A/N: Hey, guys! 8D Happy Valentines Day... a day late! XDXDXD Lol, well, at least it's only by a day this time. ;) Actually, if I recall correctly, my Valentine fic from last year was about a day late also. xD Yay for keeping up tradition, lol! Well, here it is! 8D It's TPJ because I wanted to write something I was inspired for, and this is what I came up with. X3 And for those who don't know, TPJ is an abbreviation for "The Pickle Jar," one of my chapter fics and something I've been really excited for and having fun writing. ^w^ But the basic definition of what TPJ is is simply this...

Arnold fell for Helga first, Helga didn't. It's the basic HA! plot, only backwards.

And that's it. Plain and simple. :) So Arnold is the insanely in love one, Helga is just cute and dense... Well, here at least, anyway. They are only four. xD And yes, this is canon with the story and will be brought up again in future episodes and the original fic. :) So enjoy the cuteness that is a four year old, in love Arnold on Valentines Day! ^_^

This is dedicated to everyone who has ever read, reviewed, and supported me and my stories! I love you guys, and everything you do and the time you take out of your day to review my fics that I work really hard on, means a WHOLE LOT to me! A ton! You guys are the best! :D *SUPR HEARTS!*

Disclaimer: I do not own "HEY ARNOLD!" "The Pickle Jar," and it's plots and character development are mine, though. Enjoy the story!

The Pickle Jar

My Mysterious Valentine


Cut. Snip. Snip. Glue. Crayon. Marker. Glitter. Frills. Glue. Marker. Glitter. Kiss.


Gerald blinked, looking up from his sloppily crafted Valentine card and seeing his best friend of one year grinning and holding up a very... not sloppily crafted Valentine. Gerald had to blink at seeing it, before glancing back down at his poorly made heart (if you could call it that considering how lumpy it was... it was more like a kidney) with so much glitter on it that it basically covered nearly the entirety of the word 'Mommy' scrawled largely across the paper in red crayon... and then he glanced back up at his friend's, the heart clearly very carefully cut out and done perfectly, the frilly lace glued right at the edges of it expertly, glitter sprinkled across it tastefully, and the handwriting actually... not bad...

Gerald blinked yet again, his little four-year-old brain having trouble comprehending how this could be.

Oblivious to Gerald's thoughts, Arnold's eyes sparkled almost as much as his Valentine, and he put it back down gently onto the table so no one else would see it. He looked back over at Gerald then, still grinning. "Do you think she'll like it?"

Gerald, after taking a few seconds to try and focus on what he was actually being asked, just smiled and nodded. "Yeah, it's awesome. You gonna give it to her tomorrow?"

Arnold nodded enthusiastically. "Yeah, tomorrow morning. I'm going to give it to her myself. This'll make her like me for sure." He held it back up and kissed it once more, happily.

Gerald's smiled increased a little and he patted his friend on the back. "Congrats, Arnold. It looks really good."

"Thanks, Gerald." Arnold smiled at him.

Gerald's eyes went half-lidded then, and he smirked a little. "Now help me with mine."

Arnold just chuckled and grabbed a gluestick. "Sure, Gerald..."

The next day, right after snack time, the teacher announced that it was time to pass out Valentines. Arnold jumped out of his seat almost instantly at the announcement, his Valentine in hand, and practically ran across the room to Helga.

Helga was just placing some of her own handmade cards into her friends' bags when she heard someone's rushed steps coming from behind her. She turned around at the sound, blinking.

And as soon as she did, Arnold halted to a stop... a few feet away from her, frozen... but then he just gulped and shyly made his way over to stand right in front of her, the Valentine hidden behind his back. Once he was standing in front of a slightly confused Helga, Arnold looked away shyly. "Um, hi..."

Helga just blinked. "Uh... hi?" She barely even knew this kid, so suddenly having him trying to talk to her was a bit odd to her. But after a moment, she remembered him as the nice boy that shared his gram crackers with her the year before. Once this memory surfaced in her little four-year-old brain, Helga relaxed a little, feeling more comfortable. Although she was still a bit confused as to why he was suddenly taking an interest in her again after all this time.

