A/N: NintendoGal55: Hello one and all. Today we have a very interesting treat for all of you. This will be a collaboration between myself and Azure129, who is honestly one of my favourite HA(!) writers ever. And the feeling is mutual! XD Well, so of course we're big fans of Hey Arnold, and of course, huge ArnoldxHelga shippers, as you all know. So I guess it's no wonder we would collaborate on something like this. I have to say that it's a great honour and privilege to work with her. So we hope you guys enjoy this, the works and ideas of both myself and Azure129! Azure129: Greetings lovely HA! fandom :) How're things going guys? Still rooting for the production of The Jungle Movie, glaring evilly at Nick for not picking up the Patakis, wishing every day that someone in an animation studio at Nick headquarters will stumble across a reel of feel entitled "HA! Season 6" and release it to the hungry masses? (Come on-you all know that just like me that's how you spend at least part of your time, lol ;) ). Anyway-first collab fic ever! And I'm working with one of my fav authors :) What could be better? Oh and did I mention it's an AXH story-yeah that brings it from incredibly awesome to like cosmically awesome or something, lol! Anyway, I hope you guys enjoy what we come up with (I guarantee it's gonna be fun ;) ). Disclaimer: We do not own the characters, otherwise things would be WAY different than that are right now!/Viacom makes us put these here to just dangle it in front of our faces that we can never actually own the awesome show we're writing about...don't they...Curse them...CURSE THEM! The following is an AzureNintendo Production, written by both Azure129 and NintendoGal55.
NintendoGal55: Hello one and all. Today we have a very interesting treat for all of you. This will be a collaboration between myself and Azure129, who is honestly one of my favourite HA(!) writers ever. And the feeling is mutual! XD Well, so of course we're big fans of Hey Arnold, and of course, huge ArnoldxHelga shippers, as you all know. So I guess it's no wonder we would collaborate on something like this. I have to say that it's a great honour and privilege to work with her. So we hope you guys enjoy this, the works and ideas of both myself and Azure129!
Azure129: Greetings lovely HA! fandom :) How're things going guys? Still rooting for the production of The Jungle Movie, glaring evilly at Nick for not picking up the Patakis, wishing every day that someone in an animation studio at Nick headquarters will stumble across a reel of feel entitled "HA! Season 6" and release it to the hungry masses? (Come on-you all know that just like me that's how you spend at least part of your time, lol ;) ). Anyway-first collab fic ever! And I'm working with one of my fav authors :) What could be better? Oh and did I mention it's an AXH story-yeah that brings it from incredibly awesome to like cosmically awesome or something, lol! Anyway, I hope you guys enjoy what we come up with (I guarantee it's gonna be fun ;) ).
Disclaimer: We do not own the characters, otherwise things would be WAY different than that are right now!/Viacom makes us put these here to just dangle it in front of our faces that we can never actually own the awesome show we're writing about...don't they...Curse them...CURSE THEM!
The following is an AzureNintendo Production, written by both Azure129 and NintendoGal55.
"What do you think of this one, Helga?"
Helga, having been boredly leaning against a nearby rack, looked over at her best friend as she held up a bright yellow dress with a corset style bust, a long flowering skirt with patterned sequins, a cowl neckline, and held by two spaghetti straps. It was way too big for Phoebe, most likely going to hide her petite form inside of it.
"Buzz buzz, bumblebee." Helga said sarcastically. "Not going to work Pheebs, everyone will see the dress and then wonder where you went."
"Oh." Phoebe realized, and nodded, putting the dress back. "Well Helga...I can't seem to find a good dress. Will you please help me pick one?"
"Isn't that why I'm here?" Helga pulled herself away and went to the rack of dresses along the aisle. She skimmed through them, her hand on her chin, thoughtfully scanning the various colours, styles, and sizes of all the dresses. "I think you're gonna have to go with blue, it IS an Ice and Snow dance."
"Very true, Helga. I do appreciate sticking to the theme that the student planning committee has chosen. But I suppose it wouldn't matter if I did select a blue dress or a red dress, for example." Phoebe said. "Speaking of the dance, did you decide to go after all?"
"Eh, don't think so. Why would I anyway, no one to go with." Helga muttered, and pulled out an ice blue dress around Phoebe's size. "Here, try this one."
