And one time they didn't...

Last chapter ya'll. I am especially pleased with how the time frame of this story just seemed to magically fall into place.

I am posting this a little early today because I am going to the fair with my husband and some friends. They think we are especially cool because we have motorcycles. lol (Though mine is in the shop...) Anyway, think of it as a last chapter present?

I do not own Hey Arnold or its characters. Craig does. I, as before mentioned many times, just love them. Bless you Craig.

Chapter 6 Destiny

"I'm really glad that your family let you come over for Christmas," Arnold said again as the roof began to go up on his and her snow igloo. It had snowed about four feet the night before, trapping the city in a dead halt. With all the businesses closed for Christmas anyway, Arnold had called Helga earlier that morning and invited her over to help him clean the snow off his bedroom skylights.

Once they had completed that, they only had the problem of what to do with all of the excess snow on the roof of Sunset Arms. They had started a rooftop fort to better pelt their unsuspecting friends in the street below, but with so much snow the fort had become an entire snow castle. The only intelligent solution was to add a roof and call it an igloo.

"Eh, they probably don't even realize I'm gone," Helga muttered gratefully to her boyfriend, "Besides, if I had to spend one more minute with Olga, I think I would go more nuts than I am already!" The comment made both kids laugh, and they continued their igloo.

The last few months felt like a whole different lifetime to Helga. She had been shocked to find that nothing changed between her friends and schoolmates when she and Arnold had finally 'announced' their relationship, such as a relationship between nine year olds went. No one had harassed, made fun of, or humiliated her about it once.

Now it was Christmas, the holiday season, and she was spending her Christmas day with her true love, up on his roof making igloos and sniping friends on the streets below with snowballs. Everything was perfect.

She wasn't angry (mostly) anymore. She was still cynical, but that would probably never change. The world still wasn't a fair place to live and her family was still dysfunctional. But she had started sharing some poems with Arnold and he had liked them, really liked them. So she would write him one almost every day, and they would pass secret notes in class or in their mailboxes at home on the weekends or holidays. Helga kept and cherished them all. It was fun, and it was theirs.

A little while later the igloo was finished. Being the gentleman he was, Arnold offered Helga the first chance to enter their little snow house on the roof. She crawled in and sat in the gray-white room, waiting on Arnold. In her pocket, his gift weighed down against her hip. Finally, he entered.

The kids sat in companionable silence for a while, simply admiring their handy-work.

"You know, we make a pretty good team, Helga," Arnold sighed contentedly before lapsing back into a contemplative silence.

"Yeah, I guess we do football head," the girl conceded, fingering the present in her pocket. "So I uh...I got you a present..."she finally admitted, studying the ground she sat on. Nothing mattered except the grateful smile that lit up the boy's face. Gently, she pulled it out and handed it to him.

Arnold studied the small wrapped parcel in his hand before carefully unwrapping one side. Helga held her breath.

The boy pulled out a small blue hat, very similar to the old one on his head and beamed. "I...I just thought that, you know, since yours is getting kinda old...and you know, you might wanna keep it safe so nothing happens to it...you could, I dunno, wear that one when you had to..." Helga stammered.

She was stunned when he easily swiped his old hat off his head and began to replace it with the one she had given him, until he paused. On the inside of it, sewn into a secret pocket, he saw a small picture of the two of them from one of the picture booths at the arcade. Reverently, he placed the hat on his head and stuffed his old one in his pocket for safe keeping.

"Thanks Helga, that was the best gift I've ever gotten," he said shyly and fidgeted.

Helga was sure that Christmas would never be the same again. Nothing could ever top the feeling she had at having her gift so well received. The hard packed snow beneath her felt soft and welcoming and her cheeks felt flushed with pleasure. He was wearing her gift, and he liked it. She was so overcome with emotion that she didn't hear her name the first time.

"...Helga?" Arnold asked again, putting his hand on her shoulder, successfully rousing her from her girlish daydreams. "Can I ask you something?"

"You just did," she answered smirking, but he didn't smirk back. He looked serious and she grew restive and nodded. "Ask away," she consented.

"Do...do you still love me?"

The little girl wasn't sure where this was going and alarms sounded in her head. Silent pleas to lie and keep herself safe announced themselves urgently and every muscle in her body tensed. They hadn't mentioned her love once during the last several months that he had known about it. Why was he asking now? Maybe she should just lie...

No! She knew this boy. She had spent every day of her life since she was three trying to know everything about him and now they had been going out for months. He had never given her reason not to trust him or lie. But that didn't mean she had to gush.

"Yes."

In front of her, Arnold nodded and stared at the snow-packed floor for a moment. "I have a present for you, too," he finally said, as if he had just decided something epic. He stuffed his hand into his own pocket and pulled out a single sheet of folded paper, handing it to her.

"A note?" Helga asked, holding out her hand and receiving it curiously. She got notes all the time. Instead of commenting further, she let curiosity take root and opened the intricately folded letter, beginning to read the short lines on the paper.

"I'm not as good as you are...but I tried my hardest," Arnold said behind the paper in her face.

We were friends on a rainy day

When we were just three

But school was rough

And you were tough

So I could never hear you say

That you love me

But now I see

That you are always kind

Now we are nine

And now I find

You're always on my mind.

Helga, you are great

This must be fate,

But there IS one thing I wish.

That you hold still

While I say my fill

And that one thing is...

Helga looked at the last line and blinked. She checked the very bottom of the paper and even turned the page over. When no other words or lines were found she finally held it down to stare, confused, at the blushing boy near her.

The confusion mounted while she watched Arnold take a breath and scoot closer to her, now nearly pressing against her side in their closeness at the very deepest reach of their igloo palace. He set his jaw into a bold line, turned his eyes towards her puzzled face, and kissed her gently on the cheek.

"Love you, Helga," he whispered.

A new kind of warmth bloomed from Helga's chest as she stared at Arnold. Losing control, she smiled more widely than she ever had in her life. She felt the happiness in her eyes, in the tips of her fingers, in her gut, and all the way down to her toes. She couldn't take her eyes off him. "Love you too, Arnold." she replied.

The End...of the Beginning. :D

Please don't comment on the crappiness of my little poem. I wanted to try and replicate what a little boy would write if he so felt the urge to write poetry. lol Well at least I tried...

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed it and thanks for reading. The way my mind works I will probably start something really smutty next. That's the way I roll. XD Start sweet, end with hard core smexy times. I am a terrible person. And I am thinking of posting this in two sections on DeviantArt. So if I decided to do that and you happen to see it there, yes, it is the same fic.

Oh and if anyone knows of some decent HA fiction I would love a link. I am terrible at looking for fiction.

Reviews and critiques are greatly appreciated, but not necessary. *love*