A/N: So so sorry for not updating this for over half a year. I realize I tend to do that with a lot of my fics, and I really wanted to make sure I finished this one even if just to prove that I could do it. Thank you for reading and reviewing and favorite-ing and story alerting and everything. Thanks for getting me to work on this again and to hopefully finish it. Here's the latest chapter, enjoy!
"Olga, you really have the worst timing ever," Helga said as Olga released her from her hug.
"I'm sorry. I'm just glad that you're okay. Don't you realize how much you had me worried?" her sister replied.
Arnold noticed a small (almost but not quite barely there) smile come across Helga's lips, "Well, thanks for caring. I guess I should be glad that someone in this family does once in a while."
"Well, I'm going to make some delicious chocolate chip cookies downstairs in the kitchen if you want to come down and join me," Olga said, "And your little friend can join us to if he wants to stay."
Helga looked at Arnold and shrugged as if to say, "It's up to you."
"Sure, I think that would be fun," Arnold replied.
Olga seemed to skip down the stairs (if such a thing were possible). She seemed as overly happy as ever to have bonding time with her "baby sister." Helga just rolled her eyes.
"You know," Arnold started, "You aren't completely alone here. Olga may be overbearing and she might steal your parents' attention, but at least she loves you."
Helga sighed, "I know. Sometimes I just feel awful for disliking her so much, but I can't help but feel jealous. All those times Bob called me Olga, all those times they forgot to pick me up from daycare or forgot to come to awards ceremonies. I guess it doesn't make sense to take it out on Olga though."
Arnold decided to take a risk. He took her hand in his and led her down the stairs and into the kitchen. Olga had all of the ingredients out on the counter and was already mixing some of them in a large bowl. She beamed when she saw Arnold leading Helga into the room, but Helga gave her a look that said, "don't say a word."
"Would you mind getting the eggs from the refrigerator, baby sister?" Olga sang.
Olga handed Arnold the mixing bowl and spoon while Helga got the eggs.
"Okay, two large eggs," Olga said. She decided to take over as director and let Arnold and Helga mix the ingredients.
"How many cups of flour, Olga?" Arnold asked, getting the measuring cup ready.
"Four and a quarter cups," she replied and Arnold dumped it into the bowl.
"Want to mix, Helga?"
She took the spoon and started mixing. Unfortunately she started mixing a bit too quickly and flour sprayed out of the bowl, covering both her and Arnold.
"Sorry!" she squeaked and started trying to get it out of her hair.
"You missed a bit," Arnold said, reaching to dust some of the flour off of her nose.
This moment would have been romantic… had the flour not caused her to sneeze, sending even more flour everywhere.
"Sorry!' she said again.
Arnold just smiled and laughed, "Maybe I should do the mixing from now on."
"Yeah, that's probably a good idea."
It didn't take them much longer to finish up the mixing and for the oven to preheat. Olga volunteered to do the baking portion and told Arnold and Helga that they could take a break and come back in half an hour or so.
Helga went into the bathroom to try to clean up a bit from the flour incident and Arnold waiting on the stairs.
When she came back out he said to her, "Want to take a walk? I kind of wasn't finished what I was trying to say earlier."
It was starting to get dark, but the sun wasn't quite set. They started off down the block.
"Soo…" Arnold said, not quite sure where to begin. "What I was saying earlier…"
He was quiet for a minute and it was staring to freak Helga out. He knew her secret and even though she had overheard what he said earlier she was still afraid of being rejected by him. Even though she'd always been a jerk to him, she cared more about what he thought of her than her own family.
"Soo…?" she said, prompting him to say something and break the awkward silence.
"Well, about what I said earlier," he started. "It's just that I want you to know that I understand. About the closet thing…"
Helga was too embarrassed to look at him, she just stared at the ground while he kept talking.
"And… I kind of like it. I remembered all those times where you showed the real Helga, all the times you helped me out even if it was in some small way. I'm glad you care about me."
She was still facing the ground in front of her, but shifted her eyes so that she could try to see if he was looking at her. Her heart was racing and she wanted to know what exactly he was trying to say to her.
He didn't say anything else, however, he just grabbed her hand and twirled her around. The other night in his room her movements were shy, but in this moment she seemed to float across the ground.
"See, what I'm trying to say is," he continued, putting his other hand on her back and taking the lead even though there wasn't any music playing, "I think I like you Helga, I think I like you a lot."
She looked him in the eye to make sure this wasn't some sort of trick.
"I don't think you should run away from anything anymore. I want to help you stay… if you want me to that is."
"People will talk, Arnold. If you think I gave you hell all those years, imagine the hell you'll get from everyone for liking me."
She hated herself for saying that. She wanted desperately to be noticed, but when someone finally did she just wanted to go back to being invisible. What made her so deserving of Arnold's attention?
Suddenly they stopped and he moved closer to her.
"Stop pushing yourself away from everyone," he whispered in her ear. Then he kissed her lightly on the cheek.
"I don't know if I can be this girl around everyone else," Helga said.
"Even if you're not ready now, I think you will be eventually," Arnold replied, "I don't care what everyone else thinks."
"So… does this mean?" she started.
"If you're ready to try then I'm ready to be by your side," he said and then took her hand and turned back to the direction they'd come from. "Come on, I bet Olga's finished with the baking by now!"