Hey guys :D:D:D

So, do to circumstances ENTIRELY beyond my control (English GRE subject test in two weeks…spent the last month reading every piece of major classical lit that my study book recommended…took tons of notes on tons of other stuff too… COLLEGE was easier!) I have literally had NO time for fanfiction! Which is sad because, um…in case the hundreds of thousands of words of it that I write didn't tip you off, I LOVE fanfiction :)

Okay, but, getting back to this, since LTBH probably won't be up for a little while longer or anything else I'm working on or planning to work on (applying to grad school, full time job, bunch of other stuff, etc.) I at least wanted to post something because I've missed you guys and reading reviews and stuff :)

So, anyway, this is a preview/possibly the first chapter of a sequel to Perfect 10 I'm writing called "April 2nd". I've got a few more chapters worth of it drafted so I'm hoping the posting can be a lot quicker than for something as complicated and long as LTBH.

Special thanks to a bunch of people I've been having a bunch of fun taking with outside of ff dot net—NintendoGal, Broken Rose, Pyrex Shards, DarthRoden aka Carl, Ed Crane :) And special thanks also to a few fun people I've been talking with via ff dot net—SuprSingr, GrimXlullaby, etc.

And this one goes out to anyone who's ever woken up someplace they did NOT expect to wake up, lol ;) (I'm personally flashing back to a futon in a random house ten miles from my apartment after a college party…and I was missing my shoes and vaguely recalled a fedora, Sunny-D screwdrivers, and many glasses of apple juice that DID NOT taste like just apple, and having a convo in broken English, Spanish and Russian with some friends of mine. Then I think I did a walk of shame in my clothes to the coffee shop near the school and just praying I wouldn't run into any of my professors…Yeah, not my finest hours…lol.)

But back to Arnold and Helga's night together ;)

If you haven't read Perfect Ten this will make NO contextual sense! Please read it :D Thank you!

Here we go!


Chapter 1:

The Night Before...

"So…um…good ice cream…" Arnold shifted a little against the couch cushion upon which he was seated.

Helga just swallowed hard, shifting in her finally dry dress. "Uh, yeah…pretty good, Football Head…"

Well…now what?

The two kids just sat there in silence, the TV on low airing some kind of generic show that they'd really only turned on so as to have something to watch while they had eaten...and they'd only eaten really so that they could stall the inevitable…

"S-So…" Helga finally managed, leaning back against the couch, NOT looking to Arnold.

It was his turn to swallow hard now. "Yeah…so…"

It wasn't that both kids didn't know they needed to have the impending conversation. It was just…well…where to even begin?

And then Helga took a deep breath, turned to face him, and took the plunge. "I love you, Arnold." She said it simply… No dramatics or hysterics or sarcasm. Just that. The thing they needed to talk about, no frills attached. A blush couldn't help but flower in her cheeks though regardless of how calm she was trying to seem. 'Might as well just get to it…' After all, if there ever had been an ideal night for it, it was probably this one…all things considered…

Arnold, meanwhile, a bit surprised by her bluntness, just sat there, his eyes turned to her, a blank look on his face like he was processing something…and of course he was… After all, it… just seemed so strange to be able to condense everything that had been going on between them over the last week…or the last seven years… into those four small words. I love you, Arnold. The very idea of them made him swallow hard and only increased his paralysis.

After quite a few seconds of being patient with his little wide-eyed stare, Helga had to scowl and felt some of her defensive nature kick in. "Hey, now it's your turn to say something, paste for brains! That's how a conversation works—I speak, you speak, repeat. Pretty simple. Crimeny, what are you waiting for?"

The question was rhetorical of course…and yet something about it couldn't help but make an interesting thought pop into Arnold's head. "Sorry, Helga…" he began quietly…and then a small half smile came to his face.

Helga just rolled her eyes, unable to help falling a bit more into her defensiveness with how nervous she was feeling about all of this. "And just what's so funny, Football Head?" After all, mocking had always been the thing she feared most about sharing her secret with anyone… And with how deeply she'd shared it with him already, well, she was just a little hypersensitive right now to say the least.

Arnold, at her question, just blinked a couple of times and blushed just a little, realizing what he'd just done. "Oh, um…nothing, Helga, I—" he quickly tried to explain.

"Oh do NOT give me that!" she cut him off firmly, though, even glaring at him a little. "Now spill—just what's so funny about the fact that I…" Her voice faltered a little, as did her scowl, "That I…love you."

