A/N: Had this in my files a long time, so I decided to just post it already. Enjoy.
Disclaimer: If I did own it, then I wouldn't have even bothered with the disclaimer in the first place.
"Arnold, I don't know about this..." Helga said wearily, looking over the edge of the building. "This whole thing is just so..." She struggled to find the right word, which was a first for her, so it was obvious to Arnold how nervous she was. There were butterflies in her stomach, and she felt completely uncertain... and scared. Helga G. Pataki was scared out of her wits. And Arnold knew it.
Arnold smiled at her, and took a step towards her. "Listen Helga, I'll do it too if it'll make you feel better."
She looked at him, biting her lip. She looked back down again, at all the kids lined out front of the school, and gulped. It was just the beginning of the day, and of course Arnold had the bright idea to do this on top of the school's roof. Helga groaned a little, her hands shaking. "Oh, Arnold, do I have to do this?"
Arnold took her hand, and gave her a supportive smile. "If you want us to be together, I'm afraid it's kinda important."
She narrowed her eyes at him, and threw her arms in the air. "But why do I have to do it on top of a freaking building?" Birds squawked at her loud exclamation, and Arnold winced a little.
"Eh-heh," He laughed slightly, and gently lowered her arms, calming her in the process. "Look, Helga, I really want to be with you, but I feel like... like you're afraid to love me."
She gawked at him. "Arnold! I AM afraid of it! For Pete's sake! I treated you like dirt for seven years because I was afraid that everyone would laugh at me! And NOW you go and put me on a building, so I can just shout at the top of my lungs that I-"
He put a hand on her mouth quick, silencing her, with a small smile. "Not yet, Helga."
She flared her nostrils at him, her unibrow narrowed.
He gulped a little. He knew she'd never hurt him, but she still looked pretty scary when she was angry. He gave her a shy smile, knowing how to calm her down. "Sweetie, everything will be just fine, okay? It'll only last a second, and then it'll be over, and I'll be here to support you. I'll even do it too, if you want me to."
Her eyes widened, and she went a little limp, and he took it as cue to release her mouth. She just stood there, staring at him. "S-Sweetie?"
He smiled, blushing slightly.
She felt a goofy grin beginning to spread across her face, but she slapped herself, and then frowned at Arnold. "How dare you use your adorable pet names against me!" She huffed, and crossed her arms over her chest, turning away from him.
He just continued smiling, and put a hand on her shoulder. "Sorry, Helga. But I need you to understand." He sighed. "I'm tired of our relationship being a secret. I mean, we kiss, and hug, and flirt, just like any other couple... but then when we get to school..." He frowned. "I have to pretend that we're nothing to each other. And... I don't like that." He looked down.
She tensed a little, as silence swept over them
Before long, she sighed lightly, and turned to him. "Fine, fine. I understand that you're not used to hiding your love." She rubbed her arm a bit, nervously. "And I get that you want to be open about it all... it's just..." She looked over the side of the building again. "Don't you think this is a little... extreme?"
Arnold shrugged. "Maybe. But I think it'll get our point across."
She groaned, and then stepped a bit closer to the edge, staring down at all the young, ten year old kids. She tensed, she could feel some sweat trickling down her brow, and her hands were shaking. She shut her eyes tight, and took a deep, shaky breath before whispering, "I love Arnold."
Arnold blinked at her, and gave her a concerned look. He stood next to her then, and took her hand, telling her lightly, "A little louder, Helga."
She blew some air out her teeth, and inhaled a trembling breath, before saying levelly, "I love... Arnold."
Arnold squeezed her hand a little in support. "A little louder."
She put her free hand to her eyes, and shook her head a little. "Arnold, I don't think I can do it."
Arnold blinked at her again, and sighed. "Okay, Helga, I won't make you do it."
Her eyes snapped open at that, and she looked to him hopefully. "Really? You won't?" She narrowed her eyes at him a little. "This better not be some sick joke of yours, Football Head."
He shook his head, confirming that he wasn't joking.
"Phew!" She ran the back of her hand across her forehead in relief, and turned around, walking back to the ladder then. "Thank goodness. For a second there I thought that-"
"I love Helga Pataki!"
Everyone at the bottom of the building looked up then, and gawked at him.
"OH NO! Arnold! You can't love Helga! She'll beat the snot out of ya for sayin' that! Take it back! Quick!" Sid yelled up to him, fear written across his face.
