Disclaimer: Hey Arnold! is created by Craig Bartlett.
Synopsis: Stinky wants to ask the lovely Miss Lila to the spring dance at their high school, but he's going to need a bit of help from his dear friends who may or may not have alternative motives.
Hey There, Ms. Lila
Mrs. Oliver's honors biology class never earned its title as the "most exciting place to be" when there wasn't a laboratory assignment for the gang to screw up. It was time for another independent study session after Oliver's lecture on botany and the students were quiet—not that they were necessarily studying. Instead, their tranquil volume was a magnificent facade to deter their half sleeping instructor away from their various daydreaming expressions, popping gum bubbles, and whisperings of developing gossip. It was nothing out of the ordinary.
However, in the back of the classroom, there was actually a bit of commotion and the attempt to keep it under wraps was quite the failure.
"Ooh!" Stinky grumbled as he squeezed his palms against the sides of his head. "It's hopeless, Sid! It really bites."
"Seriously, Stinky," Sid said, trying his best to calm his friend. "Just do it. It's not going to hurt, right?"
"Yeah but—but what if it don't go as planned?"
"Well that…" Stinky left his sentence hanging and his eyes began to travel around the classroom as if the biological diagrams would give him some sort of escape route.
"What are you two lame-wades going on about?" Helga blurted out in a kind of whisper when she turned around from the lab desk she shared with Sheena. The two girls were assigned to the lab table in front the boys, making it impossible to completely block out their argument.
"Way to butt in, Helga," Sid resorted at her.
Helga ignored him and addressed Stinky in a hushed tone. "What's so important that you two would talk so loudly, anyways? Do you really want another lecture from Sleeping Beauty over there?" She gestured her thumb towards Mrs. Oliver who had her cheek resting in her hand and her half-lidded eyes glued onto the computer screen.
"Helga, it's really none of your—" Sid began, actually a bit quieter this time, but Stinky chimed in before he could finish.
"It's fine, Sid," Stinky murmured. "I think I should just drop the whole thing like a rotten pumpkin because it just ain't gonna happen and you know it."
"You don't know for sure that Lila is going to say 'no,'" Sid said, patting his friend on the back but suddenly froze, wide-eyed when he realized what had just came out of his mouth.
"Lila?" Helga repeated with a raised eyebrow. "Is that was this is about? Little Miss Perfect?"
Stinky gave Sid a glare for a split second before breathing a heavy sigh and rubbing his forehead in exasperation.
"I… I way planning on askin' lovely Miss Lilia to the spring dance," Stinky explained sheepishly with his hand replaced on the back of his head. "But I don't think she's gonna say 'yes' to me."
"Stinky," Helga said. "She's little Miss 'Happy Sunshine' so I doubt she's going to reject you, even if she says 'yes' out of pity." Helga smirked at her last comment.
"She won't do that, Helga," a new voice lingered into the group. Sheena had finally turned around to join them, most likely because she and Lila were close friends and hearing her name sparked a bit of interest.
"I knew it!" Stinky blurted out and buried his face in his hands. "She ain't gonna say 'yes'. She's just—"
"I didn't say she was going to reject you, Stinky," Sheena said, kindly.
"But—" Stinky started to protest when she interrupted.
"I meant that she won't say 'yes' to a pity date. She's not like that," said glanced at Helga for a second before turning back to the boys. "If you ask her nicely, I'm sure she'll agree to go with you. You two are friends, right?"
"Yeah—but…" Stinky tried to argue. He let his sentence drag on, leaving the four of them in a state of silence for a short time before Sid picked up the conversation.
"Stinky's just worried that she might be asked by someone else."
"Then shouldn't you be trying to ask her as soon as possible?" Helga asked him.
"The spring dance is in a week, Stinky," Sheena reminded. "She hasn't been asked yet so you still have a chance." She gave him a soft smile and a giggle before turning back to her own desk.
"She's right, Stink-o," Helga nodded in agreement. "You should just take a go at it before some other guy steals your girl."
Stinky was quiet for a while, contemplating on the girls' advice. Then he turned to Sid with a questioning look to which his friend only shrugged and said, "I agree."
"But how am I gonna ask Miss Lila?" Stinky asked.
Both Helga and Sid stared off into the classroom with their hands on her chins in wonderment. That was when Helga spotted her best friend Phoebe, who was the one student in the classroom actually studying, and smiled as an elaborate plan began to brew in her mind.
"I think I got just the idea."
"This was very thoughtful of you, Helga," Phoebe said admiringly as she rocked from side to side on her computer desk chair.
"Yeah, yeah" Helga brushed off her sentiment as she rummaged through her friend's CD cabinet. "Do you have anything… acoustic, Pheebs?"
"Um, not on CD, but there is this song." Phoebe turned around in her chair and began typing into the computer as Helga came and leaned against the chair. Once the song had properly loaded, the melodious sound of simple light strumming of guitar strings began to fill the room. Helga tapped her finger to the rhythm on Phoebe's chair as the male vocals began to join the acoustics.
"This is perfect, Pheebs! Now, do you think you can reword the lyrics so it fits the situation more?" Helga came away from the chair and smiled her usual grin.