Arnold, though, oblivious to her thoughts, just shuffled his feet a little as he spoke quietly, "Um, happy Valentines Day." He managed a small glancing smile at her, blushing just a tiny bit.

Helga just smiled back a little in a friendly manner. "Thanks. You too." What was this kid up to?

"Yeah..." Arnold blushed at this, his heart skipping a few beats. He shuffled his feet a little more shyly.

A few seconds passed, Helga just smiling cluelessly at him while he stood there shyly, his Valentine behind his back and his head down a little.

Finally, though, Arnold seemed to remember his goal here and he gulped, bringing his head back up. "Um, I was just going to give you-" His hand was already starting to come around from his back to reveal the Valentine.

But he was interrupted.

"Helga! Check out the Valentine I bought for you!" Rhonda suddenly walked up, holding up a brightly made card with glitter and plastic jewels. It shone and sparkled, the name Helga printed glossily across the front in big letters. She handed it to Helga proudly.

Helga's eyes lit up at seeing it, and a grin instantly sprung across her face. "Wow, Rhonda! It's so pretty!"

"I know," Rhonda stated, her head held high.

Helga ignored the slightly snobby response and opened it up, 'Happy Valentines Day' printed just as glossily as her name on the front, only bigger and in more loopy cursive. At the bottom, it read 'From Rhonda Wellington-Lloyd,' and Helga had to just laugh a little at Rhonda's usual dramatic showcase. She closed the card and smiled at Rhonda, placing it in her bag. "Thanks, Rhonda. As usual, no other Valentine could possibly compete," she said smirking slightly, knowing this was exactly Rhonda's goal.

Rhonda grinned smugly. "I know. Rhonda Lloyd only gives the best. I had them professionally made for all my friends and family. I picked out the jewels myself."

Helga's smirk increased a little, shaking her head. "Of course, Rhonda. I put mine in your bag on your desk. Sadly, mine isn't as awesome as yours, but I did my best."

"As you always do," Rhonda responded nonchalantly, walking off now with her fat bag full of Valentines.

"Now then," Helga turned her head back to where the little boy was... but he was gone. Her smirky smile instantly left her, and she blinked, looking around. "Um... kid?" she called, but received no answer. He was nowhere in sight.

After another few seconds of looking around, she just shrugged and turned back around, continuing to pass out her Valentines.

Arnold sat huddled behind a trash can in the preschool hallway, staring down at his Valentine in shame. What was he thinking? His card was nice but Rhonda's was so big and... and that was the type of card worth an angel. His was so flimsy and modestly made. It wasn't nearly as perfect as Rhonda's... He took out a marker he'd had in his pocket and marked out his name on the card.

He'd still give it to her, though, but instead of trying to give it to her in person he'd just place it in her bag. He'd worked hard on it, so not giving it to her really wasn't an option in his mind. It would just blend in with all the other Valentines, though... She probably wouldn't even notice it. He sighed, carefully standing up from his hiding spot so no one would notice him, and then made his way back into the playroom and over to Helga's bag. She was way across the room now, talking to Phoebe about why her Valentine was in Japanese. As inconspicuously as his shaking little self would allow, he gently placed the Valentine into her bag and then quickly ran away from the scene of the crime.

Maybe next year he would have enough courage to give it to her in person... and to tell her he loved her...

Now a good distance away, he sighed. "But that day isn't today..." he whispered to himself.

Helga waved to Phoebe as her car drove away, her bag of Valentines cradled carefully in her free arm. Her parents had been nice enough to drop her off at home today, as they usually did when her parents forgot every once in a... always. Helga tried not to think about it, instead choosing to just feel grateful to Phoebe's parents.

