Arnold Shortman, one month after his impromptu trip into the future, meandered his way through the corridors of PS118. Halfway toward his locker, his bright green eyes rested upon the door labelled 'Janitors Closet' and that strange fuzzy feeling shot through him again. Simply looking in the general direction of the room made him feel strange, and made a distinct blush rise in his cheeks, and he hadn't even done anything in there. It was simply that he knew he was apparently supposed to.
Averting his gaze from the door, and trying to control his blush, Arnold noticed the bright blonde of a certain classmates hair. Helga, who was heading the opposite direction up the hallway, was also staring at the closet with wide eyes, looking plain terrified by the whole thing. Silently, she passed him by, with no insults, no scowl, no threats... absolutely nothing. It had been this way ever since they returned; she wouldn't even look him in the eye anymore.
Sometimes, he wondered if this situation was exactly what the future Helga was concerned about, that their prior knowledge of the future would change everything. Sure, there were benefits to wanting to change things, change was good if you didn't like something very much but Arnold happened to like his future a lot. A whole lot.
Deciding he was a bold kid, and a determined one at that, he took that very moment in time to change directions and march directly over to Helga, who was thankfully walking by herself.
"Arnold!" she cried out as he pulled her gently toward the closet, "Let me go!"
Arnold decided not to answer that, just in case talking might make him chicken out, and instead he continued to lead her to their intended destination. She pulled back, tried to resist a few times, but overall allowed him to take her where he pleased.
Finally reaching the confines of the closet, a trip that seemed so much longer than it truly was when his heart was beating a mile a minute, Arnold closed the door behind them and turned to look at Helga.
"Nobody drags Helga G. Pataki into her own office." she growled immediately, seeming to regain her senses now that his hand wasn't wrapped around her wrist, "What do you have to say for yourself Football H-"
Arnold honestly had no idea what he was doing, but he wasn't about to let her keep talking, so with all the courage he could muster he pushed his lips to hers. Helga, in response, froze and little and let out a squeak in surprise.
"YES!" cried out a voice from behind them, just seconds into the kiss, with Helga still completely motionless.
Arnold spun quickly to see Gerald staring at him and Helga intently, whilst Helga did her best to hide the incredible blush that was now evident on her face.
"Seriously," Gerald continued on, "I've been checking in here every day for the past month, I was starting to get worried."
Knowing he probably should have asked something like why Gerald was so intent on witnessing this moment that he had literally checked the closet every day for a month, Arnold instead let out a stunned, "Uh, Gerald, you're supposed to be freaked out." because, well, right now he was really determined for everything to go exactly like it was supposed to.
Gerald's eyes lit up, "Of course!" he exclaimed, "What do I do?"
"Run to the cafeteria screaming, 'when is this nightmare going to end'... and call Arnold every night for the next week asking if this was a dream" Helga spoke up from the back of the closet, stepping forward a little and observing Gerald with extreme caution, and then adding sharply, "And make it snappy hair boy!"
Bowing down dramatically, Gerald nodded, "Anything for you, Mrs Shortman." he chuckled, then ran out into the hallways with his best 'petrified and in denial' face, ready to explode into the cafeteria shouting nonsense.
Arnold looked back at Helga, rubbing the back of his neck nervously, "Um, so what now?"
"We, um, keep doing this for the next five years?" Helga shrugged, "And then, we go to the jungle."
Stupid jungle, he really didn't want to think about it right now, think about how it was going to steal three years of his teenage life from him. Of course, the finding his parents part made him dizzy with happiness, but, if it meant losing Helga for a while, he could definitely wait five more years.
"Right." he smiled at her in response, before glancing back at the door that had just shut behind his best friend, "So, Gerald's going to come back soon probably, you know, to laugh at us again..."
Helga nodded, but didn't speak, she was really close to him again and he could smell the strong scent of vanilla. Arnold decided to put vanilla on his new list of favourite things.
"So, in the meantime we should probably, um..." he tried to continue but she was way too close, and she smelled way too good.
This time, when his lips met hers, she responded almost immediately. In fact, he almost lost his balance entirely when he felt Helga's lips moving against his. For the first time, he was experiencing how it felt to mutually kiss Helga G, Pataki.
Wow, he thought to himself, no wonder I married her.