Alight this is my very first Hey Arnold fanfic not to mention the first fanfic I have written in a long time. This is a dedication to authors Suprsingr and Writergirl97. Who's fanfics on the shortman kids inspired me to attempt to write my own! So a very big thanks to you guys! I hope you like it and I hope I did the characters justice!
Craig Bartlett owns Hey Arnold, Suprsingr owns the shortman kids Zach, Ham, Phil, and Amanda. I own nothing!
"Alight I think that is enough for tonight!" Helga Pataki Shortman muttered quietly to herself as she quickly saved her work and slid her laptop shut. Exhaling a deep breath she slowly rubbed her neck getting all the kinks out! A loud yawn rippled from her throat as exhausted eyes took in the late hour displayed on the wall clock. "Damn its 1:00 in the morning? I better get up to bed. With a lingering stretch, Helga got up from her chair, and with a simple click of the light switch expelled the basement room dubbed her "office" into overwhelming darkness.
Nights had always been a comfort for Helga. As a child, before bed she would always bask in the iridescent light of the moon and whisper her dreams and desires to the shimmering stars in the knowledge they were kept safe. Countless poems about a certain football headed boy were written in the cover of nightfall usually when her mind was in a haze induced sleep brought on by exhaustion and pleasant dreams. At the present state of her life nights brought her comfort of a different relief one she relished in… peace. Over the last sixteen years her life was in literal fast forward motion which is brought on by marriage and kids. Her days consisted of making lunches, cooking breakfast and dinners, nonstop errands to school, various appointments, extracurricular activities, and constantly making sure that her kids were always healthy, happy, and loved. If that wasn't enough, taking over Big Bob's electronic business was another obstacle altogether. With everything Helga never had any time to herself.
Arnold, her beloved Arnold has always been by her side through everything. Always going out of her way to make sure she is always happy. Through the years of marriage and parenting they have built a partnership that manages to strengthen their love. They both know each other inside and out when to comfort and confide, and when to allow each other space. Which is why Arnold doesn't question Helga's late nights coming to bed. When he feels her weight on the bed, he opens one drowsy eye, smiles, and simply drapes an arm around her waist whispering a slightly muffled "I love you". As Helga runs her hand through his dishelved hair, kisses his head and seeks his ring hand in her own and falls into a peaceful slumber.
As she climbs up the stairs toward the darkened hallway occupied by several doors, her journey to sleep, is almost complete but first, she most participate in a nightly ritual that she loves. Silently padding toward the first door on the left Helga opens the door with a softened creak and comes upon a sight that makes her giggle. Her first born, Zachary sound asleep, softly snoring, mouth slightly open with a small puddle of drool on the pillow beneath him. Softly sighing Helga picked up the comforter of the floor and gently placed around her head. Helga cherished Zack at times like this. In sleep his face uninhibited by sarcasm and humor and all out jackassery was relaxed and peaceful. In his waking hours Zack was all laughs and ridiculousness, but Helga often looked into his eyes, she saw a hidden pain, one that no sixteen year old should not be burdened with. Zack's attitude mirrored hers so much, it was unbelievable. Helga remembered the tough exterior shell, she harbored so that no one saw her loneliness. She kept that wall up for so long she thought it was impenetrable until Arnold's love brought it down. She silently prayed that Zack was not building the same wall. It would tear her heart if her son was hurting. With the covers tucked securely around him. Helga combed her fingers through Zack's hair and with a kiss to the forehead she softly whispered.
"Goodnight my son, I love you. I'll always be here for you." In response Zack mumbled something unintelligible and turned to face the wall.
Helga softly smiled and exited the room. Out in the hallway again she stepped across the hall to another room which held her second eldest Josh who adamantly wanted to be referred to as Ham! Helga for the life of her could not understand this and busted out laughing when her five year old son had sternly replied in his childlike voice.
"Mama I wanna be called Ham." When she asked her little boy why he wanted to be called such a nickname! He simply said "I don't like the name Josh. Ham is a cooler name anyway. From that moment on the family went with his wishes and the name stuck except for Zack but everyone knew that Zack was not going to follow the rules, so they just let it go.
Ham's room was littered with all kinds of sports posters, and sport awards. There was even a punching bag set in the corner of his room next to his window. The room was neat and tidy, books on the shelves, important papers stacked neatly on the desk beside his bed. Academics and athletics were the two things that Ham exceled and took pride almost to a perfectionist level. Arnold and Helga both worried about him. In Helga's mind, Ham's streak of perfectionism was reminiscent to his Aunt Olga's who always wanted to be the best at what she did. It was not until her adult life did Olga confide to Helga that she hated having to feel the perfect role to their parents all the time. It had gotten to a point that Olga didn't know who she was or where she belonged. It had taken Helga to sit her straight and convinced her to talk to Big Bob and Miriam about these issues.
As Helga gently eased into the desk chair next and gazed at her son's sleeping form she pondered. "Ham doesn't feel the need to prove perfection does he?" Her and Arnold were not Big Bob and Miriam. When they started having children the thought weighed heavily "We're not going to be like them." Arnold stepped in as disciplinarian when it was called for, but he never relentlessly yelled at the children, forgot their names, or neglected them. Helga unlike Miriam, was always alert, and centered on the lives of her children. Listening to the things they had to say even if it was the most ridiculous thing ever which was a common occurrence in this household.
