Disclaimer: I don't own Hey Arnold!, Viacom does.
AN: My sister recommends taking a breather in between drabbles because each deals with a different character and reading them all fast could give you a headache.
First Train Home—Imogen Heap
Dilapidated buildings. Damp alleyways and stray cats. Plants and rain. Arnold.
Her breath caught in her throat.
He waved. Come on! The bell just rang!
She smiled widely at him and reached out, only to stumble and fall into what seemed like a bottomless pit.
Arnold! she screamed, but she couldn't hear herself.
She woke up with a jolt, breathing heavily. Her perfectly made room greeted her.
She looked out the window to find the lush fields of Montana blazing brightly back at her.
I wanted to be happy, she thought to herself. Am I?
And then she closed her eyes and dirty streets and grubby childhood friends filled her mind again.
She smiled and went to the phone. "Hello? I'd like to ask about train schedules, please?"
Airplanes—BOB ft Hayley Williams
She stared at the night sky. Billions of stars twinkled brightly back at her, but even that could not lift her mood.
Her collections of species were all in order back in the lab tent. Her partner was sleeping soundly in the other tent. But Nadine could not sleep.
I'm sorry I made fun of your awkward ways. You know no one could ever replace you in my heart.
If only you'd said that when I was leaving, Rhonda, she sighed.
Of course I miss you too, you idiot. So what if I'm such a successful medical researcher—finally? What's the point, when I have no one to share it with, only one direction, no choices?
She wondered what it would have been like had her best friend not pushed her over the edge, that fateful day after prom.
"You! You—creepy, crawly, tasteless little freak! I would rather claw my face than be seen with you in public!"
Nadine smiled to herself. Bitch.
Gerald hated himself. He was taller, stronger, cooler, more popular, had always had a way with words that made him the pride of the neighborhood. But now they were approaching dessert, and his clammy hand still clutched the box underneath the table. What was worse, they never ate dessert, because she didn't like it.
Yes, he hated himself.
Phoebe furrowed her eyebrows. "What's wrong?" she asked. Gerald just smiled nervously and shrugged, hoping she hadn't caught on.
He loved her so much. He wanted this to be perfect.
Just then, she dropped her fork. Before he could stop her, she had dived down to pick it up. He clamped on to the tiny little velvet case with all his might, hoping against hope she hadn't noticed.
She straightened up slowly and coughed a little, looking down at her nearly empty plate. His heart stopped.
But then she looked up at him and smiled.
"So, should we order dessert?" she asked sweetly.
He could have just kissed her right there.
The Zephyr Song—RHCP
"This is crazy."
"I know, but just go with it."
Stella sighed. "I can't believe they shuffled pairings for such a dangerous expedition."
Miles laughed awkwardly, remembering the pleas he'd made to the camp leaders to be paired with her the previous day. He rubbed the back of his neck, grateful she was ahead, carrying the torch, and couldn't see him.
"Okay, so here, we have to um... jump some vines." She gave him a half-smile. "As weird as it sounds."
He grinned, feeling lightheaded. He was puffing his chest, about to yell, when she put a hand on his arm and gave him a look.
"No Tarzan references, please. People are dying here."
"Okay," he said, feeling deflated. "Sorry." How did she know?
"Why does everyone try to do that?" he heard her mumble to herself, and blushed.
There was only the one vine. His heart leapt up in his throat as she looked at him.
"I guess I'll have to play damsel in distress here, huh?" she asked, looking uncomfortable. He smiled at her.
He didn't know exactly how he did it, but moments later, there they were, swinging in the air, his arm curled firmly around her delicate waist. And when she looked up at him and smiled, he knew he would never let go.
I Belong To You—Muse
He knocked hesitantly on the door, and by this point he really had no clue what the hell he was doing here.
He knew he'd knocked too softly, because he didn't want her to come to the door just yet. He could see her silhouette through the kitchen window, bustling back and forth. His heart ached. Half unconsciously, he pulled his glasses off his nose and smiled. His parents must have spent a small fortune getting them fixed again and again. But he never stopped following her, making sure she was safe, even if it came at the price of a throbbing face.
Finally, he breathed heavily. You just traveled all the way to Sydney for this, so get your head on straight and do this before I beat you up! Again!
This time, he rang the doorbell.
"Coming!" called a familiar voice from inside, and his knees turned to jelly.
When Helga opened the door, all she found was a small, but intricately made, charcoal portrait of herself.
She stared at it quizzically until her husband yelled, "Who is it?"
She turned back around, saying, "I don't know, probably a fan of my books or something..."
The door closed behind her, and hidden beside the stoop, Brainy shut his eyes tight and slumped against the wall.
Talk Shows on Mute—Incubus
"Why am I watching this again?" Harold asked himself aloud. There, on the TV, was the midnight repeat of the morning talk show.
And here are our hosts, Thaddeus and Rhonda Lloyd!
The screen shifted to a man and a woman, both raven-haired. The woman had a bead of sweat on her forehead; the man was grinning broadly.
"Good morning, viewers. Today we..."
He sighed. Am I the only one who can tell those artificial sweeteners in her voice?
Nevertheless, he curled up on his couch, but not before lowering the volume to zero.
"Hello, sweetness," he said. The mere sound of his own voice made him feel like an idiot, but at least it lifted his spirits.
She smiled brightly and bobbed her silky locks in the TV.
