a/n: Hey! so i recently just got hit with arnold/helga feels. this chapter basically just introduces the basics of this fic.

The Art of Girls, Testosterone, and Growing Up

i. Health Class

Fourth period; it's the only class that actually has the whole gang, at least. Well, except Sid.

He cuts this lesson almost every day for who-knows-what, and Arnold's kind of intimidated to question it. He's grateful—awfully grateful—to know that Gerald has all the answers. His friend tells him what became of everyone, because by the time he walked into his new school, he hadn't had a clue about anything or anyone—whether it had been puberty that struck all these long-gone innocent children he's grown up with, or some kind of meteor shower had destroyed these prepubescent peers with a gas-like substance altering their minds.

It was as if he stepped (dramatically, might he add) into a different universe.

Or hey, maybe it was just growing up.



Ever since the blonde had come back home from San Lorenzo with his friends and his parents, things had started taking a large turn. Of course, he's dreamed all his life of being with his parents, to play ball with his dad, and to listen to his mother singing as she waltzes down the stairs—but he hadn't realized his whole life was going to take a new route, almost like another journey: change. He was ten! He expected bright and cheery smiles and normal hangouts and he and his Gramps and Grandma huddled with his parents on the couch in front of the television. But, no.

He doesn't like remembering it. But, to put it bluntly, his parents wanted something grand, moving to a new house and of course, taking their child with them. Arnold transferred to a new grade school, afterwards going to a junior high where his friends weren't going to, and starting his first year of high school with new people as well. It was different, too different—to the point where he constantly begged his parents to allow him to go back to the old town, and they ultimately acquiesced, arranging plans with his grandma.

Arnold lives with the old folks once again, sparing the weekends and vacations with his parents, which he can deal with. He loves them, he'd spare his life for them, but it wasn't the life he wanted.

So he's back, in his old blue tinted room and crooked anchored ceiling with all the petty little knick knacks along his shelves and his same old, cold to the brim desk. He breathed in the natural aroma of the room, missing the scent terribly and plunges himself back onto his bed with one thought in his mind.

I'm home.



He walks down the halls with his best friend, trying to ignore how different everyone looks since he's last seen them. However, it's inevitable, with the way Rhonda flips her long raven tresses and how he catches Harold looking at her so temptingly behind the doorway is enough to make the blonde almost gag. Gerald catches his drift and laughs, adjusting his crimson hoodie as they make their way to their lockers.

"I know, it's pretty horrific, man. It's janky," his best friend replies with a sigh. "I even heard that they were having this kind of rendezvous every now and then in the supply closet."

"No," Arnold meekly states with wide eyes.

"Yup," he clarifies. He proceeds to flash Phoebe and a group of girls a pearly smile, one that says 'well, hello ladies', and Arnold rolls his eyes with a smile. He somehow always knew Gerald would be quite the catch.



They make their way toward their class, which was taught by the too-encouraging nurse—and the topic? Sex education.

Arnold sits in front of the class, as if things weren't awkward enough, greeted by faces that had actually scanned his whole exterior before recognizing the usual football head. Rhonda looks at him with a genuine smile and half lidded eyes and he returns it, and he looks around the room before the bell rings, remembering basically everyone in this period.

And then there's Helga, and something in his chest starts to tighten, and he knows it isn't because of the femininity that had grown on her features. She meets his eyes with a glare shooting something intoxicated, angry even? Cold—definitely cold—same ol' Helga.

(but, but)

The memories in the jungle and the memories on the rooftop and the memories of every time their lips had touched back when—

"Please introduce yourself to the class," the nurse repeats, interrupting his focus and prodding the blonde teen, who was lost in thought and unaware the bell had rung.

He blinks a couple of times before fiddling with the sleeves of his plaid flannel. "I'm Arnold."

"Hey, Arnold!" the whole class chimes, except for that one distinct familiar voice he had been looking for, specifically coming from a blonde girl with a red ribbon that tied her hair up.

He feels the attention drawn onto him, as he makes his way to the only available seat—dead center, front, plopped right between Gerald and Rhonda, and he can almost feel Helga's penetrating stare at the back of his head where she sits, diagonally from him. It's quiet now, a bit too quiet for him, and Brainy's damned wheezing can be heard, and it isn't a very pleasant song to listen to.

It gets even worse when their teacher pulls out a pile of condoms and a banana, and the only thing that's said is a silly little "Gee, willikers!" from Stinky, somewhere behind him. His face heats up, but he's sure he's not the only one.

High school was surely going to be an interesting ride.

a/n: this is based off the art of limey404 on deviantart. you should check out her work! the way the gang is drawn is so legit and beaut. this fic is either going to be a series of drabbles in high school all revolving arnold, and of course arnold/helga; or it's going to be a complete plot and chaptered kind of thing, but i do prefer the collection of drabbles and prompts instead. i'm not sure yet.

you guys should know about san lorenzo and his parents and the jungle! but if you don't, it's the last movie of hey arnold where he finds his parents and basically tells helga he loves her and they kiss (again!) both wanting it this time :) but it's not going to be animated because of difficulties and disagreements and yea i'm still not over it.

anyways, beware! for your childhood might be ruined because of this fic. they're in high school, man. (but!) i'm not writing smut! it's not going to be that bad. hahaha. please, please, please tell me what you think! but flaming is definitely not necessary. review?