Note: Well, decided to try and give some Hey Arnold! fic another shot. Wrote for a bit about a year and a half ago, decided it sucked, and moved on. But (hopefully) I'm better now, so please review and let me know. Plus, I decided that Helga got a lot of inner monologues in fan fic, so why shouldn't Arnold have some as well?

Healing Hands
by Haley


Have you ever just wanted to take someone's hurt away? To take all of the pain and torment you see inside them, wrap it in a big ball, and toss it away into the abyss? I want to do that for Helga.

It almost sounds stupid now, but when I was younger I would pretend that I had healing hands. Kind of like some sort of mystical medicine man. And that if I were simply to touch a person, physically or mentally, that I could just relieve them of all their pain. That I could put these hands to good use and heal the world. It's amazing how we have such big dreams when we're so small, but right now, I'd just settle on healing Helga.

And you know what, she doesn't even realize I see it inside her, I know that. But it's there, this ever present sadness, like she's carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders. It's not like she weak and fragile, hardly, just worn and tired. Like all she wants to do is rest. Come to think of it, it's not something incredibly obvious. But once in a while, I'll see it. In a lonely gaze, deep in her eyes.

Why can't she understand that life doesn't have to be so lonely? Sometimes, she makes me so mad! I wish I could just take her by the shoulders and tell her, tell her that the world isn't against her, and that things aren't as bad as they seem. But you know, that she's the only person that's ever caused me to feel anger. Not anger toward her, but anger toward anyone or anything that had hurt this young girl so much that she would resort to closing herself off from the entire world. But really, like she'd listen to anything I say. I'm nothing to her, just a naive little kid with his head permanently stuck in the clouds.

If she only knew how real I saw things, like her, maybe things could be different between us.

My heart aches and I rub sleep from my eyes, turning over in bed. It's been so many sleepless nights that I lie here, thinking about her. If she even knew how much I think about her, she'd probably pound me. Although, with all of her threats, I can't remember Helga ever lifting a finger to harm anyone.

Then, something inside my head clicks. I've been seeing it all firsthand for over six years, but never has it been so clear in this one moment. All of it, the blustery facade, the clenched fists, the empty threats...it's all a fasade, some sort of mask or shield. She's been trying for so many years to strike fear into the hearts of others because, in fact, she herself is the one who's truly afraid. Afraid of getting hurt?

Somehow, it all makes sense. After all, Helga's family has been less than caring and supportive, and she can really only hold claim to one friend. I wish so much that I could just see, for a moment, who she really is. Perhaps, over the years, I've caught a few sideways glances, but never enough to prove anything conclusive. Nothing to tell me who she really is, on the inside.

And I think, if I could just take away her pain, that she'd let me see. Perhaps she likes Shakespeare, after all, we did star together in Romeo and Juliet. Acting! Gosh, Helga was a born actress onstage! Maybe she dreams of the bright lights of Broadway: fame, glamour!

No, I can feel my eyebrows furrow: that would be too cheap for her. Painfully gaudy, and that's not what she's like at all.

I sigh, if only... If only I could see inside her, into her dreams. Everyone has them, Helga possibly most of all. She's got a lot to dream for, and I know she could probably do anything she sets her mind to. She's so strong willed and determined, and sometimes...well, sometimes I wish I could be a little more like her. With everyone and everything so under control, people under my thumb. It sounds a bit cruel, but just the rush of power she must feel, not to be a victim of circumstance.

Funny, I never really thought of myself as a victim until a few nights ago. And it's now that I realize that we all play many roles, some more than others. No matter what you see on the outside, odds are it doesn't touch what's on the inside. Helga G. Pataki is a prime example of that, I've no doubt. If only I could see where her true passion lies.

What's truly in her heart, in her soul...maybe then, I'll understand. But for tonight, I'll remain an ignorant football-head, and drift into a empty but desperate slumber, perhaps saving my healing hands for another night.

-May 19th, 2002