"Why not, Helga? Having a date isn't essential as it would have been many years ago."
"I don't do that kind of thing, okay, Pheebs? It doesn't matter anyway."
"What about...ice cream?"
Helga turned away to hide the light blush on her cheeks at the mention of her beloved. Of course, deep down, she would give anything to go with him to the dance. Dancing around, cheek-to-cheek, looking into each other's eyes, coming close together, it sounded like a wonderful dream. Of course, the April Fool's Day incident was certainly not something she wanted to relive. Looking back, it was a very clever joke on his part, and she couldn't help but laugh a little at it. She knew she deserved it, however. And he a really good dancer. She didn't know where he learned to tango, though she assumed it was probably under the influence of his insanely eccentric but loveable grandmother. She wondered briefly if she should chance going to the dance, to maybe dance at least once with Arnold, would that work? Or would he be too busy chasing after Lila?
Another thing too, was that Helga knew it would be risky considering she knew fully well how she really felt about him. He'd know why she showed up, and why she wanted to dance with him, to face the reality once more that she didn't know how he felt, or wanted to be to her. The air of uncertainty worried her, because she just didn't know. It could go either way. He hadn't rejected her, but he also didn't reciprocate.
At least he wanted to think it through... I guess that shows he's not sure and doesn't blatantly hate me. What am I saying, it's Arnold, he doesn't hate.
"Helga?" Phoebe's soft voice interrupted her train of thought.
"Huh? Oh, yeah. The dress. Go try it on, Pheebs."
"It is on." Phoebe told her.
Helga turned around, shocked to see Phoebe standing outside the nearby dressing room at the end of the aisle, and was wearing the ice blue dress she'd picked out for her. Once more, she was so lost in her thoughts that she didn't even know what was going on in reality.
She took in her best friend's image, and could see that the dress indeed looked amazing on her. It was ankle length, form fitting, though the skirt was long and ruffled, adding more to her shape. The thick straps hugged her shoulders, and the dress didn't seem to dangle off her.
"What do you think?" Phoebe questioned. "Do I look all right?"
Though Phoebe's question had been directed at Helga, the voice of the person who said these two simple complimentary words was much deeper than the ten-year-old blonde's…and the direction which it came from was behind Phoebe as opposed to in front of her.
Phoebe instantly blushed a very distinct shade of scarlet and turned around on a dime only to be met with a very familiar face. "Gerald! Um…" she instantly took several steps back and practically ducked behind Helga, she was so flustered. "Um…I…I mean, good afternoon, Gerald…How are you doing?" Her voice was practically a squeak.
"Oh, uh…hey, babe…" Gerald rubbed the back of his neck a bit sheepishly and glanced down with a smile. "I'm good. How are you?"
"I…I'm quite well…" She answered a bit more calmly, letting more of her face show from behind Helga's shoulder.
Helga finally couldn't stand it anymore and just rolled her eyes. 'Oh please—let the obvious flirting stop already!' She let out a frustrated sigh and stepped aside. "Crimeny, Phoebe, what did I say about clinging? It's a dress and he obviously likes it—he just said he did. Doi! And he's gonna see it anyway at the dance! There's no need to duck and cover behind me!"
At suddenly being out in the open again, that blush crept up into Phoebe's cheeks once more, but she did her best to stand her ground, though at the very least she felt the need to put her arms behind her back and glance down shyly. "I…I'm sorry, Gerald. Helga's right. I didn't really mean to hide from you like that. You just…surprised me a little…I mean, I wasn't expecting to see you here." And then a small smile came to her lips and she managed to glance up at him and ask quietly, "Do you really like it?"
Gerald lost the sheepish look and just smiled at her, taking a step forward. "Yeah, it looks great on you, babe! Perfect color…really brings out your eyes." He winked.
Phoebe giggled and Helga did her best not to lose her lunch. 'So sweet it could give you cavities—ugh, and Phoebe wonders why I'm not going to the stupid dance. Like there's any guy out there who'd get all worked up over me, calling me cute little names and—'
A familiar voice brought her out of these thoughts and caused Helga's eyes to go wide in surprise and her heart to skip a beat.
Gerald however, despite being addressed, just continued gazing at Phoebe with a noticeable dreamy smile.
