No. I don't own any of the copyrighted material or things in this fic, I only own the fic itself.
It happened quite frequently, it'd be a normal day, not particularly happy nor particularly sad, just a normal day.
Gertie would be home alone; Tenants were at work, Arnold was at a friend's house, and Phil was off who knows where on another crazy escapade, when the doorbell would ring.
She would open the door and find herself looking into a mirror, a magic mirror, one that lets you see into the past.
There was she, once more a child and once more a sobbing mess on her own doorstep.
With a look of understanding she welcomes herself into her own home.
Her home life had been horrible as a child, so horrible it turned her heart sour and bitter resulting in a world view of unfaltering pessimism. In her home there was no such thing as laughter, just silence. And hate, lots and lots of hate.
She'd turned to the work of Eleanor Roosevelt, first lady of the world, for inspiration and uplifting, for this woman was a strong and kind and brave and amazing woman. She fought for women suffrage and equal rights.
She was amazing.
She had hoped to be like her one day.
She never quite got there though.
Sitting down at the table with herself, Gertie started the comforting customs. She set a kettle filled with water on the stove, pulled those nice jasmine tea leaves from a cupboard along with two mugs, and slowly told her younger self of a place of magic and happiness where love and friendship blossomed and hate never stayed; they both knew no such place existed, but the thought was kind on her weary soul.
The tea was done and Gertie carefully placed the steaming mug before herself and set the other across the table for herself.
As tea was sipped and artificial tales of happiness were spun, she slowly began to loosen and tell what had broken her scarred heart this time.
Something about the father,
Something about the mother,
something about the sister.
All of them were key players in the destruction of her heart once more. She didn't know if her heart could be stitched together anymore.
Her own sadness explained, Gertie nodded in understanding, for how could she not understand herself?
The conversation did not die, but continued. And Gertie listened with intrigue as she retold her life, her marvelous misadventures.
And slowly Gertie found that she and herself were different.
Gertie had secluded herself from the other children, finding her own company worth much more than that of those around her. She watched them from afar with comfort.
This girl had taken command of the other children, finding herself to be much more fit as the playground ruler than those around her. She held them under her thumb with ease.
Gertie has let herself slip into a slight world of insanity; she hadn't left the borders of reality, rather just sticking one toe into the pleasant rush that was freedom from her own mind at a time.
This girl had let herself become entangled within the threads of reality, she hadn't lost the ability to dream, rather just losing the dreams that came from deep within her soul where her true heart resided.
Gertie had lived in a home with no laughter, which must be why she fell in love with the lanky boy with the funny cleft chin who never seemed to run out of laughter.
This girl lived in a home with no kindness, which must be why she fell in love with the short boy with the strangely shaped head who never seemed to run out of kindness.
She listened and was stunned at the girl, her quick wit, her stubborn backbone, her hidden kindness.
This was not little Gertie she was speaking to over jasmine tea, this was Eleanor, strong and kind and brilliant Eleanor.
The conversation would slowly flicker to the dull hum of dead wishes between the two and Eleanor would decide that it was time for her to go, she had much to do as the first lady of the world.
"Travel safely Eleanor!" she said happily as she set the two mugs into the sink to be waashed later, "tell Marie Curie I said 'hello'!"
Turning around to smile, Eleanor spoke in that powerful voice, "She'll be happy to hear from you. 'Til our next afternoon tea?"
"Yes," Gertie said with a wide grin, "Next time let it be for a happy occasion."
And on that bitter sweet note she left.
As the sun lowered in the sky, people slowly returned. They would ask her what she did today and she would respond honestly.
"I had tea with Eleanor, she had been quite sad but nothing lightens the soul like afternoon tea!"
And with a sad shake of their head and a soft mumble of "crazy old bat", they would thump up the stairs and to their rooms.
When Phil returned from his adventurous outing in the city, whatever it may have been, he asked as well.
"Heya Pookie! I'm home! Whaddaya do today?" He said with that huge grin that was just waiting to open up and let loose the laughter in his soul.
"Eleanor came for some tea, she hadn't been feeling well, her family had been treating her horribly again."
A soft sadness came over the usually jubilant man, "Huh, that poor girl, someone needs to call social servi-"
He was cut off by a level cry of "I'm home."
And just the sound of his grandson's voice lit the laughter right back up into his eyes.
"Heya, Shortman!"He called, grinning ear to ear as Arnold joined his grandparents.
"Hi grandpa, grandma. What did you guys do today?"
"Well, I sailed the seven seas and in an epic battle of grandeur I defeated the pirate king and won back the golden crab!"
He'd fought with the waiter at Joe's crab shack again, Arnold smiled lightly and turned his gaze to his grandmother.
"I had tea with Eleanor, she was in an awful mood because her family had been mistreating her again."
Arnold nodded sagely, "I'm not surprised, she did marry her cousin after all."
Phil and Gertie looked at Arnold in shock.
"Eleanor hasn't married her cousin! She's only nine! Besides I know for a fact that she has no interest in any of her cousins, her eye is on a certain young man.~" and with a wiggle of her eyebrows she spun back into the kitchen to get dinner started.
Arnold looked at his grandfather in confusion, "Aren't we talking about Eleanor Roosevelt?"
"Yup," Phil responded, finally recovering from the earlier shock.
"But... she marries her distant cousin Theodore."
"Not this Eleanor, she's got her eyes on a short man!" Phil said with a laugh and waltzed into the kitchen after his wife.
Arnold just stood there confused.
Across town two young girls sat on a river bed, throwing stones into the water and watching them splash with satisfaction.
"Hey Pheebs," spoke the taller one suddenly, causing her smaller friend to stop mid throw.
"Yes, Helga?" She asked, watching as the tiny pebble she threw caused a little "plip" and ripples spread out from around it.
"Gertie says 'hi', she wants us to come back for tea soon... for a happy occassion." the blonde said slowly, grasping a rather large stone and hurtling it to the other side of the river with ease.
A smile crossed the Japanese girl's face.
"How about tomorrow?" she asked.
"What's the occasion?" quipped Helga, half of her monobrow rising.
"To be alive," Phoebe responded happily. Her friend shrugged.
"Works for me."
I've had this on my phone for over a year now, figured I might as well get it out.
Not a lot of Helga and Gertie fics out there, which I find kinda sad since those two are so cool together (Not as a ship, as friends or acquaintances or whatever).