AN: Hi. I realize that I'm currently working on a Hey Arnold fic (which by the way, if you read that… I'm halfway finished the next chapter… so don't worry, I'm working on it! =P), but I randomly got this idea and decided to run with it. It's set several years after the HA! movie…. You'll see. Enjoy!...
It was fate… it had to be. She hadn't seen him in such a long time.
One of the last things she remembered was saving the neighborhood and confessing her feelings to him. Nothing had ever happened though really. They had agreed to not speak about it and things pretty much continued as they had since kindergarten, though there were instances of obvious chemistry and liking between them. However, they had been young and neither tried to act upon it.
Seventh grade was when everything really changed. Big Bob's beeper business had grown rapidly over the past few years. He had been traveling overseas on weekends in order to promote the international growth of the business. At the start of Helga's freshman year of high school he had to move to Europe because things were going so well. Helga was left at home with Miriam and that's where the trouble started.
Unlike Bob, Miriam never changed. In fact, she was probably worse. With Big Bob gone, Miriam was under more stress and became prone to frequent outbursts. Mr. Simmons (newly promoted to principal of the middle school after the old principal decided it was time to retire) noticed Helga's frequent absences and change in grades. While it wasn't like Simmons to butt into people's private affairs, he felt that it was in Helga's best interest to report the problem to child services.
So that's how Helga came to live with her relatives in the suburbs and how Miriam ended up in rehab.
Helga was forced to move in with her aunt and uncle she had only seen once in her life when she was very young. They were young, only in their thirties, and so Helga warmed up to them quickly enough. The young couple had no children of their own and they had taken a liking to Helga and tried their best to spoil her as often as possible. Over the course of the four years she had been living with them, they had almost become a normal family.
Helga was a junior in high school now. She was at the top of her class and was looking forward to applying to colleges. Helga started a poetry club and worked on several of the school plays and drama club productions. Her meanness was pretty much gone and she was just a normal and very likable teen.
For her birthday, her aunt and uncle had given her tickets to a concert she had wanted to see. Luckily it was on a Saturday night, so it didn't interfere with classes. Even though it was her birthday present, Helga ended up going by herself. She did ask Phoebe, but Phoebe already had a date to the show. Helga just figured she would find Phoebe somehow when she got there and sort of hang out with her and whomever she brought along.
There was a lot of traffic. It seemed like she had been sitting in the tunnel forever, but she finally made it into the city. After ages she was able to park and then walk to the venue. She bought a soda and a t-shirt and found her seat. It was strange… there was so much going on around her and so many people there, but she felt kind of disconnected from it all. It was loud, but somehow quiet at the same time. Helga enjoyed the moment and waited for the show to begin.
Eventually, the lights dimmed and it seemed like the first group was going to take the stage in a few moments. That was when she saw him. Well, the first thing that made her even look in that direction was a familiar voice.
"Man Arnold, couldn't you have gotten us aisle seats? This place is packed!" It was Gerald.
Helga may not have seen him in four years, but she remembered him well enough (she HAD made fun of him for over half her life).
She turned to her right and in the dim, shadowy room she saw the football-headed boy she had been in love with. Her heart skipped a beat.
Then she noticed who else was with them… it was Phoebe. Helga's first thought was Hey! What a jerk! She wouldn't go with me, but she's here with tall hair boy! But her second thought was Wait, this is perfect! I can use Phoebe as an excuse to go over there! So she did just that.
"Phoebe?" Helga asked and she walked up to her old best friend, "I didn't know you were in the same section as me."
Phoebe's cheeks went bright red. She was obviously embarrassed that Helga had found her with Gerald. "Helga! Want to stand with us? How have you been?"
Gerald didn't say hello, he just gave her a head nod.
"Hello Helga," Arnold said.
He looked the same and yet… he looked different. He wore jeans and black sneakers. He still wore a plaid shirt, but no sweater overtop like he used to. He'd also given up his tiny blue hat for a bigger one. No doubt the hate looked even more ridiculous as he reached college age that he decided it was time to get a different one.
They all looked different now, even Helga. Phoebe had gotten contacts and Gerald's hair wasn't as tall. They were more sophisticated looking. Helga didn't wear pigtails or her little pink dress. Instead, she wore bell-bottomed jeans with a solid pink top. She still had her locket, but there was no picture in it.
"Hi Arnold," Helga said, "How've you been?"
When Phoebe turned around to talk to someone, Arnold didn't think it was going to be her who he saw standing there. He couldn't believe that after all this time they would end up running into each other.
Arnold remembered the last time he saw her. She had confessed to him that she loved him. He had been so confused. This girl, who always acted like she hated his guts, was in love with him. But, as he examined things more closely, he realized that the mean Helga wasn't the real Helga. She was actually smart and funny and even cute at times. Before she left he had been thinking a lot about her. He had almost been ready to let her know that he felt the same way when child protective services forced her to move away to live with her aunt and uncle. He had gone out with a couple girls since then, but he never truly got over Helga G. Pataki…
The four of them stood there in relative silence for a while after that. They were watching the band that was performing. Arnold watched as Helga sang the lyrics to a few of the songs even though he couldn't hear her voice because the venue was so loud.
It was half an hour later and the opening band was performing their last song. Gerald and Phoebe didn't seem particularly interested in the music. They had sat down and Phoebe was leaning on Gerald shoulder. Actually, it was Arnold that had told them about the show. He'd been wanting to see this group for a while and Gerald and Phoebe were nice enough to go with him since nobody else wanted to.