"Gerald…" The owner of the voice that had called to him emerged from a nearby aisle of dresses…with just a bit of an all-knowing look on his face at the sight of his best friend all but entranced by Phoebe Heyerdahl.
"Huh?" Gerald blinked this time and turned to Arnold, blushing just a little. "Oh, uh…sorry man, I was a little, uh…distracted…" He smiled sheepishly and jerked his thumb forward. "Look who I ran into!"
Gerald, with this gesture, of course really mostly meant Phoebe… but that didn't stop Arnold's eyes though from moving quickly over the girl in the blue dress in question to Helga with her arms crossed over her chest and not looking at him…and actually almost trying to scooch a little behind Phoebe now.
Helga gave an internal moan. 'Great, just what I need—first I've gotta get dragged through looking at all of these girly dresses by Phoebe, then I've gotta sit and watch her play googly-eyes with tall hair boy, and now to top it off the stupid, tango-pranking Football Head has to show up! Ugh, someone call my waiter and tell him I want the check because I am OUT of here the second I get the chance!'
"Uh, did you need something man?" This question, coupled with a few waves of his hand in front of Arnold's arguably quite-a-bit-more-surprised-looking-than-it-ought-to-have-been-in-this-situation face, came from Gerald.
Arnold blinked and shook his head in response, coming out of the slight stun the sudden sight of Helga had brought upon him. Not that he hadn't seen Helga multiple times since…that night…on that rooftop… (honestly the whole thing still overwhelmed him so much sometimes that quite often he couldn't even admit to himself in thought the specifics of what it had been) But still…suddenly finding himself running into her had been becoming more and more jarring as the weeks had progressed…And of course that whole incident with the April Fools dance probably hadn't helped matters much… 'If we're ever alone again she'll kill me for that prank…I just know it…' Conveniently enough, though, Arnold had been doing his best over the last few weeks to assure that he and Helga were not left alone under any circumstances…for this and other obvious reasons.
Recalling that Gerald had asked him a question and that he'd had something to tell him anyway, Arnold swallowed and greeted the two girls, "Uh, hi, Phoebe…Helga…" and then put the Helga situation on the back burner for now to address his best friend. "Gerald, I asked one of the sales people and they said that this side of the store is mostly for dresses but they've got a tux section in the back with shoes and ties and stuff."
Gerald smiled at the information. "Oh, great… We should probably head over there then…" He cleared his throat and turned back to Phoebe. "Well, I guess we'll see you later then…" He hesitated, and then finally added with a touch of that dazed look coming back to his face, "By the way Phoebe….Is that the dress you're definitely gonna wear?"
Phoebe swallowed. "Oh, um…yes, I'm…fairly certain it is, at least…" She then glanced over her shoulder unsurely at her best friend. "Helga, you never answered me…do you think it looks alright?"
Helga was about to respond with something sarcastic considering the bad mood she was in, but then the hopeful look in Phoebe's face made her pause in this course of action and her face soften. A second passed and then she let out a breath and put a hand on the shorter girl's shoulder. She smiled. "It looks stellar, Phoebe," she stated sincerely. "In fact, I'm afraid I'd have to let Old Betsey and the Five Avengers loose on the entire staff here if any of them was stupid enough to let you walk out of here without buying it."
Phoebe's eyes lit up at the words of her best friend. "Oh…thank you, Helga!" And she instantly had her arms wrapped around the girl in question.
Helga chuckled and gently tried to push her off. "Yikes, okay, okay, let me go already, Pheebs…People are starting to stare." She tried her best to scowl again, but the smile wasn't making it seem too effective. "I do have a reputation to maintain, you know!"
Phoebe released her and chuckled. "Sorry, Helga. Letting go!"
Helga smiled at her, and then just let out a sigh and shook her head. "Okay, well, at least the dress shopping mission's finally complete." She opened her eyes to see her best friend now looking back to the boys.
The silence was broken when Arnold spoke up to try to ease the lightly risen tension in the air. "Um, yeah, looks like it! All we have to do now is get Gerald a new suit. So we should..." He could once again see that Gerald wasn't paying much attention to him. It was as if he were talking to a wall.