Arnold, realizing that, despite her anger, Helga might actually be feeling like he was mocking her a little with that smile he had given, decided to put his own embarrassment aside for a moment and to explain the small grin at her question from before about 'what he was waiting for'. "Nothing's funny about it, Helga…I guess I just smiled like that because you…asked me what I was waiting for, and…an answer kind of popped into my head because…" he swallowed, feeling a strange, warm feelings go through him as a very particular memory from only about a week ago flashed through his mind. "It's just that…well…if what you just said was another confession…I guess part of me couldn't help but wonder…well…" he felt himself blushing furiously but after everything that had been passing between them lately…he was starting not to care too much about it…He finally finished his question, "…where's the kiss?"

Helga remained scowling at him for a second or two longer.

And then she raised part of her brow.

And then her mouth opened slightly like she was about to say something, but no sound came out.

A cautious look followed and a blank one finished things up.

Well here was an unexpected reaction to her admitting her love yet again. 'Where's the…huh?'

Arnold meanwhile was finding these changing facial expressions rather amusing to say the least. "Okay, Helga…" he had to try hard not to laugh, "Well, since you did it that first time you confessed…I guess it's my turn…"

He knew it was a little bold… He also knew that he'd been liking letting things get a little bold with her lately.

And so he finally summed up his courage, and leaned forward and closed his eyes…just like that first time back at Slausen's when he'd kissed her… (and all because he'd been afraid of liking it, of all things!)… And even though he was just a little afraid and worried right now too, something told him that this was right…a lot of things told him that, actually… Things like how much fun they'd had back in the pool at the dance, things like how good it had felt to hold her hand as they'd walked home…things like how perfectly they fit together when their lips touched…like all those times between last weekend and now this weekend. 'Anyway, she's probably a little worried about everything right now…about being here and stuff… So maybe this'll show her I'm serious though about…liking her…a lot.'

His soft lips softly met hers.

And it felt very nice…very, very, very nice….very— "MMM!"

Arnold wasn't entirely sure what had just happened but now he was lying plastered on his back with the back of his head against the arm of the couch and something was definitely on top of him. 'Ah—I...Ah…'

His eyes flew open and he felt his face burn with heat as he realized that Helga had just thrown him back like that in response to his kiss, suddenly participating in the action in a very 'active' way to say the least. His heart pounded like crazy at the knowledge that the warm weight on top of him was indeed her…and then his stomach flipped and familiar places around his torso seared as her arms came tightly around him just like they had on the roof of that building. He felt his eyes widen and his breathing through his nose become heavier…But then…

…Then Helga lightly moaned and the sound…sent something through him that made his breath catch in his throat for just a second and his eyes drift closed…

His mind blanked and then tingled, his heart fluttered in wild little leaps and bounds, he was floating, he was flying, he was...he was...

And then he finally fully accepted that...that there was nothing to be scared about. There was nothing to fight or be confused or nervous over...not anymore.

He liked kissing Helga. And Helga liked kissing him.

'We like...kissing...together...'

And so, now, his shock and fears and panic suddenly all tossed aside in the wake of how much he couldn't deny that he was...quite happy, with Helga, like this...Arnold finally just let himself enjoy her kiss and didn't struggle or resist her passionate, loving advances anymore.

And soon, feeling a little like...like maybe kissing back (and he meant REALLY kissing back, not just not fighting her advances), Arnold did his best to follow his instincts with this whole thing, just like he'd done back in that back room at Slausen's last weekend...the first time he'd ever been the one to kiss her...And suddenly it came to him.

He recalled their former kisses, both the real ones...and the ones from dreams...and then slowly, nervously...happily...moved his arms up around Helga's body to hold her steady and to even pull her closer. And, just like that time back at Slausen's, he felt her stiffen just a little at first...but then of course twist even more against him all on her own, further compressing them against each other in their tight embrace.

He let out a happy sigh from his nose...Apparently he'd done the right thing.

Several…several…seconds later Helga let out a sigh through her nose and separated from Arnold's lips just slightly. She just let out a girlish sigh. 'Hey as long as things are headed this way might as well savor the moment… You know, just in case he wakes up tomorrow and realizes it was all just the heat of the moment…or if I wake up and somehow this does just turn out to be some wonderful dream caused by inhaling all that chlorine filled air from around the pool. Oh Arnold…' For a moment she just allowed herself to savor the feeling of his warmth mingling with hers...the feeling of his body in her arms. And of course the sensation of how his lips had felt…firm, tender, supple, playful, cool yet warm…and of course sweet from the ice cream. She just wanted to die right there, in total bliss…every potential point of happiness inside of her feeling completely fulfilled…