Helga looked over at them, "I'm going to go get a soda or something. I'll be back in a little bit."
Arnold watched as she walked down the aisle toward the concession stands.
He turned toward Gerald, "I think I'm going to go grab something to drink as well… while it's the intermission."
"Sure thing, Arnold," Gerald replied and then, when Arnold was somewhat of a distance away, he looked at Phoebe and said, "Mm, Mm, Mm…he STILL has a thing for Helga G. Pataki."
Phoebe laughed, "Well, you STILL have a thing for me."
Arnold finally caught up with Helga.
"Mind if I join you?" he asked.
"Nope, it is a free country after all." Helga replied, but smiled.
"So… you never answered before. How've you been? How is everything with your aunt and uncle?"
"It's great actually. I get to see Bob and Miriam on holidays and some weekends, but it almost feels like my aunt and uncle are my real parents and like Bob and Miriam are distant relatives."
Arnold didn't really know how to respond to that, "Oh, uhh. I guess that's good."
"Yeah, I mean I don't have to do everything myself anymore. I don't have to make dinner and I don't have to walk all the way to school. I actually got to be a kid for once. So… what about you? How's everything in the city? Anything interesting happen since I've been gone?"
They were next in line and so Arnold went up the counter and ordered them two sodas. Helga was even more shocked when he paid for hers as well. They took their drinks and sat down at a vacant table.
"Everything's been pretty much the same. Everyone is still the same pretty much."
They sipped their drinks and looked at each other awkwardly. Neither of them really knew what to talk about. Helga was trying to figure out if he still liked her and Arnold was trying to figure out how he was going to tell Helga that he still liked her. And so they sat in silence.
Eventually, the next band was about to start playing. "I guess we should head back to our seats…" Arnold said.
Helga nodded and she followed him. When they got back they saw Gerald and Phoebe kissing.
"Oh brother!" Helga said, "Get a room!" But she said it in a nice way. Still, she didn't want to be standing next to them while they were all over each other. She went back to her own seat a few rows back. Arnold frowned; now he was stuck with Gerald and Phoebe all by himself.
The band started playing. He loved this band, but it wasn't very fun when his best friend was only paying attention to his girlfriend.
"I'll be back later," Arnold said, although he didn't think Gerald even heard him. Arnold walked back to where Helga was standing.
It was loud, so he had to yell in order to get her to hear him, "Mind if I stand with you?"
Helga looked surprised (as well as incredibly happy), "I don't mind at all."
Arnold smiled. The two of them stood there and enjoyed the song that the band was performing. He could faintly hear her singing the lyrics.
He turned to her, "Helga?"
She looked at him.
"Later… I have to tell you something later!" Then he smiled and turned back to look at the stage again.
Helga just stared at him. What could he possibly have to tell her later?
Arnold realized that she was starting at him and he looked back at her. He grabbed her hand and pulled her out into the aisle between the seats. They started dancing (well dancing like you dance at a rock show anyway). Helga was in pure bliss… (and so was Arnold).
The song ended and they cheered along with the rest of the arena. Song after song, Arnold and Helga started to feel like they were in their own world. The crowd seemed to disappear from around them. It was only the two of them standing there.
Eventually, though, the night had to come to an end. Helga knew that the night couldn't last forever, but she wished it would have. She didn't want to think about having to leave after she had had such an amazing night.
And neither did Arnold. The band played their last song, which meant only the encore was left before they had to leave. Arnold started to get nervous. He knew he had to tell her how he felt.
"Hey," he said, to get her attention.
"Yeah?" said Helga nonchalantly.
"I have to tell you something." [long pause] "You remember… some time before you left. You told me you loved me? " [pause again] "I thought you were joking or that you were just caught in the moment of saving the neighborhood. But then I realized you really meant it. We were young, but I fell for you. I never said anything because we were in, what?, fifth grade? Then you left and I missed my chance. " Helga was listening very intently. "Helga G. Pataki, I'm still falling for you."
Helga's jaw dropped. She didn't say anything; Helga was absolutely speechless. Then, before she could do anything, Arnold kissed her. And she kissed him back.
The show ended and they had started walking out to the parking lot. Phoebe and Gerald had, apparently, left the show early. They didn't like that kind of music anyway.
Helga's car was closest and so they reached it first.
"So," Helga said, "What is this? What happens now?"
"Well, my grandpa always used to tell me the story about how when he was little there was this pig-tailed girl who always used to pick on him. She'd play tricks on him and get him into trouble. Despite all that, he ended up marrying that girl." Arnold replied, "So, I'm pretty sure you're meant to be a part of my life, Helga."
"Ever since preschool you've been a part of mine." Helga replied.
The two hugged and held each other for a moment before Helga had to leave.
It was late, so she opened the door as quietly as she could. Still, her and aunt and uncle were used to having a teenager in the house now. They heard her as she came up the stairs.
"Hey Helga," her aunt called out from the bedroom, "How was the concert?"
"It was the best night of my life," said Helga, smiling.
"That good, huh?"
"Yeah…" Helga replied to her aunt as she recalled everything Arnold had said to her, "That good."
AN: ~The End~
I figured I would leave it as a cliffhanger. You guys can imagine what happens next. :)
So, yep, hope you liked it. Let me know what you think!