As she pushed back a tuft of dark blonde hair and glanced at the dark heavy bags under her fourteen year olds eyes. She gently kissed his nose laughing slightly as his nose crinkled up and softly whispered in his ear. "There is no reason to prove you are perfect. Your imperfections make you perfect. Your father and I are so proud of you and love you very much. Never forget that my little lemon head!" Helga walked out of the room softly clicking the door closed.
The next room Helga came to was right next to Ham's and the sight that greeted her as she silently opened the door never failed to amaze and make her laugh out loud. On the bed in the room filled with books and film posters was her youngest son Phillip. He was truly something else. Helga usually referred to him as a ticking time bomb. Biding his time until someone provoked him and then it was all over. His mad ravings put Helga's poetic soliloquies to shame. These ravings existed over something simplistic as Helga edged into the room. She recalled tonight's rant being over Valentine's Day.
Sarah had been over at dinner and casually mentioned the possibility of doing something. When silverware clinked on the plate, green eyes narrowed, and all hell broke loose. "Sarah do you have a screw loose in your brain? As if I would actively participate in a holiday so utterly repulsive. Flowers, chocolates and other urgh… items are strategic traps designed to enslave men under a siren type trance until they turn into bumbling morons, unable to know their own names much less form a complete sentence. And don't even get me started on the movies" At such a statement most girls would have been in tears or fled the room. Sarah, Helga remembered did neither. She simply placed her small hand in his and said "It's okay Phil a simple card will do!" Picked up her fork and simply resumed eating. Leaving Phil staring at her dumbstruck and Arnold and Helga exchanging small smiles across the table.
Looking at her son now Helga knew that Miss Sarah Bennet was the right one for her Phil. Although they were only eleven Helga was not blind to the fact that the girl deeply loved her son and truly respected him for who he was. Although her soon venomously scoffed at the very mentioned for love and romance. It was very obvious that he loved Sarah too. In fact she wouldn't be surprised if they married when they were older. Shaking away thoughts of the future, Helga focused on the present, more specifically the odd way her son was sleeping. The very position itself almost made her laugh out loud. Phil's arms were spread out on both sides of his pillow, his legs akimbo the right one sticking out over the edge of the bed and his head off his pillow pointed toward the floor. If he were to resume this position any longer he would fall right out of bed.
Helga shook her head slightly and walked over to the bed to aid in her son's dilemma. She fixed both his legs so they were properly positioned on the bed and then gently held his head to pull him properly on the bed. As she held his head in her arms she could not help but notice how adorably cute he looked asleep and abandoning all pretenses of certain doom cradled his head to her chest for a few seconds longer. Were he awake and aware of what was going on, Helga was certain that World War three would have occurred. For reasons unknown Phil had quite the tendency to freak out when someone tried to hug or touch him. It took an arm and leg for Arnold and Helga to even get a one armed hug out of him. So Helga was not going to waste this opportunity. Holding him a second longer, Helga straightened him on the bed, kissed his head gently and said "Goodnight my little demonic hell spawn." The door was quietly closed in her wake.
Exhaustion was weighing heavy behind her eyes but there was one more little addition she had to check on. Little miss sunshine herself Miss Amanda Faith. Amanda's room was across the hall from Phil's but it would be hard to miss anyway with the little sign that screamed her name in bold pink letters on her door. Helga quietly crept inside the room illuminated by a little star nightlight, and spotted her daughter slumbering peacefully underneath the warm pink comforter. Manda Faith was the ray of sunshine in the Shortman family with her adorable face, bright blue eyes, cute pigtails that drooped to the side, and moral kindness it was hard not to fall in love with her at first sight.
Helga noted as she crept closer to her baby girl that underneath the cute exterior lay a fiery temper that when provoked could rival Helga's own. Each day Helga was astonished that she gave birth to a "little miss perfect" but Amanda did not carry perfection the way that Olga and Lila did. She reflected all the goodness that Helga held as a little girl but was afraid to show in fear that would be shunned or unworthy of affection. Helga would do everything in her power to make sure that Amanda never felt she was unworthy of anybody or anything. Show her that it was okay to be who she was no matter what anybody said. Helga straightened the comforter a little more snugly around her daughter, kissed her gently on the head and whispered. "Goodnight my angel!" The door then closed with an audible click.
At last Helga made it to the bedroom she shared with her beloved. Quickly and quietly she changed into her nightgown, combed her hair and slid into bed next to her football headed husband. Just as she was drifting into slumber a strong hand wrapped her in a familiar embrace. With a kiss to her ear, a rugged voice sleepily said
"Hello my love! I missed you." Helga giggled grabbing the hand that was around her waist she softly kissed the knuckles and said "I missed you too football head!" She could hear rugged laugher behind her! She took his hand in hers and grasped it tightly "Goodnight I love you Arnold.
He grasped her hand just as tightly and said "Goodnight Helga I love you too!" No other words were spoken as the couple wrapped in a loving embrace drifted off to sleep. Ready to face a new day and tackle whatever life throws at them together. Sixteen years, four crazy kids, and still going strong!
I hope you enjoy my story! Suprsingr and Writergirl97 you guys rock