Taking a quick peek at a pocket watch he had hidden in his pocket, he saw that they had about a half an hour left before the mall closed. Finding a new outfit of any kind was never that hard for Gerald, especially when Arnold went with him to help out. And even finding a new suit wasn't a hard task.
Then again, as he thought about it, this was a pretty big deal for Gerald, and he did want to get the best suit he could, considering he sadly outgrew his old ones over the past year. This would all probably take a while, since Gerald also needed a new pair of dress shoes. So, it was obvious he wanted to put more effort into it, considering this was pretty much his first dance with Phoebe, the first time he actually asked her. They had a tendency to meet up at a school dance and then dance together, but here Gerald asked her, in terms of a date.
An idea struck Arnold then and he smiled. Maybe, just maybe, he could help kick things up a notch and get the potential couple a little closer. They didn't always have a chance to spend one-on-one time together, so why not start now? Sure they would have a lot more of that during the dance, but maybe it was time to nudge them closer.
"Actually Phoebe," Arnold then said, finally catching their attention. "I was wondering if I could maybe ask you a little favour?"
Phoebe's eyes widened with genuine curiosity. "A favour?"
Helga arched one side of her brow. Just what was Arnold thinking right now? He seldom asked for any favours! Though granted, practically everyone in school owed him at least one favour. Maybe it was about time a little role reversal was set.
"If you want to, of course. But what I'm asking is, if you could maybe help out Gerald pick out a new suit. You already have your dress chosen, so it'll be easier for him to find a good suit that would go well with it, and it would be interesting to see what he could come out with if he had help from a girl's perspective. So, would you mind going along with him to the tuxedo section and help him pick one out? You'd be better for the job than I would be." Arnold said as casually as he could, as if he were asking her what shoes she was wearing.
Gerald stared wide-eyed at his best friend, and even Helga looked pretty taken aback as her jaw dropped lightly.
"Really? Me?" Phoebe asked in surprise, pointing to herself. "I...well...gosh, I never thought of it that way."
Arnold gave a nod, trying to pay attention to Gerald, but was finding it hard to do so since he could feel the surprised, penetrating gaze of a certain someone's cobalt eyes. "I didn't either until now. So Gerald, if it's okay with you, can Phoebe help you out?"
Wide-eyed, Gerald shook his head and managed to grin. "You're a real bold kid, Arnold. Sure thing!" He looked at Phoebe then. "No objections here, babe, if you want to help me out, we'd definitely find something in the nick of time."
Blushing a little bit, the petite Asian girl gave a smile and pushed her glasses further up her nose to try to busy herself a bit as she felt herself tremble with giddiness. "Well...of course Gerald, I would be very happy to help you, it's nice to know that you would value my opinion on your dance wear." She turned to her own best friend. "Oh, you don't mind, do you, Helga?" Unseen to the boys, she gave her pleading eyes.
Helga's initial reaction was to say no, there was no way she was about to let herself be subjected to...well, alone time with the other boy there. Not that it would be a bad thing deep down of course, she pretty much BEGGED to the Gods and Spirits above for alone time with the adorable little football head. Even right now, with the tension and uncertainty looming in the air. But still, now was NOT the time for that.
But seeing Phoebe's pleading brown eyes bearing into her own, not to mention the reality of the situation, since her best friend obviously wanted to help Gerald pick out a suit that would go well with her dress, and to even spend time with him before the big night. It was true they didn't always have enough time with one another, considering the circumstances they faced on a daily basis. She also felt that she had no power over this. Saying no to Phoebe then would be about as pointless and stupid as playing a video game blindfolded with the audio muted.
That's what she would do. Give in to Phoebe, let her spend time with her quite obvious crush, and then part ways from her beloved, go home and write more poems in the middle of her closet facing her shrine, and whatever else she could think to do on a day like this.
Just ANYTHING but being alone with him now.
"Whatever Pheebs, since it means that much to you." Helga said nonchalantly. She looked at Gerald and immediately thrust her fist toward his face, stopping a few inches away. "You had better look after her Geraldo, or your face will have an appointment with Old Betsy. If she gets lost or hurt, so help me!"
Despite his nervousness, Gerald managed to smile and back away lightly, holding up his hands in defence. "I got it, no worries, Phoebe's gonna be fine under my watch. Wouldn't dream of letting somethin' happening to her!"
