Never Without a Reason

"Your worse than me, Pheebs," Helga said, lounging around, like the Queen of Sheba on her best friends bed. "I mean at least I told Arnold how I feel."

"Yes, Helga, I know," Phoebe said, rolling her eyes.

"I saw that," Helga said, putting a chip in her mouth.

"It's different for Gerald and me," she said, quietly, looking down. Helga sighed. Is this what Phoebe felt all those times Helga went on and on about "ice cream"?

"Yeah, you both fancy the pants off each other, but neither will make the first move," she said.

"Helga!" Phoebe yelled.

"What? Did I spill salsa?" she asked, sitting up and looking down her top and at the bedspread.

"No! you implication that I want Gerald's pants off!" she said, turning red.

"Huh?" Helga asked, confused. "What are you talking about?"

"You just said that I fancied the pants off Gerald. Why would you say such a thing?" she asked, getting redder. She watched her best friend looked confused for a second, before something occurred to her, then she watched as Helga laughed.

"Oh man, Pheebs!" she cried, rolling over, holding her stomach and laughing harder. "I was using it as a figure of speech! I don't want to know whats going on in your head right now! Especially in relation to Stack-o-Fluff!"

"Helga, that's not nice. His hair just re-acted badly to the humidity," Phoebe told her, smiling herself at the memory.

"Yeah, yeah, whatever, stop changing the subject," Helga said. "Look, Arnold and I are meeting at the movies for a date. Why don't you come along?"

"Oh, Helga I couldn't-"

"Let me finish. Why don't you come along? I'll get Arnold to bring Gerald," she said, mischief dancing around her face and in her eyes.

Phoebe shook her head.

"Look, Arnold and I have had plenty of alone dates," Helga told her friend. "It will be fine."

Phoebe thought about it a little more.

"If your really uncomfortable, maybe we can go somewhere less dark . . . Where you wont be imagining him with no pants," Helga said smiling.

"Your so mean, sometimes Helga," Phoebe said.

"Yeah, but you love me!" Helga threw her arms around Phoebe's waist pulling her onto the bed. "So whataya say?"

…...

"I have to say," Gerald said suddenly. "I'm surprised at Helga inviting me along."

"So am I," Arnold said. And he was. He was worried. Helga never did something without an ulterior motive. And he'd quickly learned to read the signs that she was up to something.

And she was up to something.

"But this is a good thing," Arnold said. "It's a sign that she's willing to move on from this . . . Issue . . . You two have with each other."

"Yeah, or she's setting me up for huge embarrassment." Gerald thought about his best friends girlfriend. Noone was really surprised when the two of them started dating. They were surprised however at how the two of them managed to make it work, being complete opposites. 'Opposites attract?' Phoebe had suggested. He shook his head and grinned. Phoebe was one smart, foxy girl.

"Hey Footballhead!" they heard Helga's voice call out from by the ticket booth.

"I still just . . . How do you do it, man?" Gerald asked.

"I as myself the same thing everyday," Arnold replied, smiling.

…...

They were sitting at the back, Phoebe, Helga, Arnold, Gerald.

'This wont do,' Helga thought to herself. She had to remove her and Arnold from the equation. She "accidently-on-purpose" knocked her drink so that it fell into Arnold's lap.

"OH, geez, Helga!" he cried, standing up. A few people in front shushed him.

"Oh my god, Arnold! I'm so sorry," she said, not sounding sorry at all. "Hold our seats guys," she whispered to Phoebe and Gerald, then grabbed Arnold's hand and dragged him out.

"What the hell?" Arnold growled, trying to wipe his pants down. At least it was only on the lower parts of his pants.

"Does Gerald talk about Phoebe?" she asked, ignoring his indignation.

"What? Why?" he asked, not paying attention.

"Phoebe has it hard for him," Helga told him. Arnold stopped what he was doing and looked at her.

"Really?" he asked.

"Of course. Why else would I set this up?"

He'd been right. Helga was up to something.

"I know he likes her," he said. Helga looked over at him and smiled.

"Let's go get something to eat, I'm starved. All this match-making makes me hungry."

…...

"I don't think they're coming back," Phoebe whispered over to Gerald. He looked away at the screen for a moment.

"Probably not. You wanna go find them?" he asked.

Phoebe's heart sank a little. didn't he want to be alone with her? Maybe he didn't like her. She felt like she was going to cry.

"No," she whispered. "I've paid to see the movie so I'll see it."

"Cool," Gerald replied, moving into the seat Helga had been in. "How are you with horrors?"

"Not too good," Phoebe confessed. Gerald looked over at her and grinned.

"I'll protect you," he whispered, before placing his arm around her shoulders.

…...

This is perfect! Gerald thought. Phoebe currently had her face buried into his chest. She couldn't watch the murder scenes. For once in his life he was glad Helga had spilt soda on Arnold. And he couldn't help but wonder now, if it was deliberate. Like Arnold said, girl never did anything without a reason.

Maybe this was her reason?

…...

They found Arnold and Helga fighting over his plate of chips.

"Hey, guys," Gerald said, sitting down.

"So how'd the movie go?" Helga asked, leaning back with a smug look on her face. "Pants on?"

Gerald looked at her confused, and Phoebe blushed and shook her head.

"Poor Pheebs was a little scared," Gerald said, wrapping a protective arm around her shoulder and giving it a small squeeze. "But she managed to keep her pants on."

Helga burst out laughing, while Arnold choked on his chip. Helga started thumping his back.

"You can stop now," he said, finally getting it down. Phoebe felt even more embarrassed. Helga had obviously told Arnold about the earlier conversation.

"Well, what should we do next? Another group activity, or should we go do our own separate couple things?" Helga asked, like it was no big deal.

"What do you say, Pheebs?" Gerald asked. Phoebe looked up at him surprised.

"Oh, uh, I spose-"

"Separate couple things it is!" Helga declared, banging her hand on the table.

"Come with me," Helga purred into Arnold's ear. Arnold blushed a little. Gerald looked at the two of them for a moment. Helga always seemed to be a step or two ahead of everyone else in their class. Was she corrupting Arnold by having him catch up to her?

"I'll see you later, Gerald," he said, getting up and grabbing Helga's hand.

"Tootles," she waved over her shoulder, winking at Phoebe.

…...

"It was a nice day and dinner, Gerald, thankyou," Phoebe said shyly.

"Yeah, uh we should do it again some time?" he asked. He hadn't meant it to come out as a question. Phoebe nodded her head and turned to open the door to her house.

"Um, Pheebs?" Gerald asked.

"Yes?"

'Oh, my!' Phoebe thought, feeling his lips touch hers.

"How about tomorrow?" he asked. Phoebe nodded again, not knowing what to say. All her thoughts were clamouring around in her head, she couldn't catch one to think!

Gerald waved. "I'll call you tonight."

Phoebe waved back, the rushed inside, quickly closing the door and leaning against it.

After a moment of collecting herself she rushed upstairs to call her bestest friend in the whole world.

And to thank her.