How this came to me, I wish I knew. XD I wish I knew.

But I don't know, I thought it'd be interesting to give a try to. OwO See what you guys think about it, and see where it shall go. ;)

Obviously, as said in the summary, this is AU. Arnold is ten, and Helga is fifteen.

Enjoy the story. :D

I own none of the characters. Only the Man himself, Craig Bartlett, owns them all.

Something Arnold never came to understand was one simple thing. Love. It worked in weird ways he could never come close to comprehending. Yes, it seemed no person could properly define it. Even if they tried. But that wasn't entirely the problem here. His problem lay in the infatuation he felt toward a certain girl.

No, an older girl. Older by four years. He was ten, and she was fifteen. That alone screamed "No chance in the world" a million times over. And he knew it, he even freely admitted it. No matter how many times his best friend would feed the whole, "She's in high school, man! You ain't got no chance with her!" reminder, or something related to that line. Yes, he knew fully well that the chances of her ever being interested in him romantically were a million to one.

It just didn't stop his feelings.

Unlike of course, some other girls much older than him that he crushed on, he actually did talk to this girl. She was interesting, and he actually knew her a little bit. Unfortunately for him, he could tell she saw him as a pal, a little brother even. It hurt, but at least she didn't ignore him. Actually interacting with her did make it a bit better than admiring her from afar, didn't it? In some ways, yes it did. At the same time, it was only yet another reminder of how close, yet distant they were.

Walking into Bigal's Cafe on this particular day, Arnold's green eyes scanned the mild crowd of customers, searching for a ponytailed head of sunny blonde hair. Unfortunately, there was none, and he slumped a bit. Had she decided not to come today? Did he miss her completely?

Trying not to show his disappointment, he went to approach the counter to request an order to the current barista, when he heard the bell above the door give a ding, indicating someone was either entering or leaving. He willed himself not to peek, to not get his hopes up. No, he simply kept to staring straight ahead, as if he didn't even care if anyone entered or left. Easy enough, all he had to do was not think about it. In seconds, it would be over and done with, and he'd simply have to move on and accept it. Plain and simple.

A flash of pink appeared beside him, and unfortunately, he HAD to look. Anytime he saw pink, that was his cue to see for sure. She always had something pink on. She loved pink, as she'd told him before. But she of course warned him not to think of her some kind of girly girl because of it. And he didn't. She loved pink. Plain and simple. To him, pink was just another colour, and whoever liked it simply just enjoyed it. It didn't have to be what defined them, and it wasn't. While he did identify pink with her, that was because he was used to seeing it on her, and because she loved it. Nothing more, nothing less.

Much to his glee, there stood his crush. Helga G. Pataki. fifteen years old, attending Hillwood High School, getting good grades, and lived with her parents and older sister in a neighbourhood not too far from the boarding house he lived in. She had on her pink baseball cap, her long blonde hair in a ponytail, and dressed in a pink t-shirt, a white long-sleeved shirt beneath it, and jean shorts. Though her clothes were modest, they never failed to gently hug her developing but noticeable female curves, which Arnold couldn't help but find fascinating. Especially her long, creamy, toned legs. Yep, Arnold was a leg man all right.

While she wasn't the most attractive girl around, she was definitely pretty in her own kind of way that suited her. Her features were soft, she had a rounded, bulbous nose in the slight shape of G, and pouty lips, partly as a result of her overbite, which he found to be so cute. Her eyes were blue, which he never failed to get lost in whenever he gazed upon them, and of course her sunshine blonde hair never failed to brighten her features or make him long to run his fingers through. Her most unique feature was her unibrow, something that most girls didn't have. Sometimes she plucked when she was in the mood to do so, while other times she just left it alone. Arnold didn't mind it either way. Her unibrow made her look unique, and yet having two eyebrows suited her as well when she would cut them to just the right quantity.