Arnold's eyes now fluttered open, a smile on his face, as he felt cool air meet his lips. He just gazed into Helga's daydream-hiding eyes. "Um…" he began in a daze from his freshly kissed lips... "So…" He really couldn't come up with anything though at the moment, to be honest. What was there to say? She was perfect and he simply couldn't believe he hadn't seen it all along. And he just couldn't believe that someone so secretly perfect would actually be so very pleased with him…but here she was…his Deep Voice…his Helga…his… (His thoughts were progressing in a daze)…his lovely, his love..his lovely…lo—

She giggled. Arnold's hazed thoughts now went elsewhere. He had never heard her giggle like that…heard ANY girl giggle like that. So warmly and sweetly. "So…" she cooed lightly back to him with a half smile. He felt like melting inside, just like that ice cream melting on the table near them.

And then he just chuckled, and moved one of his hands and brushed aside a wisp or two of her hair that had managed to come out of one of her pigtails over the course of their adventures that evening. "You're interesting, Helga…." he informed her yet again in their lives, a small chuckle underlying his warm tone. 'You know…I wonder if this is what she would have wanted to do on that building if we hadn't had to get back to the neighborhood to stop those bulldozers…' He recalled, after her confession, her trying to kiss him again and again, wanting to lay down with him, to hold him… Oh boy it felt good to be held by her…to hold her…Yes, finally to have it back after a week of having that whole wonderful world of that side of her shut down to him like it had always been…though, before, he just hadn't realized it.

"And you're still my date, Football Head…" Helga replied simply to him. Her eyes were so half lidded…he hadn't seen her look like that since FTi… She then moved one of her hands up near his shoulder and twirled a piece of his hair in a couple of her fingers… Oh it made him want to smile forever. "And I'm still your poor blind friend in your good hands…" she finished, snuggling herself a little more against him (and of course against his good hands that were still holding firmly around her torso).

A small part of Arnold felt like getting shy again, pulling his arms away, running and hiding at what she was saying to him…just like he'd felt like doing during and after her confession. Luckily the rest of him (the majority, conveniently enough), just happily let his hands absorb the warmth underneath them from her body…and Arnold felt his smile grow. "Yeah…" he began in that low, warm whisper he couldn't help speaking to her in, "My poor…blind…"

The sentence hung…

And their eyes drifted shut as they kissed again…

"Mmm…" Helga moaned in half-sleep, squinting her already closed eyes a bit. She tried to turn her face towards and snuggle into whatever nice thing she was leaning against to shield her eyes. "Someone close that shade...stupid bright light…"

Arnold, in his half sleep, hearing this sentence, couldn't help but smile, pulling close against him whatever warm slightly heavy thing was serving him in place of a blanket, and reply sleepily, "Sorry…I'll…get it…in a minute…I promise…"

Helga let out a content sigh. "Thanks, Arnold…"

Arnold yawned. "Sure, Helga…"

There were several seconds of peaceful silence.

This silence then continued (though with bit more tension…a LOT more tension…) as both Arnold and Helga suddenly opened their eyes…quite wide actually…and just remained like that for several seconds. Each of them took in a breath and then let out a breath…and then slowly turned to look at each other, Helga looking forward and up into Arnold's face as she was laying against his chest (his arm around her back, pulling her close), and Arnold turning forward and down to look at Helga who was currently laying against him (her arms wrapped snugly around his body).

Each took a frightened breath…

Arnold was the first one to swallow hard and open his mouth and try and make a sound. "Helga…" he managed to get out…

"Ah!" At the sound of her name from him Helga instantly flew back with a start, pressing herself against the other end of the couch, clutching the blanket from last night around her in obvious total terror. Her eyes darted here and there and her heart was practically in cardiac arrest. The denial raced through her. 'I…What am I doing here? With him! I-I-I…Oh!' She was so panicked at her position she couldn't even begin to figure out what to do next.

She had spent the night at…at Arnold's!

No, it couldn't be.

And yet…

She'd come here with Arnold on April 1st…and to the best of her senses…it now seemed to be April 2nd.


If Helga still wasn't feeling prepared for how to deal with her life now that Arnold, every once in a while, seemed to be…kind of liking her… like-liking her… How could she even BEGIN to field this one?


Yeah, things get awkward from here on out (but when DON'T they in my fics, lol?) ;) Anyway, like I said, I'll possibly be using this fic as an outlet for my HA! love until I have time for LTBH and all of its insanity, so until then…

Read, review, repeat…please :)

Love and hugs!

~Azure129 aka Jenna