A/N: Hi everyone! This has taken a while. This is kind of a continuation of my story "Not Stupid," but I don't think you really have to read it to understand this one. This is the first fic I've written in Helga's point of view. So I hope I did her justice! Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I do not own Hey Arnold. Sad day.
Yep, I'm a Basketcase
Being in this jungle is driving me insane! Not that I wasn't already partly there. I am a basketcase, after all. I mean, what other kind of person follows the same guy around for seven years…building shrines in her closet and writing poem after poem about him. I'm just…obsessed.
I know some people might think that I need to be admitted to a mental institution, but my therapist, Dr. Bliss, says that it's perfectly normal (as long as no one gets hurt). And, so far, the only person who's gotten hurt is Brainy. And maybe I have a few times. Especially when he swoons over Lila.
She's probably who he was dreaming about last night. He did say something about an angel, and she's a gosh darn saint. I told her my secret a few months ago, when we did Romeo and Juliet. It was the only way she would give up the part of Juliet! And even then, when she could have buried me with that little bit of information, she didn't. She hasn't uttered a word.
But, in my opinion, she isn't making my job any easier. I mean, she leads Arnold on in a very unsaintlike manner. He's obviously infatuated with the girl, and she flirts with him and everything, but then she insists that he's not that "oh-so-special someone" that she's looking for. What, is she blind? I would KILL to be in her shoes!
So, yes, I love Arnold. The only people that know are Phoebe, Dr. Bliss, Lila, and me. And Arnold himself. But he thinks that my whole confession was just "heat of the moment." And, in some ways, I'm glad that's what he thinks. I can still bully him around all day, and no one's the wiser. But I also would like to know what's going on in that football-shaped head. Let's be honest. He didn't exactly reject me on top of FTi, but he didn't sweep me into his arms either.
Anyways, I have backed off a lot since the confession. I haven't been picking on him quite as much, and I've started aiming a lot of my pranks at other people. Like Stinky. I don't know what my reason was for choosing him. He's around Arnold a lot, I guess, so I can still be around my love, but not ALL of my attention is focused on him.
But now we're in the jungle in San Lorenzo. What are we doing here, may you ask? Looking for Arnold's lost parents. Mr. Simmons' whole class is here, but Arnold and Gerald went off on their little adventure, and, of course, I tagged along. They needed me. They just didn't know that at the time. Surprisingly, though, Arnold wasn't that opposed to the idea of me coming with them.
"She's helped us before," he told Gerald. "Helga's a pretty valuable asset."
And I had to stop the humongous grin from coming to my face. He wanted me around! And then I realized that Gerald didn't know I had been Deep Voice.
"When did she help us?" Gerald asked.
"Well, um," stammered Arnold, rubbing the back of his neck, "she was, uh, Deep Voice way back when we saved the neighborhood. And, if Mr. Bailey was telling the truth, she helped us when we tried to find Mr. Huynh's daughter at Christmas." I blushed. I had no idea that he knew about last Christmas. So Gerald grumbled a little, but he let me come along.
Now we're walking along in silence…not even sure what we're looking for. Arnold, of course, leads the way, Gerald follows behind, and I'm bringing up the rear. And this is why the jungle is driving me insane. It's hot, humid, stinky, and none of us have said anything in an hour! And we have no idea where we're going. I am not in the best mood.
"Helga!" Gerald cries. "Would you stop?"
"Stop what, Geraldo?" I ask, scowling. "I'm hot, I'm tired, and I'm hungry. And we're lost. I'm sorry I'm not some dainty princess that looks on the bright side all the time."
Arnold turns around and looks at me. "You've been growling to yourself for five minutes, Helga," he says. "But I think we're going in the right direction. It's all going to be okay."
I roll my eyes at his optimism. It's sweet but slightly annoying.
He turns again and keeps walking. As Gerald follows him, I walk even more slowly, dragging behind. This is a nightmare! Not that I don't have faith in my Arnold, but we don't even know what we're looking for.
"Come on, Helga," Arnold calls from several yards in front of me. "Don't fall behind. We need to stay together."
I stop in my tracks and cross my arms over my chest before yelling back, "You just figure out where we're going, Football Head. Don't worry about me."
Arnold turns around and looks at me with his eyes narrowed and his mouth quirked to one side. Almost like he's trying not to laugh. "Helga…" he starts before his eyes widen considerably and his draw drops wide open. "Um, okay, Helga. Don't panic. Please don't freak out. But you're sinking."