"What's that? You love me? Sorry, I don't date fake caked broads." He switched it off.
Memories— David Guetta ft Kid Cudi
"Come on, Arnold!" Gerald said, feeling irritated.
"You know you want to," Sid teased, holding up the disposable glass in front of his face.
"And besides, you have to try it sooner or later," Rhonda said matter-of-factly.
Arnold took a small whiff of the liquid and backed away in disgust. "But guys," he said, feeling cornered, "I don't want to drink!"
Helga raised an eyebrow at him. "Listen, I came here to party, not to watch you be a drama queen. So take a gulp so that they can leave us alone, or I will pound you!"
He stared at her, not sure if she would actually carry out the threat. But as his gaze met those of his other 'friends', he realized by the determination in their eyes that there really was no other way to get out of this.
So he took a deep breath, put the glass to his lips and...sipped.
"Ugh!" he cried, nearly throwing the cup back at Sid, and clutching at his burning throat. "That's... disgusting!"
Gerald watched him, amused. "Wait for it."
And then, he suddenly felt slightly woozy. And he knew it was the alcohol. And he knew it was wrong, he knew he shouldn't be doing it, but sweet mother of cripes that was good.
Hesitantly, he whispered, "Maybe just one more—just to get the experience right—"
Rhonda threw her hands up in the air. "Fellow peers, the last of the seniors has graduated!"
Arnold nearly dropped his wiping cloth as a pair of hands slammed down on the bar counter.
"Tell me something," Helga said, breathlessly. "Are you chaste, or just stupid?"
He blinked. "What?"
She pointed over her shoulder at the female customer who was now retreating towards the back. "You know she was flirting with you, right?"
He started, and blushed deeply. "She was?"
"I told you he's stupid. Now cough it up," Gerald said to Helga, smirking.
"And to think I had you on a godly pedestal," she muttered, sighing as she handed Gerald a twenty-dollar bill.
Boy From School—Hot Chip
He knew he shouldn't have written in his journal last night. He knew he shouldn't have written about his promotion, about his new girlfriend.
What the hell had you been thinking? his mind yelled, exasperatedly, but Eugene knew what he'd been thinking. His jinx. The one that had set him cruelly apart from all his awkward classmates, all his life. He'd been hoping he'd grown out of it.
His current circumstances, of course, proved otherwise.
The tiny jail cell opened and a shapely woman sauntered in, but he couldn't see her face.
"Ava?" he whispered, and as she bent to kiss his cheek, he knew it was her.
"You're my new boss's wife—Big Gino's wife?" he squeaked, feeling drained of all energy.
"Yes," she said, and her nonchalant tone angered him.
"Why didn't you tell me?" he growled.
Her laugh tinkled across the walls of the cell, and for the first time, it sounded menacing.
"Well I wouldn't want to end up like you now, would I?" she drawled in her Southern accent.
And before he could begin to comprehend her words, she had glided out.
Sea Song—Lisa Hannigan
Bored to death in class, Lila found herself thinking of Arnie again, of his wonderfully flawed, simple perfection. Nobody could understand why she was so drawn to him—but then again, nobody here knew her before she was ten years old, before her mother died.
She looked around again, and her eye settled on Sheena. She'd become particularly close with her— mostly because she served as the perfect sidekick; but also because Lila secretly admired Sheena's blatancy about her peace-loving, vegetarian ways. She smiled fondly. Maybe one day she'd pluck up enough courage, like her best friend, to break out of her own perfectionist shell.
A crumpled note landed beside her feet, and she sighed. Just to humor Arnold, she picked it up again.
Movie tonight? Your pick. :)
She turned around, feeling queasy, and smiled at him. He lit up like a thousand candles, which only served to make her feel worse.
Oh, Arnie, she thought, shutting her eyes and throwing her head back against the chair. The things I do for your attention.
Bebot—Black Eyed Peas
"Charles, I want you to go out and get the groceries. Now."
The attendant looked up at him, baffled.
"Mr Wartz, there's already—" he began, but Jonathon Wartz held up a hand.
"Could you remind me of the employer-employee code, please?"
Charles sighed. "Employer gets the work, employee gets the pay," he recited in a tired monotone.
Mr Wartz nodded curtly. "Now then. Hop to it!"
As soon as Charles was out the door, Mr Wartz looked around quickly. He then swiftly went to every window and door in the house and locked it. Then, he went to his room and pulled from underneath his bed an old, worn CD.
He stared at it lovingly for a while, his eyes sparkling. "Oh, my dear Black Eyed Peas, how I missed you," he crooned.
He popped it in and, cranking it up to a moderately high volume, began dancing in abandon.
AN: That last one was the result of insomnia and the universe conspiring against me. Although I'll admit, all the previous songs were all so strangely suited, I'd have been suspicious if a crazy song hadn't come along. I wish I had the energy to find out what the lyrics to Bebot mean and then write something pertaining to that—but it's 6:15 AM here and gawrsh I need to get some SLEEP.
Critique would be much appreciated, since this is my first published HA! work!
Oh, and you might have noticed one drabble in between that doesn't have a song related to it—it came to me while I was taking this challenge and I simply had to pause the shuffle and write it—I hope it got a chuckle out of you!
Before you ask, yes, I'm back! Although I can say for sure that I won't be updating my Pokemon stories—sorry, I know, I'm horrible, but I was a weird little kid when I wrote those and to be perfectly honest, I don't really know what to do with them now.