Rolling her eyes lightly, Helga withdrew her fist, crossing her arms. "You'd better be good in upholding your promise, Tall-hair boy."
"Thank you, Helga!" Phoebe hugged Helga again, and let her go quicker this time. "Do you want me to meet you outside the mall when I'm finished?"
"Nah, you go ahead and take your time, I'll just head home and watch TV or something, that's if Bob isn't hogging the tube if you know what I mean." Said Helga, jerking her thumb to the direction behind her. "I don't know about him over there, the little football-headed geek, but I'm outta here."
"All right then, I'll give you a call when I get home later on. Thank you so much again, Helga!" Phoebe smiled brightly before she disappeared into the changing room to change out of the dress. She emerged a few minutes later, carrying the dress on its hanger over her arm. "Shall we go?"
"Sure thing, babe!" Gerald offered her his arm in a gentlemanly manner.
Phoebe giggled and linked her arm through his. She sent a wink to Helga, much to her surprise, and cast a grateful glance toward Arnold before the two of them retreated down the aisle together, leaving their respective best friends alone.
"And on that note of overly sentimental mush, I bid you a fond farewell, Football Head!"
Arnold, who, with a satisfied smile, had been just watching his best friend and his best friend's crush go off together, blinked at this sudden statement from Helga and turned to see her walking forward and now past him.
Before he could really consider his words or actions, Arnold moved forward on instinct, slightly cutting her off. "Wait, Helga—you're really going to leave just because Phoebe's gone?"
Now it was Helga's turn to blink…and in addition to feel a very slight blush begin to creep up into her face. "Wh-what are you…I mean…" She closed her eyes and shook her head, then opened them once more with her scowl returned. "What are you talking about, Football Face—that's what I just said! Doi!" She crossed her arms over her chest and glanced away from him. "I mean why else would I stick around…"
The comment was no different from the typical sarcastic ones Helga had given to Arnold throughout her life…however, unbeknownst to Arnold, this particular seemingly rhetorical question was accompanied by Helga's heartbeat quickening just slightly…and was far from rhetorical when you got right down to it. After all, he HAD just stopped her from leaving and also kind of suggested that there was a reason for her to stick around here…with him…alone… She swallowed. Yes, the situation between them now was awkward to say the least thanks to her confession. But once again she had always treasured a chance for some alone time with her beloved… 'And if he wants to spend time with me even knowing everything, then…then maybe…'
Arnold's smile and step forward all of a sudden instantly made Helga's stomach do flips and sent hope through her like electricity…though his then stepping back and the shifting of his now slightly wide eyes downward replaced that hope with confusion and doubt…and then his sigh and the words he spoke next finally sealed the deal. "Well…I just thought you'd stick around even though Phoebe got something to wear because the dance is tomorrow and the mall's only open for another half an hour but you didn't get to pick out a dress yet for yourself, Helga…" He put his arms behind his back shyly. "I mean unless you already got one."
'Knew it—I am such an idiot! A Grade A Sucker for Arnold…' Helga rolled her eyes. "Well thanks for your concern Mr. Mom but for your information I wouldn't be caught dead at some stupid dance—let alone one where the only thing that's gonna be happening is our best friend's giggling and grinning at each other. I'd rather have a root canal."
Arnold's frown in response to this information caused her to eye him with just a bit of caution. "Oh…" he simply stated. "I'm sorry, Helga…but even if Phoebe's going to be busy you should still go. It seems like it'll be a lot of fun."
"Yeah well, seeing as how the last dance I went to at our stupid school ended up with my 'date' using the last song of the night to toss me into a freezing pool, I think I'll pass…" Helga couldn't help mumbling this observation with just a touch of bitterness to her tone, glancing away. In truth, though she wouldn't have traded the memory of that intense tango between herself and Arnold for anything—the feeling of their bodies against each other and her beloved dipping her and spinning her and leaning in so close to her like that, the knowledge that he was actually there with her and dancing with her almost like they were a real couple—it had still well…stung a little that Arnold had used his suspicions of the truth of her secret to trick her. She had never…well no one had ever done something like that to her. And even though she knew he had meant well and that she'd definitely had a retaliation prank coming to her after that whole 'I'm blind' thing… it couldn't help but also make her feel just a little…well, used…especially considering that that tango had been his first acknowledgement of the secret now between them.