I immediately look down at my feet and see that I'm up to my ankles in…well, quicksand, I guess. I look back up at Arnold with wide, terrified eyes. "Uh, A-Arnold?" I say, my voice cracking. "A little h-help here? Please?" I squeak out the last word.
Arnold is at my side in an instant. Well, not too close. Gerald is right behind him. "H-hold on, Helga," Arnold says, trying to soothe me. And even in my panic, I have to mentally swoon at how caring this boy is. "We'll get you out of there." Arnold rifles through his backpack.
"I-I'm okay, Arnold," I stammer, watching as my legs slowly sink lower and lower. The quicksand is up to my calves now. "Just, you know, anytime you're ready." I take a deep breath, trying to settle my nerves. "Get me the heck out of here, Football Head!" That breath didn't work. I'm starting to lose my cool. Okay, I've just about lost it.
"Arnold, how are we going to get her out?" asks Gerald. His voice sounds about as frantic as mine. He's pacing back and forth in front of me. "Oh, man, this is bad. This is so bad. We can't do this. This is crazy. We're all going to die. We can't do this. We can't do this. We can NOT do this."
"Gerald!" Arnold cries, looking up from his backpack. "You're not helping the situation. Go find a vine so we can pull Helga out."
"A vine!" Gerald exclaims. "Right! A vine. A vine." He mumbles to himself as he stalks off to find a vine.
Once he's out of sight, Arnold sighs and goes back to rummaging through the backpack. "Just a second, Helga," he says to me. "I know I had a rope in here somewhere."
At this point, I'm not of the slightest mind to humor the little Football Head. "Arnold!" I yell. "I'm up to my knees here! And if you have a rope, why did you send Gerald to get a vine?"
Arnold looks at me, a tiny glint in his eyes. I'm so glad he's enjoying this. "To get rid of him," he answers. "He was freaking out. He needed something to do." And that's when Arnold yanks a coiled rope from his bag. "Aha!"
"Yes!" I shout, thrusting a fist into the air. "Alright, Football Head!"
"Catch, Helga!" says Arnold as he tosses one end of the rope to me. "Wrap it around your hands and hold on tight."
"Tie the other end to the tree over there," I advise, winding the rope around my hands. Seeing that finished, I nod to him, feeling the quicksand building to the bottom of my shorts. "Now, pull, paste-for-brains!"
Arnold smiles at me once before his face takes on a stern expression. He sticks his tongue out on the side of his mouth and furrows his eyebrows. Then I feel a distinct pull on the rope. I grip my end as tight as I can. "Hey, should I try to move my legs?" I ask.
"No!" Arnold yells. "I mean, not yet, Helga. Wait until I get you pulled out more." He pulls hard again, and I feel my body pulled to the side, a little of the quicksand falling away from my knees.
"Are you sure, Arnold?" I ask, looking down at my legs. I'm steadily being pulled at a forty-five degree angle toward Arnold. "I feel like pretty soon you're going to be dragging me across the ground."
Arnold lets out a huff of air, loosening his hold on the rope for a second. "Would you rather be dirty or alive, Helga?" he asks, smirking at me. O-oh, that's a very cute look on him. Smirking. Heh heh. He plants his feet firmly and clutches the rope again. "And, by the way, it's kind of hard to talk when I'm trying to save your life."
I roll my eyes at him. "Well, sor-ry," I say. "I'll just keep my mouth shut, then." I scowl, but I keep a firm grasp on my lifeline.
Arnold gives a tug, and I feel my legs slip a bit more above the offending substance. "I'm not saying you can't talk, Helga," Arnold replies. "I'm just saying, don't expect me to talk back." After another mighty jerk, I'm only covered from my calves down.
"Okay, fine, Head Boy," I say, still holding the rope tightly. "Just keep pulling. I'm almost out."
Arnold takes a deep breath, grits his teeth, and then pulls. Groaning slightly, he tugs and yanks and heaves until only my feet are still under. "Okay, Helga," he grunts, still pulling, "try to walk to me now."
I try in vain to move my feet. They don't budge. "Not happening, Football Head," I inform Arnold. "My feet are still stuck tight. Give it another try."
And with one final, powerful jerk, Arnold has pulled me completely out of the quicksand and onto sturdy ground. And on top of him. Apparently, he had let go of the rope once I was pulled free, and he caught me as I flew toward him. What a guy.
His surprisingly strong arms are around me, holding tight. I…have ALWAYS wanted to be in this position with him. If I wasn't half covered in icky mud, I might be enjoying it more…Oh, who am I kidding? I'm loving this!
