

Her use of French made his eyes pop open. And for a moment, it was as if he heard...Cecile? But then he shook his head and brushed it off, not to mention shuddering at her action of tracing along his chest. Was that a heart? "Yeah...th-that's true, Helga... it's great what's happened between us, it really is."

Helga nodded slightly against him, melting into him more and more. "Oh, Arnold..." She couldn't help but say lovingly, stars before her eyes. "I love you..." Her eyes popped open then, and she stiffened slightly, though not enough for him to notice. 'Uh... Come on, Helga, think of something QUICK!'

Arnold's eyes opened, and he looked down at her with both confusion...and hope. Or did she just mean it as friends again? "Helga?"

Helga gulped, not looking up at him as she asked innocently, "Y-Yes?"

"...What did you say?" He murmured, though he heard very well what she said.

"O-Oh, just that, you know, I love you, of course." She laughed nervously, hoping he wouldn't question her. 'I just know there's an obvious way out of this, but I... I can't think of it...' Her head was still spinning in love and sparks from having him so close, and she was feeling unbelievably dazed. It was a wonder she could think or speak at all.

His heart jumped. Maybe this was it. Maybe just maybe, it all worked. And she felt the same way? Was it finally happening? Going for it, Arnold pulled back just a bit, and gently liftened her face so she would meet his gaze. "...I love you too." And he hoped she would catch the meaning...and yet hoped she wouldn't, in case she just meant it as friends again.

Helga's eyelashes fluttered at this, and she couldn't help but take him seriously, as if this were one of her fantasies and he was just a dream... a very handsome, beautiful dream... "Y-Yeah, I know..." She blushed a little, leaning up towards him a little.

Now Arnold's eyes widened, and his heart skipped a beat. "...Y-You do?"

Her brain still mush, she muttered sweetly, "Well, of course I do." 'You've only told me a hundred times, my dreamy little love...'

"...Helga...I..." Arnold's grip on her tightened. This was it! He fell in love with her, and she was in love right back! He wanted to dance for joy!

Helga fluttered her dazed eyes up at him, leaning closer. "Arnold..." She muttered softly, adoringly. 'This is such a wonderful dream... I can't recall ever falling asleep, though...' She mentally shrugged at this, feeling his breath on her lips. She shivered slightly in anticipation.

Almost instantly, Arnold threw his arms around her waist and kissed her tenderly, lovingly and with so much happiness! Finally, the love he wanted to feel with her was returned! He was so happy!

Helga moaned in surprise, before closing her eyes and leaning into his kiss, her back leg extending up on instinct as she kissed him.

Unable to help himself, he held her closer, and then in a dramatic but slow fashion, dipped her back a bit, holding her securely as he continued to kiss her lovingly.

Helga's eyes popped open at his passionate move, and her back popped a little out of nowhere. She moaned in pain, although to Arnold it sounded like pleasure. 'Oh, my back... that hurt...' Her eyes widened. 'Hurt...? But... you can't feel pain in dreams... and that means...' She squealed a little at the back of her throat, gripping him tighter in surprise and shock and horror and confusion and-'CRIMINY, WHAT IS GOING ON?'

Sensing her anxiety, Arnold pulled back and straightened her quick, now suddenly concerned. "Helga? Are you okay? What's wrong?"

Helga looked at him with wide eyes, her jaw dropped a little. "Um, uh... n-nothing, I was just... surprised. I, uh... didn't expect that..." 'Okay, Helga old girl, it's okay... you know how to get out of this... just relax...'

"...Sorry, Helga. I got carried away." Arnold managed, and smiled a bit. "Are you okay?"

Helga nodded, blushing insanely at everything, and taking a small step back from him so she could think a bit more clearly. "Um, yeah, I'm fine." She looked down shyly.

"Okay then, that's good." Arnold said in relief, wondering why she was backing away.

'Okay, Helga, this is... this is all just crazy... so...' "Um, so..." She looked back up at him, biting her lip. "Th-Thanks for the night out, Football Head. I had a great time."

"Well, thank you for inviting Phoebe, who invited Gerald, who invited me." Arnold chuckled a bit, bringing his arms behind his back. "I-I had a great time too, Helga."

Helga couldn't help but gaze at him a little at this cute little reply... before she shook her head. 'Mayday, mayday... Abort, abort. This isn't working! Get OUT of here now before you try to kiss him again!' She gulped at this, taking yet another step back from him and taking a deep breath. "That's great, Arnold! So we both had a great time, I love you, you love me, and everything's wonderful! I'll see you tomorrow for our date-Er... whatever!" She fumblingly got her key out of her purse and stuck it into the lock, opening up the door.

"Oh, yeah...see you tomorrow, Helga." Arnold managed and smiled, waving his hand a bit. "Um...I'll call you!"

Helga quickly scrambled into her house, and stuck her hand out to give Arnold a little pat on the shoulder. "Sure, Arnold, whatever. You call me, I call you, whatever works. Well, see you later, Best Friend!" And with that, the door was slammed shut in his face with a startling woosh of air.

Blinking, Arnold stared at her door a moment, unsure of what to think now. What was going on? He shook his head and descended down the steps of her stoop, casting one more glance at her house, and letting out a lovesick sigh before he headed off down the street.

Helga, on the other side of the door now, instantly slid down it and sighed out in relief. "That was a CLOSE one... Criminy... I need to learn how to control myself better and keep my head above water if I want to keep making out with Arnold like this." Shaking her head to herself, Helga stood up and ascended the stairs to her room, deciding a good night sleep was just what she needed to clear her head...