This is my first Hey Arnold! one shot. In honor of Helga's (very belated) birthday, I have decided to write a fluffy oneshot, just for her.
Disclaimer: I do not own Hey Arnold!, and am not making any money writing this.
Now I present to you, Helga's Birthday Cake!
Arnold was at a total loss. It is currently nighttime, 10:52 pm to be accurate, and Arnold could not sleep. He laid there under the covers, with his hands behind his head. His mind kept racing about thoughts of Helga. Tomorrow was her birthday, and he did not have a present for her. He spent time looking for a gift for her, but he did not know what to get her. 'It's too late to get her anything… what could I get her at 11:00 at night?' He thought to himself. He turned his body toward the wall, and closed his eyes. Sleep did not come to him at that moment. He did, however, find a long-lost memory.
It was March 26, 1993, and Helga had just turned five years old. Little Arnold noticed that Helga was not the least bit happy. In fact, he had noted that she was a little more irritable than usual. Helga was coloring with her crayons, and Phoebe was sitting next to her. Phoebe was going on about how excited Helga should be because it was her birthday. Arnold noticed how every time Phoebe would mention her birthday; Helga's scowl would etch itself more deeply each time.
Arnold was best friends with Gerald, and he noticed Arnold looking at Helga. "Man Arnold, you shouldn't be worrying about Helga," Gerald said as he continued drawing Wally in the coloring book.
"I don't know, Gerald. It's her birthday. Shouldn't she be happy?" Arnold said as he tried to focus on his drawing.
"Arnold, since when is Helga Pataki ever happy?" Arnold shrugged at Gerald's question. The teacher stood up, and told the children it was time for recess. All the kindergarteners lined up in a single file line. As the students neared the door to outside, Arnold noticed Helga darting off down a separate hallway.
"Gerald, I have to go to the bathroom. I'll meet you outside in a little bit," Arnold said as he began to walk down the same hallway as Helga did. Arnold took notice how none of the classrooms were filled, and the bigger kids were at recess as well. Arnold had finally found Helga hiding in a small corner. He didn't want to move, because if he did, she would notice him. Arnold grew concerned when he noticed tears in Helga's eyes.
"Why does this have to happen to me? I turned five today, and Bob and Miriam didn't even say happy birthday to me!" Helga took this chance, and wiped away the tears from her eyes "But if I were Olga, they would have made me breakfast in bed, and make me a big birthday cake! They always make Olga a big birthday cake so she can bring it to school, and share it with everybody. When she would come home, they would make her favorite food for dinner, and she would be the center of attention. But I'm not Olga, I'm Helga. Bob told Miriam that I was a mistake. All I was is an accident, and he didn't want to deal with me. Everyone knows that I am an accident. This is the reason why today is what it is. Mistakes do not deserve happy birthdays. They do not deserve birthday cakes. They do not deserve dinner made just for them. And they do not deserve to be the center of attention for one day."
Little Arnold was shocked at Helga. Here she was, on what was supposed to be the best day out of the year, and she was crying her eyes out. Arnold was leaning, as he was eavesdropping on Helga crying. His leg slipped from underneath him, and he fell over. This caused Helga to jump, and look at Arnold. He let out a sheepish grin, as Helga gave a dark scowl at him. She stood up, with her fists in front of her body.
"What do you want, Arnold? Go away!" She yelled at him, as her body was shaking. Arnold, in his five year old mind, decided to do what Gerald would consider the unthinkable. As he shifted his body weight from one leg to the other, he shouted out "Happy Birthday Helga!" and walked toward her. Helga was frozen in place as Arnold opened his arms, and threw them around her body. Arnold felt Helga lean a little bit into his embrace. He was shocked when Helga slapped herself in the face, and shook her head. She pushed him away, and he landed on his bottom.
