AN: And here we are at the conclusion. Thanks so much for reading, and a special thank to everyone who reviewed/favorited/tracked updates on this story! xoxoxo
Arnold woke up when he heard his Dad fall down the stairs. Again.
"Aaaah! GOD DAMN THESE STAIRS!"
"Oh, Mr. Shortman, are you alright?"
"I'm fine, Olga. See, Dad? It isn't hard to show a little compassion..."
"Yeah, well, don't baby him too much, Olga. Miles has an ass of steel." Arnold heard Olga giggle.
"What the - shut up, Dad!"
Grandpa laughed. "Merry Christmas, son!"
Arnold smiled and stretched his arms above his head, his eyes still closed. He heard his bedroom door open and shut quietly. Someone sat down on the edge of his bed. He opened his eyes. Helga was smiling down at him.
"Hey, lover," she said softly.
Arnold sat up, his blankets pooling around his hips.
"Ooo, Arnold...shirtless? Merry Christmas, me." She leaned forward and gave him a quick peck on the lips. She pulled away and he leaned in, kissing her again. She kissed him back, running her hands up his chest.
She slowly pushed him away. "Okay, enough. No fucking on Christmas...morning, at least."
"Such a dirty mouth. You're getting a lump of coal."
"B-B-But," she said, pouting dramatically. She pulled him back towards her and hugged him, wrapping her arms around his waist. "Cussing is just part of who I am!"
Arnold rested his chin on her shoulder. "Alright, I forgive you. No more lump of coal. You can have your real present."
"If it's not in your pants I'm not interested."
He laughed and bit her lightly on her shoulder. She pinched his side in return.
Helga disentangled herself from his arms and pulled him out of bed. "Alright, you've felt me up. Now come downstairs. My mom's making her signature eggnog. It'll knock your fucking socks off. She looked down at his bare feet. "So be sure to put some socks on before you drink it." She walked towards the door.
She turned around, her hand on the doorknob. "Yep?"
He smiled. "Love you."
She smiled back. "Love you, too." She walked out, shutting the door behind her. He heard her start humming the theme from Umbrellas of Cherbourg, the sound fading away as she got further away from his room.
Arnold flopped back down onto his bed, staring at the blue sky through his skylight. The Cherbourg melody was stuck in his head now. He sang softly, "the clock will tick away the hours one by one, and then the time will come when all the waiting's done..."
He smiled to himself. "I really am a sap."