Helga was, to him, just so pretty. That was obviously one of the things he noticed about her, but as he got to know her a bit, and hopefully would continue to do so in the future, he realized how much of an interesting person she really was. He liked the Helga on the inside, from what he knew so far. She wasn't like most girls, which he thought was pretty cool about her, that she wasn't afraid to be herself and not fall into any kind of stereotype.

Helga was Helga, nothing more and nothing less.

As he admired her with a goofy, lovesick smile, that was when she looked down at him with smirked playfully before addressing him.

"Well hey there, Football Head. I was wondering when you'd see me."

A soft blush marred Arnold's cheeks as he glanced away shyly, with Helga chuckling in amusement beside him as she ordered herself a bagel sandwich and some juice. She'd said she wasn't much of a coffee or latte person, she preferred getting her energy in the morning and during the day through other means.

"Just can't get enough of me, can you?" Helga raised one side of her eyebrow playfully.

"I the mood for..." Arnold murmured, trying not to make it seem that she was right. Did she find that to be creepy? "Something."

"Uh-huh." Her amused smirk didn't cease as she was given her order, and went off to a nearby table. When she saw he was still standing there, she beckoned him with her finger. "C'mere. I'm not gonna bite."

Arnold blushed all the more and took his drink, going over to sit across from her.

"You don't have to be shy. We're pals, aren't we?" Helga shrugged, smirking at him still. "What's wrong? Bad luck being seeing with a high school gal?"

Still blushing, Arnold shook his head. ", not at all. I guess sometimes it's a bit to take in."

"Really now?" She sipped her juice. "And why is that?"

Despite how much Helga was a private person (unless you had her in the right mood), she was indeed a curious girl at hear. She asked him questions, about his hobbies, his family, his friends, things he liked to do, whatever was on her mind. Arnold found it fascinating that she even wanted to talk to him like this. It was always so interesting to have a conversation with Helga G. Pataki.

"Well, you're a lot older than me, in high school, at a caliber...a level I haven't come to yet. A level I don't understand." Arnold gave a shrug, not quite looking at her. "I figured you'd think I was a shrimp."

"Maybe I did at first." Helga shrugged. "But you know, I learned something when I was roped into being a camp counselor for three weeks during the summer."

"What did you learn?" Arnold queried.

"Kids. They're a lot smarter and more insightful than we more mature people think." Helga's brow furrowed. "Sometimes they're loud and such annoying shrimps. But hey, you get the right kid, you have more meaningful conversations than with anyone your own age. Heck, guys my age talk about boobs and sex and cars and sports non-freaking-stop." She rolled her eyes.

"Oh." Arnold said, and looked at her then. "You really think so, Helga?"

"Knowing you, you're wondering about the thing I said about the kids." Helga smirked. "Yeah, Football Head. Sure I do. I got to talk and hang out with kids for three weeks. And then there's you. You get to learning things a bit."

Arnold blushed again.

"But ya know." she shrugged, eating her bagel sandwich a bit. "The arrogance of age can be a tough thing to get over. But heck, I'm not like other people, so it's no wonder this all made sense to me now."

"'re...definitely unique." he managed, however softly.

"And don't you forget it, hair boy." playfully, she kicked him under the table, not enough to hurt him, but enough to jolt his senses.

"I won't, Helga..." Arnold promised, smiling at her a bit more.

"Don't you mean, 'Whatever you say, Helga'?" Helga teased, snickering. "You and your little catchphrases."

Arnold had to laugh, and he finished his drink while Helga finished her food and drink as well. She stood up, tossing her garbage away into the trash can.

"Well Arnold, I'd better go. I'll see you here on Thursday. Since I know you like to come here on Thursdays after school, when they have your favourite special." Helga winked at him.

"Oh! Um, sure." Arnold stood up, getting off his chair. "It was great seeing you, Helga."

"I'm sure it was, Arnoldo." Helga headed to the door, and then glanced at him. "Oh, and Football Head? Don't think I don't know. But hey, you never know what can happen in the future. You can take my word for it."

With a final amused smirk, Helga left, leaving Arnold standing there with wide eyes, surprised, and yet fairly confused.