"What do you think you're doing, football head?" Helga said as she crossed her arms. Arnold rubbed the back of his head, and waved at her. He walked back to the playground. The last thing he remembered was Helga sitting behind a garbage can. Unbeknownst to Arnold, the biggest smile began to manifest itself across her face.
Arnold sat up in bed, and he snapped his fingers. "That's it! I know what to do for Helga's birthday!" Arnold exclaimed to himself. He ran downstairs to the kitchen, and pulled out a box of chocolate cake mix. He grabbed a step stool, and stood on top of it. He preheated the oven to 350 degrees. He opened the gray refrigerator in the kitchen. He was lucky the eggs weren't so high, because if not, he would have to wake up his parents. He really did not want to inconvenience them. He took three eggs, and placed them on the kitchen table. He went under the sink, and found a big mixing bowl. Just as he closed the kitchen cabinet, all three eggs rolled, and fell onto the floor.
"Ahh nah!" Arnold exclaimed as he looked at the mess on the floor. He let out a sigh as he grabbed a kitchen rag from one of the kitchen cabinets. It was an old rag that he had often seen grandma using whenever she decided to clean up the kitchen whenever "Eleanor Roosevelt" came over to visit. He was shocked at the fact that she was referring to Helga. He remembered one morning last year, when he said that "Eleanor Roosevelt" jumped out the window. Did Helga come to his house to talk to his grandma that day?
But no, that thought is not important right now. He needs to focus on cleaning up the kitchen floor. He heard a little cough, and swiftly turned his head around. His mother was standing there, in her blue dress.
"I thought I heard someone down here," his mother said sweetly, as she gave him a little smile. Arnold's eyes grew wide.
"Mom, I'm sorry! Did I wake you up?" Arnold asked as he stood there in his tracks. His mother giggled, and she shook her head.
"On the contrary Arnold, I was coming down here because I saw a light on in the kitchen. I was going to turn it off, and I noticed you in here." She walked toward the table, and picked up the cake mix.
"So this is what you're up to?" She said as she placed the box back down onto the wooden table. Arnold finished cleaning up the eggs, and washed off the towel. "Yeah, tomorrow is Helga's birthday, and I wanted to make a birthday cake for her," Arnold explained as he walked back toward her. She nodded, and then knelt down so they could be face to face.
"Do you need any help?" She asked him, as he looked down toward his shoes. He nodded his head, and his mother pulled him into a hug. He returned the gesture, and then she stood up. She cracked the eggs into the bowl as Arnold poured the cake mix in. He measured out the water, milk, and the vegetable oil. He then turned on the blender at medium speed for two minutes. Stella pulled out the cake pan that was going to be used.
"Arnold, go to bed, I'll take care of the rest," Arnold began to protest, but Stella placed her hand up. He immediately silenced himself. "I can't place any icing until the cake has cooled off, and you need to go to sleep. I will not allow you to stay up," She said, and Arnold nodded.
"Hey mom?" Arnold asked hesitantly before he went upstairs.
"Yes Arnold?" she asked in her nurturing tone.
"I know the icing is going to be chocolate. But can you write 'Happy Birthday Helga' in pink?" Stella nodded, and Arnold kissed his mother goodnight. He walked upstairs to his room feeling relieved. His last thought before his eyes closed was that he hoped Helga would like her cake.
Arnold woke up at 7 in the morning, and went downstairs to eat some breakfast. He saw his parents eating some scrambled eggs that his mother had conjured up. The other boarders have already gone to work, or were still sleeping. Arnold walked over to the counter, and noticed that his mother had completed the cake.
"Thank you mom!" Arnold exclaimed as he threw his arms around her shoulders. She gave him a kiss, and Miles gave them a questioning look.
"Arnold baked a cake for Helga," Stella said as Arnold ran upstairs to grab his backpack. When he came back downstairs, he noticed Grandpa sitting down at the table with them. Grandma mentioned something about getting her steed ready, and ran out the door. Arnold shook his head at his grandma. She could be crazy at times, but that is what made his grandma so special.
