A/N:

Hello anyone who happens to be reading this! This is my first fanfiction, and I have to admit that I'm a little nervous. When I was reading some Hey Arnold fanfiction, I got this idea, and I was surprised when I couldn't find someone who'd already done it... So I decided fooey on looking for something already written, I'll write it myself! I've always thought the Hey Arnold series was incredibly deep for a kids show, but the story was kind of unfinished... Hence the desire to write fanfiction about it.

Just a few notes before we begin: This story takes place after Helga and Arnold have just completed their junior year in high school. As The Jungle Movie did not happen, Arnold never found his parents or confronted Helga on her confession from the first movie. Life just continued. I'm being a little vague about the description on purpose, but if anyone has any questions feel free to ask :-) .

Disclaimer: I do not own the brilliant creation that is Hey Arnold (that honor belongs to Nickelodeon, Craig Bartlett and company), I'm just borrowing it for a little while.

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Chapter One:

The Escape

Helga walked home down the sidewalk, glaring at the weeds that grew up through the cracks. Yet another meaningless day had reached its end. Alright, she was being a bit overdramatic with that thought. But how could she not be dramatic? Her greatest inspiration and muse, the morning star she woke to each day, was leaving.

This was referring to, of course, Arnold. Despite her harsh exterior, she'd loved him since the day she met him. He still remained oblivious to her affections, despite actually confessing her feelings for him long ago. Arnold had been heroically (as usual) trying to save their neighborhood and Helga had helped him in secret. In a moment of passion, she blurted it all out, threw her arms around him and gave him a big smooch. The object of her affections didn't have time to react, as they had been pressed for time. When they had triumphed and the neighborhood had finally been saved, she had blamed it all on being in the heat of the moment and they never spoke another word about it.

All these years later, he was still the only boy she had ever kissed. Seventeen and last kissed when she was ten. Even the ever so perfect Lila had her beat. After years of trying to woo him, Arnold's cousin Arnie had finally given in and they'd started dating earlier in the year. About a week later Helga had walked in on them in the janitor's closet, and after that Lila hadn't seemed ever so perfect anymore. At least it wasn't Lila and Arnold, Helga thought, thankful that his affections for her classmate seemed to be long passed. Not that it mattered, though. He would be leaving tomorrow anyway. He was heading away to some kind of camp thing if she'd heard right. She didn't know much else; eavesdropping on Arnold and Gerald's conversation only gives you so much information. One thing was clear: Arnold was leaving and not coming back for the entire summer.

An entire summer without Arnold! Helga kicked at a weed and hit the sidewalk instead, earning a sore toe. Grumbling to herself, she looked up as she reached the stoop of her house, only to find herself staring at a halfway open door. With a frustrated sigh she stomped through the threshold, slamming the door behind her.

"Miriam! You left the door open, again!" she yelled out, expecting her mother to sleepily call out from another room. Instead, her voice was met with silence. The anger she had previously been feeling drained away and a cold tension leaked in, climbing up her spine only to settle in her stomach. Unsure of where this feeling was suddenly coming from, she cautiously stepped forward through the entryway.

"Miriam?" She called out, a little weaker this time.

Silence.

She's probably passed out on the couch again… There was only one surefire way to find out whether she was overreacting or not. The hallway broke off to the living room through the door on her right, and she slowly took a step towards it… only to jump out of her skin a second later when a floorboard creaked under her weight. Putting a hand against her heart, she scolded herself for her skittishness and shook her head. This was getting ridiculous. She had no reason to think that anything out of the ordinary was going on. In the back of her head, though, a little voice whispered, Maybe something is wrong. Maybe you should just leave. Telling the voice to shut up and stop being a wimp, she marched forward into the living room.

A strong impulse passed through her to turn back around and go right back through the door, but she remained frozen in the doorway. Their living room had become a war zone. The couch was flipped, Olga's trophies were strewn about, a lamp lay broken at her feet…

She was shaken from her stupor when she heard the floor creak from somewhere above her. They're still here… Images from bad horror movies flashed through her mind. Foolishly she'd ignored her intuition that something was wrong and had gone inside anyway. She'd seen enough slasher movies to know what happens next. The voice in the back of her head was back, but this time she was listening to it. Get out now! It screamed.

Twisting around faster than she knew she was capable of, she turned from the living room and bolted for the door.

She hadn't run two steps before she ran into him. The force of the collision had them both crashing to the floor. Helga let out a shriek as she fell, landing beside the intruder. She took only enough time to register that there was a black clad figure on the ground in front of her before she pushed herself up, leapt over him and dashed for the door again.

Helga had been fast to react, but not fast enough. She had just managed to twist the doorknob before her right foot was pulled from underneath her. She slammed down hard on the floor again, her hand being yanked from the doorknob. The force of her hand being wrenched off managed to fling the door open and it hit the wall with a bang. With the door open, freedom was painfully close and she frantically tried to claw her way forward.

A hand clasped around her ankle and she screamed again as she was pulled farther into the house, away from the light of day spilling in through the open door. Her hands flew out around her, blindly feeling at anything, anything she could grasp just to hold on. They found the edge of the door and held fast. She twisted her head over her shoulder, pulling herself away and flinging her legs wildly in an attempt to get free. As she finally took in the sight behind her, time seemed to slow down.

She could see the intruder, still on the ground, holding onto her leg with both hands as she thrashed. A young face with fire engine red hair and blue eyes glared back at her. Behind him on the stairs at the end of the hall, another man was coming down the stairs. Unlike the other, this one had dirty blonde hair and was not glaring at her. He was instead looking down at her with a calm, confident expression, like a hunter who knows that his prey has nowhere to go. But there was something wrong with his eyes; they weren't the same color. One was a blue and the other a moldy green, and as he reached the bottom step, the smile that had been behind his eyes moved to his mouth in an arrogant smirk. In that moment she knew; something dark hid behind those oddly colored eyes and it terrified her beyond belief. She had to escape before he reached her.

Helga lifted her one free leg and kicked it into the face of the red haired man with all she was worth. His hands clutched at his face, and time sped up again. She was on her feet and out the door just as the second man reached them. But he was too late, and he knew it, because she was in broad daylight now sprinting down the street.

She didn't stop until she reached the police station.