Disclaimer: I don't own Hey! Arnold. And I wrote this, well, because I was feelin it. Slight warning, those of you with weak constitutions or iron-gripped inhibitions best not read. Enjoy.
The corner of his eye just barely caught the colors of her green dress and white apron before it disappeared around the bend in the hallway. The scent of her perfume entered his nose more from memory than from actually smelling it. Her light cackle vanished behind a closed door.
"But the most important rule, Shortman: never eat -" he started only to be cut off by his young and naïve grandson.
"Raspberries. I know Grandpa." Arnold smiled, waving his grandpa out of his room and presumably to the bathroom. But Phil's destination wasn't his downstairs office.
Down the hall he walked, searching for that beautiful creature he was chasing. Following her phantom scent throughout the boarding house, he would act casual to his tenants, starting up short, empty conversations, always excusing himself when he saw the green and white whirl away. His reasons were always the same. For fifty years they had not changed.
She had danced her way into their bedroom, folding the laundry she had dropped unceremoniously on the bed but taking special care with his shirts. A soft tune was on her lips, and in those fifty years of marriage he had never once heard the words to it. Her body, rounded and filled from carrying and birthing four children, was no less desirable to him now than all those years ago. When she first shifted from one form of torment to another.
Quietly he shut and locked their door, watching transfixed as she finished up her task and moved to the dresser, neatly placing each article of clothing in its place. Of course she knew he was there, this was a tradition known with a half a century of practice. He could hear her smirk through the tune as he slowly made his way over to her, bending his old body over hers.
She didn't say a word, just hummed in satisfaction as his liver-spotted hands ran sensuously up her sides and his long nose buried itself in the skin at the base of her neck. They moved slowly, not from old age, but because this was how it was always done. Slow and sensual and quiet.
Though the reasons changed over the years, it was always known that this had to be quiet.
One hand found a breast, sagging from gravity, while the other wandered down the length of her dress until it met the smooth expanse of her skin. Scratching gently, his fingers inched their way up her thigh, vanishing beneath the hem of her dress and around her front. He fondled her, soaking in her near-silent moans and pants of pleasure as she caressed his balding head still within her neck. The other she placed over the hand already on her breast, kneading with him in an act almost more intimate than sexual.
She smelled of laundry soap and crushed, sun warmed velvet. A scent that spoke of long hours in caring for her family and even longer hours in the garden. It pulled at his memory; a young blonde getting him lashes when she claimed he dipped her pigtail in ink. A blonde in a sultry black dress dancing with every eligible beau at the dance but him, yet her eyes always seemed to find his. A blonde behind a gate, smiling at the one recognizable face besides those of her family: smiling at a young, dark haired guard who promised he would talk more after his shift.
His withered arousal nudged her hip as his fingers slid into her with ease, but that didn't stop the pair from gasping out at the pleasure it still brought. It didn't matter that he wasn't as virile as he used to be, he was enough to father four children, and he was enough to love her now. In his mind, she was still that young blonde that would writhe beneath him in ecstasy, that young blonde that made him cry out when she would clench and smooth around him.
That hand that had been joined with him at her breast slowly made its way behind her and down his front, slipping delicately into the front of his pants. Long, arthritic fingers gripped him steadily, and he panted out his surprise into her neck. She stroked him smoothly, well aware that he wouldn't get as hard as he once would, but enjoying the feeling of well-known skin just the same.
"Pookie . . ." he whined out slowly into her neck, and even in the midst of her passion she had it in her to smirk.
"Steely Phil. . ." she returned, and they shared a moan as his old fingers picked up speed. Those who knew him would have called him Steely Phil on account of his times as a Chinese Checkers Campion, but not her. She had a completely different reason for calling him such a name, the memory of which made him groan in a mix of pleasure and disappointment. How he had wanted to show her how steely he still could be . . .
But with her recent hip replacement, the doctor had told her specifically not to participate in any strenuous activity. Three more months they had left of this form of contentment before he would be allowed to show his wife just how much he loved her. But he was alright with this; she enjoyed it immensely, and after all that she had done for him throughout his life, he found this something he could enjoy with her forever.
He could feel her breath hitching as she approached the edge of reason and her own sanity. Her grip tightening, he couldn't hold back his moan of completion as she went stiff and wide-eyed. Years of practice had made her silent, and he couldn't help but think that this was worth more than anything else he had experienced. She wasn't loud like the German girls they brought to the base. She wasn't overly-vulgar like the friends he'd lost at the base. She wasn't deadly like the cigarettes and booze they brought to the base.
But she was definitely just as addictive, he surmised as he watched the focus return to her eyes, and the smile dance on her lips as he bent down to kiss her. Humming with utter happiness, she almost laughed as he fondled her suggestively while wiggling his eyebrows before slowly pulling his hand from under her dress and wrapping it around her waist. The hand on her breast stayed where it was.
"Oh, you beautiful Doll, you great big beautiful Doll. Let me put my arms about you, I could never live without you . . ." he sang softly as they swayed to the tune's memory for an untold amount of minutes. Slowly, he let go of her and moved to a basin of water they kept on the dresser for moments such as these. He watched from the corner of his eye as she smiled and resumed placing the folded clothes in their specific spots. He rubbed his hands in the cool water slowly, pausing to caress the soft gold of his wedding ring.
From downstairs, they could hear their grandson enter the boarding house and call for the old man.
"What were you two talking about?" she asked softly, and Phil grinned cheekily at his wife.
"Oh, you know, boyhood problems. Turns out his little friend with the one eyebrow has been heckling him again." She laughed, and Phil closed his eyes to let the sound surround and enter him.
"Oh Eleanor! She cares for Kimba, you know." He nodded, opening his eyes as another call from Arnold downstairs forced him from his spot. Wiping his hands on his pants, he moved for the door, but had only succeeded in unlocking it when he turned back to his wife.
"Gertrude?" he asked quietly, and she looked over her shoulder at him, hands submerged elegantly in the cool water.
"I love you."
The smile that lit up her face was enough to keep him happy for the rest of eternity. It was in that smile that he could see flashes of a young woman in a green dress, blonde hair warming in the sunlight, pink lips trying to curve into a smile despite the teeth holding them. He could see her soft face shining up at him as she gripped the fence between them gently, her blue eyes holding a longing for freedom. For normalcy.
She was as radiant now as that day when he first knew he loved her.
"I love you too, Philip." She replied softly, and he grinned as he made his way out of their room and down the hall to where his young grandson was calling for him, probably in need of more advice. But his mind kept straying to the woman in the bedroom, and how she was so very much his raspberry: sweet smiling blossom, and tart to taste. Yet once acquired, the favorite berry in the patch, and oh how much she was his favorite berry.
"Oh you beautiful Doll, you great big beautiful doll! Let me put my arms about you, I could never live without you! Oh, oh, oh, oh; oh, you beautiful doll!"