"Good morning grandpa!" Arnold said as he was grabbing Helga's cake.
"Good morning to you too, shortman," Grandpa said as he wiped the crumbs from around his mouth. "Say, what do you have there?"
"Arnold made Helga a cake, dad," Miles said as he placed his coffee mug down.
"Is this your little friend with the pink bow, and the one eyebrow?" Grandpa asked with a little smirk. Arnold's cheeks had a light red tint to them, and he nodded his head.
"Grandpa, can you give me a ride to school in the Packard?" Arnold asked as he shifted from side to side. He bit his lip, and looked up at the ceiling. He didn't want to admit it, but he was nervous about today.
"Sure Arnold, let me get my keys," Grandpa said as he rose up from his place at the table. He grabbed his keys, which were holstered to the wall. Arnold followed Grandpa on the way out. He opened the door for Arnold, and he let out a quick thank you. Grandpa pulled out, and they were on their way.
"What's eating at you shortman?" Grandpa asked as he took a right.
"I don't know, grandpa. I guess I'm just nervous about today," Arnold said as he took a deep breath.
"What are you nervous about?"
"I'm worried that Helga won't like the cake I made for her," Arnold replied. What happened next shocked him, because he has never heard Arnold talk about Helga like that.
"Arnold, don't worry about that. She's going to like it. Not so much the fact that you made it, but that you have thought about her. That will make her happy. That you cared about her."
"Thanks grandpa! I don't feel as nervous anymore! Bye grandpa!" Arnold said as he exited the Packard. His grandpa drove back to the boarding house. Arnold saw Gerald, and shouted for him to wait up. Gerald motioned for them to do their secret handshake, but Arnold moved his head toward the cake. Gerald looked at, and gave him a questioning look.
"You made a cake for Helga Pataki?" Gerald asked in shock. Arnold's eyes closed halfway and nodded as he saw the girl in question. She was in a deep conversation with Phoebe, and did not notice Arnold, Gerald, or the cake.
"Mmm, mmm, mmm, man, you've got it bad if you made her a cake," Gerald said. Arnold gave him a little leer
"Gerald!": Arnold exclaimed, and Gerald let out a laugh.
"Come on man, let's go to class," Gerald said as they walked into the classroom with the cake. He sat it down on his desk. He took a seat while he waited for Mr. Simmons. He knew that if he gave him the cake, he could hold it in a safe place for him. He could feel a presence lingering behind him. Arnold turned, and saw Helga standing behind him. Her eyes were as wide as saucers, and her mouth was moving. It looked like she was trying to form words, but they would not come out of her mouth. Helga G. Pataki was in shock, as she had never expected the boy of her dreams to make her a birthday cake. No one had made her a birthday cake before. Mr. Simmons walked in, and erased the black board. Arnold took his chance, and walked up to Mr. Simmons.
"Hello Mr. Simmons," Arnold said cheerfully.
"Good morning Arnold! What can I help you with?" Mr. Simmons asked in his positive manner. If Mr. Simmons was anything, he was a very positive person.
"Can you put this cake in a safe place, until we can have it later?" Arnold asked.
"Sure Arnold, I'll take us outside so we can eat it at the end of the day," Mr. Simmons said. Arnold nodded in thanks, and walked back to his seat. He nodded at Gerald, and they did their secret handshake.
Class flew by in a blur for Arnold. He was puzzled, though, by the way Helga is acting. She has been avoiding him all day, and he didn't understand why. Whenever he would walk to where she was standing, she would make a bee line for the other side of the room. He thought she would be appreciative of the fact he put effort into making her a cake. So when he saw that Helga had left Phoebe by herself, he decided to get to the bottom of this.
"Hey Phoebe!" Arnold exclaimed as he sat next to her.
"Hey Arnold! How are you?" Phoebe asked cheerfully as she turned around to face him.