Arnold narrowed his eyes a little, yelling out once again, "I love Helga Pataki!"
Sid sighed, commenting to Stinky, "Well, he's lost it."
"Willikers. I reckon' your right, Sid. Wow. I feel sorry for Arnold." Stinky responded back.
"I love Helga Pataki!"
Gerald smirked, and Phoebe simply gawked up at the blonde boy, before a grin spread across her face.
"I love Helga Pata-Mfff!" Arnold's words were cut off when Helga suddenly came up from behind and slapped a hand over his mouth and grabbed him around the torso, pulling him to her from behind and backing away.
Everyone broke out into a chatter then, and Sid hollered up to him, "I told you! She's gonna kill you!"
"Ah, man. Arnold is toast!" Harold yelled out to no one in particular.
Helga growled into Arnold's ear, and whispered to him, "You're a bold kid, Arnold. A bit too bold if you ask me."
Arnold simply blinked, leaning back against her in defeat. He'd said it. It was out there. He felt he'd gotten his point across, so at that moment, he decided to just give in and enjoy the close contact, though he knew it wasn't meant to be romantic, it was still nice.
"What do ya think Helga's gonna do to him?"
"Probably tear out his spleen, and play racket ball with it."
"I think she's just going to give him a black eye and be done with it."
"Or maybe she'll break all his limbs!"
"Or maybeshe'll rip his heart out, and throw it on the ground, and squish it into itty bitty pieces!" Harold yelled out.
Everyone stopped, and looked at him with strange expressions.
He blinked. "What?"
"Uh, Harold," Sid began, "You do mean that figuratively, right?"
Harold blinked, scratching his head. "What does...figur-ativ-ely mean?"
"It means shut the heck up, Pink Boy!" Helga yelled from the top of the roof, waving her fist around at them all from the top.
Everyones' eyes instantly snapped up to the blonde, and Stinky asked a bit angrily, "What did ya do to poor Arnold?"
"Yeah?" Everyone chorused, glaring at her.
She rolled her eyes at them. "Nothing! He's fine, you idiots!" Arnold walked up to stand next to her then, staring down at everyone.
"Ooooh! Arnold! Are you heartbroken now?"
Arnold gave them all disinterested looks, and Helga just rolled her eyes again. "Will you all shut up?" Helga yelled to them all. "I didn't break the little loser's heart! In fact..." She faltered a little. "I should be thanking him for not breaking mine."
Everyone blinked at that.
Helga just winced a little at the words coming out of her mouth, "I actually love Arnold too."
Or at least, all the boys did.
Rhonda rolled her eyes, her hands on her hips and her nose held high. "Oh, please, what else is new?"
All the girls chorused in agreement, some muttering to themselves about how they didn't know 'what the big deal was'.
Helga's jaw dropped, her eyes growing wide. "H-Huh?"
Rhonda scoffed, putting her hands over her hips and giving her a very dry look. "Come on, Helga, what kind of idiots do you take us for? You think we didn't notice how you always picked on Arnold in particular?"
"Yeah, or how you were always staring at him all through class!"
"Or how everyday Mr. Simmons always had a new poem about ARNOLD to read?"
Rhonda cut in again amongst the chatter, "Helga, dear, that's old gossip. Everyone has always known you two have had some weird thing for each other."
Helga blinked, glancing at Arnold briefly before looking back at them all with one side of her eyebrow raised. " 'The TWO' of us?"
Rhonda rolled her eyes once again. "Well, if that tango last April was any indication of Arnold's feelings."
"Or the fact that he was always insisting there was good in you."
"How he was almost ALWAYS angry at you. No one other than someone he likes could get him that riled up."
Everyone chorused in agreement.
Arnold, a very dark blush on his cheeks, just took a step back or two in embarrassment.
Helga blinked, a very amused smile on her face, as she actually took a step forward and gazed down at them all a bit mischievously now. "Oh, really? Tell me more?"
And so, all the girls began going on and on about how it was so obvious Arnold liked her.
All the boys just stood there whilst all this was going on, feeling a lot dumber than usual all of a sudden.
And Arnold... After quite a few failed attempts at getting Helga to come with him back down the ladder and AWAY from all their classmates, he just stood there and let total humiliation wash over him, thinking of what a field day Helga was going to have with this on their next date alone together.
Maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all.