I slowly bring my eyes up to meet Arnold's. I can feel the blush in my cheeks. He's blushing, too. I can feel his chest moving up and down beneath my hands. I'm sure I'm breathing just as hard. I watch as his eyes, widened in surprise, gradually narrow slightly and go a little half-lidded. The corner of his mouth turns up in a small smile. I grin shyly back at him.
"Thank you, Arnold," I say quietly. "You…saved me. Thank you."
His smile widens. "You're welcome, Helga," he replies. "I just…um, wanted you to be alright. It was my pleasure." I feel one of his arms loosen against my back, and he brings that hand to my forehead, moving his thumb from one side to the other. "Uh, you had m-mud. On your…forehead." His other arm grips my back even more securely.
Okay, so Arnold gives me butterflies in my stomach every time he so much as smiles at me. But, right now, I have this enormous feeling in the pit of my stomach that I've never felt before. I think…that it might possibly be…expectation? The way he's holding me. And looking at me. And touching me. I just…I don't even know what's going on. And all I can think is that I love this boy more than life itself.
Arnold's thumb trails slowly down the side of my face, eliciting chill bumps over my whole body. His hand stops at my jaw and cups it gently. His smiling face has faded into one of curiosity, his lips parted slightly. And I might be mistaken, but it looks like he keeps glancing at my lips. That thought on its own almost sends me into a monologue. I'm pretty sure I've stopped breathing. I blink slowly when I see Arnold bite his lower lip.
Our heads snap to the side to see Gerald standing there, his arms crossed over his chest, his eyes half-lidded, and his lips pursed. He has a short green vine in one of his hands, and he's shaking his head slightly.
"Gerald!" exclaims Arnold, smiling nervously. "You're back. Um, I actually found that rope after all…Helga's fine."
"Sure, sure," says Gerald, his expression unchanging. "But, uh, should I go look for something else so you two can get back to whatever you were doing?" He raises an eyebrow and smirks a little.
I quickly clear my throat and roll to the side, off of Arnold. That stupid rope is still wrapped around my hands. How long have we been in that position? Of course, color floods my cheeks, and I can't even look at either of the boys. I'm way too embarrassed.
"Mm mm mmm," Gerald remarks. "You two…one of these days I'm gonna walk in on something that can't be unseen."
"Ah, stuff it, Tall Hair Boy," I command, regaining some of my composure. "It was just…uh…an accident. Head Boy just pulled the rope too hard the last time, and, um, I wasn't steady on my feet. It's no big deal. Right, Football Head?"
I look to Arnold, trying to show no emotion on my face. I want to see what his real reaction is to the situation that we were in. I'm not sure what all of that was, but it seemed like something was about to happen.
Arnold just looks down at his outstretched legs and rubs the back of his neck. Well, that's no help at all. "Um, right, Helga," he says. "It was just an accident."
I start unraveling the rope from my hands, looking away from Arnold again. "Well, come on, Purdy Boys," I say, standing and tossing the rope back to Arnold. "Let's get going. Arnoldo's parents aren't gonna find themselves."
I squint my eyes, thinking of that last sentence and how much sense it actually made. Probably none. Oh well. I shrug and stalk off down the faint trail through the trees. It takes a few seconds, but I eventually hear the boys scramble after me.
Okay, so…that was definitely a strange turn of events. I don't want to be presumptuous, but I could have sworn…for a second…it almost looked like he was going to kiss me. Is that crazy? Of course, it's crazy! Arnold wouldn't try to kiss me. Even if he doesn't mind that I'm along for the ride, he wouldn't want to kiss me.
On FTi, I cornered him, confessed to him, and kissed him. And then I tried to kiss him again. And again. And again. Back in the "heat of the moment," I was so overcome by emotions that I didn't see how extremely freaked out he was. But, now that I think about it, that could've been traumatizing to the little guy. Therefore, he would NEVER try to kiss me of his own free will.
So, there. Once again, I am a basketcase. No question. And I will be until Arnold tells me once and for all what he thinks about me. I mean, I know we decided to forget the whole FTi confession ever happened, but I can't just erase it from my memory. And, honestly, I doubt he's forgotten it either. Until he tells me to either get lost or that he loves me, I'm going to be a blithering idiot when it comes to him. But I've made the first move…even if we're pretending it didn't happen. It's his turn now. So here's to waiting.
A/N: Honestly, I think I might be better at writing in Arnold's point of view...weird. I'm a girl. Anyway, sorry about the title. I couldn't really come up with anything better. Eh. So thanks for reading. I hope you liked it! Please review!