"Phoebe, I have to be honest. There's a reason I came over to talk to you," Arnold said as he fiddled with his thumbs.
"Okay, what's going on?" Phoebe asked.
"Well, you see, Helga's been acting weird today, and I do not understand why. She's been avoiding me like the plague. I don't know what's going on," Arnold said as he leaned back in his chair.
"I think it has something to do with the cake you have brought to school today, Arnold?"
"What do you mean? Was it bad of me to bring her the cake?"
"No, it wasn't. You see, Helga's not used to getting that sort of attention, or affection. When you brought that cake, it shocked her. She's not mad at you, Arnold. Don't worry about it," Phoebe replied.
"Thanks Phoebe!" Arnold said as he went back to sit next to Gerald. The afternoon, to Arnold, was dragging. It seemed like it was going to be forever until they went outside to celebrate Helga's birthday. So it was a shock to Arnold when Mr. Simmons suddenly announced that they were going outside to do something really "special." Since Mr. Simmons was carrying the cake, he asked Arnold to close the classroom had gathered around the picnic bench, and Mr. Simmons silenced the class with a "shhhh!"
"Can I have Helga come stand next to me please?" Everyone looked around, and Helga was being nudged toward Mr. Simmons. He placed a hand on her shoulder, and her eyes grew wide.
"Do you guys know what today is? Today is Helga's birthday!" Mr. Simmons said. Arnold saw how Helga shrunk a little when Mr. Simmons said that. "As we all know, Helga is a very special person in her very special way. Since today is her special day, why don't we celebrate by singing her a happy birthday. Helga let out a little grimace as Mr. Simmons placed candles in the birthday cake.
"Now everybody, on the count of three! One, two, three!" That's when the class joined in singing the birthday song. Helga was looking around, as if she was about to die of embarrassment. When everyone finished, Helga made her birthday wish, after a little coaxing from Mr. Simmons. Okay, after a lot of coaxing on Mr. Simmons' part. Helga got her birthday cake, since it was tradition that the birthday girl got the first piece. After everyone got their piece, Arnold got his slice last. He looked for Helga, and saw her sitting on a bench in the corner. He noticed that Phoebe was sitting there as well. He gave her a questioning look, and Phoebe nodded.
"Helga, I'll throw your plate away," Phoebe said.
"Okay sure, here," Helga said dully as she gave her the paper plate. Helga soon noticed someone sitting next to her, and she turned to see who it was. When she saw it was Arnold, she tried to get up. Arnold grabbed her hand gently, and tried to coax her into sitting down. After a few minutes, Helga finally surrendered and sat next to him.
"Helga, look, I'm sorry if I embarrassed you, or made you feel uncomfortable. I didn't mean for that to happen. I just thought-" Arnold said, but was soon interrupted. It was now Arnold's turn to be shocked. Helga threw her arms around Arnold, and pulled him into a tight hug. He has never seen her show that kind of affection in public before.
"Thank you, Arnold. Nobody has ever done something like that for my birthday before. I appreciate you making the cake for me," Helga said as she finally let go of Arnold. She was blushing, and she looked down in order to ensure that he could not see her. But she had nothing to worry about, because Arnold was blushing as well. The bell had decided to ring at that exact moment. Cheers came from the playground, because now they did not have to stay at school. Arnold decided at this point to stand up, and helped Helga up as well. He offered her his hand, and she took it. She looked around to see if anyone else can see them, but everyone was off the playground so fast, it made her head spin. Arnold leaned toward Helga, and pulled her into a lip lock. Arnold could feel Helga tense up, but then she relaxed into the kiss. Ten seconds later, it was Arnold who broke the kiss.
"Hey Helga, do you want to come over to my house for a bit," Arnold asked as he looked her in the eyes. She had a light smile on her face.
"Okay, I mean, whatever floats your boat, football head," Helga said as she continued to hold his hand.
It's the end! Please R&R, no flames please! Constructive Criticism is welcome though!