A/N: Just something I randomly wrote up on a whim. Enjoy my lovely readers. ;)

Disclaimer: I don't own nothing, man!


The Stars

One-Shot

It's nights like this that make me thoughtful, as I stare up at the sky outside of the tent. My friends are asleep, but I just can't. There's too much to think about. I'm in the heart of Central America, San Lorenzo, in the process of searching for my parents, with my two best friends asleep behind me in a tent. How could I possibly sleep?

I warm my hands over the fire, a small half smile on my face as I think of all that I've been through, today alone. I've been out here for more than three days, but it's today in particular that makes me feel pensive.

She's been opening up more, showing me more of herself. That strange other girl inside of her; the one I always knew she could be; the one I always got small glimpses of, but never truly understood... she's coming out.

I told her just today, just a few minutes ago, in fact, that I thought of her as a friend... a good friend... a best friend.

Her face had lit up, as I knew it probably would, though she tried to hide it; I could see. Though as her eyes lit up, there was also a small disappointment that glistened behind that happiness. Big blue eyes, looking so happy yet so sad. It fascinates me how so much could be in those eyes. They've always been foggy to me, murky and yet calming. I could never quite see what she was thinking through them, she kept herself covered. But lately they've been more honest... she's been more honest.

She likes the idea of being my friend. I can see that. But at the same time there was that sadness, and essence of awkwardness that had naturally floated around us after that. It was light in the air, yet thick on our tongues. It had made me frown slightly, and still does now. That was when she told me she was going to bed.

I couldn't sleep.

Truth be told, I don't want to be her friend, either. But this confuses me. I've always wanted to be her friend. I've dedicated a good part of my life to figuring her out... or at least trying. And now that I've finally been given the pieces to do that, and the chance to finally be her friend... it makes me sad.

I look up at the stars once more, my thoughts not quite leaving her but drifting slightly...

So many stars, it amazes me. To see how truly beautiful they are, when you let them be. Back in Hillwood, I can remember wishing I could see them. So high in the sky, untouchable and out of sight, hiding from me. Some of the most beautiful things you'd ever see, sparkling and spinning and bold in the night sky... hiding... hiding from all the light and the yet out here, in the heat and loneliness of the jungle, they show themselves to me, and I'm once again in awe of how beautiful they are...

I'm not even sure if I'm talking about stars anymore.

I chuckle at the thought, quietly to myself as I look back down into the fire.

I'm not quite sure what my intentions towards her are anymore. All I know is that they've changed, and have been changing. And that scares me. The thought of being her friend... makes me happy, but... somehow it doesn't seem quite right. It doesn't seem like it's enough. I added the best to it, but... even that doesn't feel like it's enough. She needs more of me, she's been pulling me towards her, little by little. And I'm letting her. There's a small part of me that's been aching more and more lately, and the more it does, the more being her friend seems wrong to me. It's been growing, these feelings, and it scares me. Just the thought of them makes me grasp at my chest, because I can feel my heart beating faster, reverberating through my body... I can feel it in my toes, in my fingers, in my eyes, in my lips... It's changing me, and that scares me.

She scares me.

I let my hand drop away from my chest and let out a sigh, collecting my legs towards myself and absorbing their warmth into my chest... not that I need it. My chest has been plenty warm lately. A small fire in my heart has been sparked, and the larger it grows, the warmer I feel. It's going to consume me, and the more I think about it, the more it scares me... because the thought of that doesn't really bother me. I want it to grow. But at the same time, I just want it to go away, because I've never felt like this before. I'm out of my comfort zone, out of my element, all I've ever known has been fading away into nothing... I'm not in the city, hiding away from everything in my attic room, with my skylight over me, the stars far away... I'm in the middle of the jungle, with the stars as visible as they've ever been, with my parents waiting for me several miles away, and this strange feeling manifesting itself inside of me.

It's at this moment that I realize just how in over my head I am.

I'm going to make it out of this, I'm determined to, I promised myself I would. I'm going to find my parents, and bring them home, and finally feel complete.

...But this thought doesn't comfort me.

I've still got so far to go, and with these new feelings bubbling up from my throat, aching on the tip of my tongue, I'm not sure how I'll be able to make it out of this alive.

I have to face it, here and now, or I'll be spending the next few days thinking more about them than I will about my parents, and that's not what I need to focus on...

I take a deep breath, and finally admit it to myself quietly...

"I'm falling in love with Helga Pataki..." My eyelids grow heavy as these words finally have their release.

I think I can sleep now.


A/N: *Shrugs* I honestly don't know where this came from. I just suddenly felt inspired to write another one of my jungle scenes. And this is what I came up with - Arnold sitting at a camp fire, unable to sleep, in the middle of the night with the sounds of Helga and Gerald snoring behind him. XD

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