Hearing this bitter statement made under Helga's breath, Arnold finally felt the blush that had been threatening to come to his face enter just slightly. Guilty couldn't even describe how he felt whenever someone brought up how he'd behaved at that dance. To be honest he wasn't even sure where all of that had come from…Well, okay, he maybe had a 'small' idea where that had come from. 'Arnold I love you, I've always loved you ever since I first laid eyes on that stupid Football Head of yours!' He tried to cut off his memories of the rest of the words of her confession which had been basically burned into his mind thanks to the passion of the original, the surprising intensity of the versions of it that had repeated over and over in his dreams over the last few months…and of course with how she'd sealed it with that…that kiss…
Finally, realizing that letting his thoughts get lost in his confusion about the girl before him would only make his blushing even more apparent and only probably lead to trouble with her, he let out a sigh and glanced hesitantly up at Helga. "Yeah…I guess our school dances can have their good parts and bad parts…" he managed generically. "Well," he cleared his throat and began to turn away, "I guess I'll leave then, too…"
"What…?" Helga had to ask with a slight smirk, enjoying that little look of guilt he'd just gotten about their last school dance ('Good—maybe that'll teach him not to mess with me and especially not my emotions! Hmph!'), "Not snagging yourself a new monkey suit as long as you're here? Remember, Mr. Conscientious, the dance is tomorrow!" She waved a sarcastically scolding finger at him.
Arnold paused and turned back, blinking at the question. "Oh, well, I…I was just going to use my old suit." He shrugged and smiled. "Gerald's only really getting a new one because of Phoebe…"
"And what—you don't have a 'special lady' you're trying to impress on a date tomorrow night, yourself, Romeo?" She said it with as much sarcasm as possible and trying to look as indifferent and uncaring as possible. Inside of course though was another story… Did Arnold have a date? Was he hoping to maybe see someone particular at that dance at the very least? What if it was Lila?
Arnold felt the heat he had been trying to keep at bay finally fully flood his face at the question. "Well, I…um…" he swallowed, "N-no…I mean, I'm not going with…with anyone…if that's what you mean…" He took another step back, glancing down shyly. "I just wanted to be there to give Gerald moral support and…"
"Yak, yak, yak!" She made a hand motion like talking, cutting him off. "Yes, you're going there to do the 'right thing' and be there as backup for Geraldo. How touching. Not that I even care." She closed her eyes and let out a sigh and walked past him to the store exit. "I'm out of here-you've taken up far too much of my time already with your Football Headed little problems, Football Head. Besides, I'm getting kind of hungry for dinner. Phoebe's had me in this mall ever since school let out and I'm starved at this point!"
Arnold watched her departure for several confused seconds and then followed after her. Catching up, he replied simply, not really sure how to respond to her random jumps from awkward questions to sarcastic quips and everywhere in between, "Yeah, I should probably get back home for dinner too."
He glanced at Helga who, still scowling, rolled her eyes once more, heading out of the store into the main section of the mall. "Ugh, okay, well then since we're both leaving the mall at the same time and there's only one exit and we're already together or whatever, I guess you can walk out with me like you seem to want to do—Crimeny you can be clingy, Football Head!" Hey, she didn't want some big intimate talk with him…but a few more minutes being near her beloved wasn't exactly the worst thing she could think of in the world…especially since she now knew he didn't have a date for tomorrow night. She half smiled at the thought. 'If I wasn't still so terrified of and ticked at him all the time now, I think I actually would snag a dress and show up just to see if I could sneak in a song or two with him on the dance floor….'
"Um…whatever you say, Helga." Arnold shrugged at her sudden announcement, still finding her so very confusing… 'But I guess nothing could happen from us just walking out of a mall together…And I more than owe her at least an escort down to the street for taking advantage of her at that dance like that…'
Arnold glanced around and then gestured with his head a few hundred feet ahead of them with a smile. "There's the elevator down to the ground floor."
"Good call, Sherlock." She smirked. "What tipped you off—the fact that there's only one elevator and you used it to get up here to this store right near it not too long ago or the big red sign above it that says 'Elevator' ?" She went forward, chuckling to herself.