"I'll see what I can do," Phoebe said, and paused the song on her computer. She pushed herself in the desk chair to turn and face Helga. "Oh, by the way, Helga, why the sudden interest in helping Stinky ask Lila to the dance?"
"Because, Phoebe, if he asks her and she agrees, then there's no way she's going to ask Arnold to the dance." The blond raised her eyebrow at her friend as if already expecting her to know such details.
Phoebe gave a giggle and said, "I'm sure she knows about you and Arnold, Helga."
"Still," Helga said, waving a hand to brush off her friend's remark. "I can't be too sure and helping Stinky with this will seal the deal."
As Helga walked over to the kotatsu in the middle of room to continue with the rest of her English literature homework, Phoebe gave a soft sigh and rolled her eyes at her friend's remark.
"Always the cautious one," she whispered to herself before joining Helga.
In the Peterson household, Stinky wiped away the droplets of shower water still dripping down the side of his face before flopping onto his bed with a heavy, exasperated sigh. He anxiously thumbed the loose threads on the pillow sheet, wondering just what ingenious plan Helga was coming up with. Stinky began to backtrack and wondered whether or not this was really the best choice.
The next school day seemed to have fallen into a time warp where every second dragged on into hours. Stinky sat in each one of his classes, tapping his fingers and glancing "ever so" often at Lila's back where her beautiful auburn flowed. He would then turn his gaze over to Helga who only gave him a hard look as if saying, "Be patient or else!" to which he quickly looked away at the clock, wishing for the end of the day.
"I'm sure the girls can come up with something better than us," Sid said after the students were released from school. He and Stinky stopped by their lockers to pick up their books before heading on home. "I mean, they are the creative ones, after all."
"That's not want I'm worried about, Sid!" Stinky groaned and planted his palm over his eyes.
"Stinky, you really need to stop worrying. Lila's a nice girl. Everything will work out just fine, trust me."
Sid had said it so coolly, as if words alone can really help to stop his anxiety. The two of them slammed their lockers shut and turned towards to school doors. Just as they had taken their first few steps, Helga's loud and assertive voice stopped them in their tracks.
"Alright knuckleheads," she said with a smirk on a face and her arms crossed.
Stinky noted that Phoebe was right beside her as always.
"Did ya come up with a plan yet, Helga?" Stinky asked.
"Calm your horses, Stink-o," Helga said. "I've got your plan right here." She waved a piece of paper in her hand.
Stinky reached out and tried to grab for it but despite his range, Helga's swiftness proved to be more effective. She clicked her tongue, taunting him almost.
"I want to be sure that our effects aren't going to be wasted," Helga explained. "So, if you want the blueprints, you're going to have to cough up a promise and some action as follow up, too."
"I thought you wanted to help him out, Helga!" Sid intervened.
"We do want to help, Sid," Phoebe stepped in for her friend. "But, Helga—I mean we just want to make sure that Stinky will actually go through with the plan, that's all."
"Alrighty! I'll go through with it!" Stinky blurted out.
"I guess you really want to go with Miss Perfect that badly," Helga murmured to herself. "Well, here's the plan. Actually, you read it, Pheebs."
"With pleasure," Phoebe said and took the piece of paper that Helga held out for her.
"Okay," the dark-haired girl began. "Stinky, you have the necessary skills to play the guitar, is that correct?"
"Yes ma'am," Stinky nodded.
"Good. You're going to have to learn these few simple cords and in addition, the plan requires that you sing these exact lyrics as printed on this sheet."
"And… that's it?"
"Precisely," Phoebe smiled and held out the paper for him.
Stinky quickly grabbed for the paper before Helga could play Keep-Away any longer.
"Wait," Helga chimed in. "You forgot the most important detail."
"Oh right," Phoebe said, blushing slightly at herself. "You're going to have to meet us behind the science wing after school tomorrow. Be on time though, Lila likes to leave right after the bell for clubs meetings."
"How do ya know she'll be there?" Stinky asked.
"Don't worry," Helga said. "That's already taken care of."
"Yep. I slipped her a note signed by you today telling her to come by. So she'll be there."
"Ya—you did what?" Stinky cried out in disbelieve.
"Calm down, Stinky," Sid said casually. "Remember what I said? Lila's a nice girl. You're just letting your nerves get to you."
"You better listen to Hat Boy," Helga suggested. "Well, then we're off. Be there tomorrow. Come on, Phoebe."
With that, the two girls exited the school, leaving Stinky with Sid to ponder whether or not to go through with the plan. But as luck would have it, he really didn't have a choice in the matter.
"So you're really going to go through with it?" Sid asked, patting Stinky on the back.
"You know what, Sid?" Stinky crumpled the piece of paper and put on his best determined face. "I'm just gonna go for it!"
"Atta boy," Sid said and smiled. "I told you the girls are more creative at this stuff."
After seeing the artwork title "Hey There Ms. Lila" by krossfire on Deviantart, I just had to write this little fic. I found that I really like Stinky with his lovely "Miss Lilia." I really hope you enjoyed it!