AN: I was debating what to do with this prompt for a while, and eventually this idea began to form. It's a lot shorter than most of the other one-shots I've been turning out lately, but hopefully it's still kind of cute. I think I like the idea of Arnold knowing Helga's feelings and using them to manipulate her a little, like in my last one-shot, "They Don't." Oh Arnold, you devious boy.
Not Just For Dweebs
Helga glanced around the shoe store and sighed heavily. She never should have let Phoebe drag her here. Just looking at the rows of high heels and strappy sandals and knee-high boots and stilettos and Uggs and bedazzled flats overwhelmed her. Helga owned exactly three pairs of shoes, and that's all she needed to get by: a pair of ratty sneakers she wore almost every day, a pair of flip-flops for the pool or beach, and a pair of pumps Miriam made her buy for a fancy dinner Bob hosted, hoping to impress some colleagues.
She had absolutely no need for another pair of shoes, let alone a pair to wear to a stupid girly dance.
"What do you think of these, Helga?" Phoebe asked, anxiously. She had tried on a pair of red strappy heels and was examining them from every angle in a conveniently placed mirror.
"Asking me for fashion advice, Pheebs?" Helga said, flopping down on a nearby chair. "I told you it was a mistake to bring me along. You shoulda asked Rhonda."
"But you're my best friend!" Phoebe said, wobbling over in the heels to stand precariously in front of Helga. "I value your opinion the most! And beside we need to buy you a pair, too!"
"Me?" Helga questioned, abruptly standing up, and putting her hands on her hips. "Why do I need a pair? I'm not going to this thing!"
Phoebe clasped her hands together and put on her sweetest begging face. "Oh please, Helga, please! Gerald asked me, but it might be awkward if it's just the two of us…"
"So you want me to come and be third wheel while you two make kissy faces at each other all night? Uh – hell no." Helga folded her arms, glaring down at her best friend.
"It won't be like that, Helga! We don't act like that, I just would really appreciate it if—"
"Uh-uh, no dice," Helga interrupted. "I wouldn't be caught dead at a dance with a bunch of dweebs."
Suddenly, the girls were interrupted by a deeper voice behind Phoebe. "What are you talkin' about Helga? The dance isn't just for dweebs. I know quite a few cool people going, and in fact…" Gerald slid his arms around Phoebe and rested his chin on her head, as she giggled. "The coolest kids even have dates."
Helga rolled her eyes in disgust. "See, this is exactly what I was talking about, Pheebs. I'm not going to subject myself towatching this all night."
"I know what you mean," came a voice from behind Gerald, "Not exactly my idea of a fun time either, but I guess I can put up with it for one night."
Helga snorted, "You're going to the dance, too, Football Head?" He nodded. "Just what I thought – only for dweebs."
"Aw, come on, Helga, it won't be that bad. I was kind of hoping you'd be there –so I wouldn't have to suffer through this alone." He motioned towards Gerald and Phoebe who were exchanging chaste kisses in between giggles.
"What, you don't have a date of your own?" Helga sneered.
Arnold shrugged it off. "No, not really."
Helga felt her heart flutter a little at this piece of information, but told herself to calm down. However, Arnold's next words didn't do much to help the situation.
"You should come, Helga. It'd be a lot more fun if you were there."
Helga glanced over at Phoebe, who had torn herself away from Gerald's grasp long enough to shoot her a knowing smile.
"Er…well…" Helga stumbled for words, "I guess I could go…um…because…I…uh…" Suddenly she lunged for Phoebe, pulling her away from her boyfriend and almost knocking her out of her heels. "I can't let Phoebe spend the entire night surrounded by you two losers. I've gotta look out for my best friend!"
A small grin crept across Arnold's face. "Okay, awesome. I'll pick you up around seven. See you girls later!"
Helga's jaw dropped as she watched Arnold and Gerald walk out of the store. She began to stutter as outside the two boys did their signature handshake.
"Did he just-? Are we-? Did I-?"
"Yes, yes, and YES!" Phoebe squealed, throwing her arms around her best friend. "Now we've definitely got to buy you some new shoes!"
Helga stared after the boys – long lost in the crowd of people outside – then sighing, turned to Phoebe. "Okay, but first we gotta get you out of those. Come on, Pheebs, you can barely walk in them, be realistic."
Phoebe rushed to try on another pair, and Helga glanced around the store again, this time with a dopey smile instead of a scowl.
Maybe these things weren't just for dweebs after all.