Arnold just sighed and watched her for a second. Still, despite the fact that she was technically making fun of him…he couldn't help but smile just a little to himself at that familiar sense of humor. He then just let out a breath, shaking his head, and walked forward to catch up with her once more.
The two walked in silence toward the aforementioned elevator, with Arnold occasionally glancing toward Helga, only to have her glance at him right back when she sensed she was being watched, to which he'd quickly look away. Why he was doing that, she didn't even know.
"Heh, didn't your Grandma tell you that it's not polite to stare, Football Head?" Helga teased, smirking a little. "And here I thought you had better manners than that. Tsk tsk. Way to prove yourself to a lady, Arnoldo."
"Sorry Helga, I didn't mean to be rude." he looked away sheepishly. 'Why was I even looking at her in the first place? Sure we're walking together, and maybe I tend to glance at any walking companion, but why?'
"Better be. Remember, I've got a reputation to uphold. If anyone from school sees me walking here with you, let alone with you actually staring at me, people are going to start talking, and we won't hear the end of it come Monday, no sir. We may as well just show up at the dance together tomorrow."
Arnold opened his mouth to argue against that, but felt it was better not to put her discomfort of what other people thought of her on a mental level on the line, especially not right now.
Her words struck him for some reason; We may as well show up at the dance together tomorrow. Of course he knew she was being sarcastic to prove her point, but strangely, it made him think. There was a crazy idea, the two of them going to the dance together tomorrow night. A part of him was saying no way, it was a stupid idea and would ultimately end in disaster, victims did not go with their bullies to a dance. On the other hand, he couldn't help but think of how interesting that would be. He could use it as making it up to her from the April Fool's Day incident, since he wouldn't retaliate in her pranks, and show her a good time. And hey, when she didn't have her defensive "Get them before they get me" walls up and displayed her bullying persona, she was actually very interesting company. He knew for sure that if they did go together, he'd never be bored. No matter what kind of "mood" she was in, she always had an interesting way to keep him on his toes. He was never bored with her.
A lot would argue that it was just his tendency to keep his guard up around her and to expect her fiery words, but it seemed more than just that.
If they did go to the dance together, as unlikely as it seemed, it really would be an interesting evening. At the very least, he'd be making it up to her for the April Fool's Day dance.
"Hey Dream Boy, wake up!" Helga waved her hand in front of his face, snapping him out of his reverie. "Gee, I know you tend to have your head in the clouds, but this badly? Jeez. Well anyway, while you were off in La-La Land, we have arrived at the grand elevator."
Arnold blinked, and looked up to see that they had indeed come to the elevator. "Oh, right. Sorry Helga, I just had a bit on my mind."
"You can say that again." Helga rolled her eyes, and hit the Down button.
The doors opened promptly, and the two of them stepped inside. Hitting the G button, the doors closed, and the elevator began its descent.
Realizing how close they were standing together, Helga inconspicuously side-stepped over to one side of the elevator so as not to be too close to him. Even though she wanted nothing more than to be close to him, especially in an elevator, where no one could see, but he was there with her. She may as well have a repeat of her confession.
No wonder, the cat's out of the bag. She thought, biting her lip. Everything I do now, he knows I'm lying. Still, I have to be careful, just because he knows doesn't mean I can let my guard down.
Before she could think further, the elevator suddenly stopped. But when the doors didn't open, Helga frowned. Why hadn't they opened? They had stopped. So what was going on?
She hit the Door Open button, but nothing happened.
"The heck? Why are we stopped and then the doors aren't opening?"
Arnold looked up at the floor display pad above the door, and saw that the numbers were switching between one and two. Didn't that mean they were stuck between the first and second floor? Worry arose within him, seeing what this could have meant.
"Open, you dumb doors! Open!" Helga angrily commanded to the doors, knocking them with her fist. "I said open! Open sesame! ...Just open! Come on!"
"I said OPEN!" At his question, she looked at him. "What!"
"I think we might be stuck."
"Stuck? The heck do you mean stuck!"
Arnold pointed upward, and Helga followed his finger, looking up at the floor display pad, which was still switching between one and two. Her eyes widened.
Instantly, the two trapped kids began pounding their fists on the elevator doors, yelling for help as the display pad continued to switch between one and two, indicating that they were indeed stuck.