Walking up her stoop and into her house, she ignored her parents marvelling over all the Valentines Olga got and just walked up to her room and slammed the door behind her, as she always did. She huffed a little and then shook her head, walking across the room to jump up on her bed. She crossed her legs and smiled, opening up her bag to take a look at her Valentines again. There were quite a few, all from friends she'd made since she started school. There was one from Nadine, Sheena, Phoebe, Rhonda... and then even a few from boys, although none of them were really romantic; Harold (his plain white card covered in chocolate stains, of course), Sid, Stinky, and even one from Eugene (Sheena had probably asked him to or something, but they didn't usually talk too much). But then, shifting through her Valentines, she came across one that she couldn't very well recall anyone ever giving to her...

She blinked at seeing it, the frills poking out from underneath a pile of the other Valentines. She got a better grip on the edge and pulled it out, and as soon as she laid eyes on the entirety of the Valentine, her eyes widened hugely.

It was a big, bright pink heart with 'Angel' written across carefully in red marker and white crayon surrounding the edges of the word. Silver, pink and red glitter was sprinkled evenly across the paper, and the white frilly lace surrounding the heart perfectly and beautifully. The heart had white wings poking out from each side with silver glitter, as if it was a flying Valentine or something. It was the most beautiful thing she'd ever seen, she thought, her eyes wide in awe. After the initial dazzlement passed for the most part, her eyes scrambled to find a name on it, anywhere, desperate to find who it was she should thank... she found the 'Love' part of the signature... but the actual name itself was marked out. Her pigtails sagged at seeing this.

It was such a lovely Valentine... not like Rhonda's big flashy one, but it was actually hand-crafted... you could tell that it was worked on for a very long time and by someone who really, truly cared... and that made her entire insides warm.

Sighing, she smiled and laid back on her bed with the Valentine in hand, staring up at it now with her head on her pillow. "At least you care about me... whoever you are..." Her eyes sparkled a little at thinking of this mystery guy that gave her such a lovingly crafted Valentine card... His hair would be kinda scruffy, she decided with her eyes closed and the Valentine held to her heart. He'd have gentle, but passionate eyes that shone with care, he'd be brave and handsome and a true gentleman... an artist... She opened her eyes to glance at her Valentine once more, her eyes a bit unknowingly dazed... "Oh, yeah... Best. Valentines. Day. Ever." She sighed contently, hugging her Valentine to her happily...

She'd take care of this Valentine, and one day she would find him... if not today, then someday... she would... and she would thank him... and maybe even give him a little kiss. She grinned at the idea... her mysterious Casanova... Valentine...

Meanwhile across the neighborhood, Arnold was just opening up his own Valentine's day bag, feeling a bit down since he chickened out on giving Helga his Valentine in person.

His bag was nearly empty. Just Gerald's nicely made Valentine that he'd helped him make, and a few from some polite girls, including one from Rhonda that spelled his name out 'Arnie.' Arnold scowled at the flashy Valentine and grabbed it out, throwing it off his bed and out of his sight. "Arnie..." he muttered to himself in annoyance, throwing his bag of Valentines over on the other side of his bed.

Just as he was about to lay down, though, he noticed one fall out of the bag... one that he hadn't noticed before. He blinked, sitting back up and grabbing the small folded piece of paper. He unfolded it, seeing it was a little heart that read... 'Thanks for the crackers. Happy Valentines. -Helga' Arnold nearly died right then.

"She... gave me a Valentine...?" he asked himself nearly incredulously, not sure just yet how to act... It was clearly one that she hadn't spent more than several seconds on, but to him... it just... she... "Oh, Helga..." he swooned loudly, falling back on his bed with the little heart and his eyes instantly going as half-lidded as they could go. "Oh, she did... She actually took a few seconds out of her wonderful life to make me one... Angel...!" He swooned again, kissing the piece of paper and feeling all his sadness and annoyance from before disappearing in a sea of sheer love, love, love...

He sighed after a moment, holding the little paper heart near his own rapidly beating one. "Best Valentines Day ever..."


A/N: Happy Belated Valentines Day! Hope you enjoyed and remember to keep the love alive, people! :D