A/N: Hi everyone! This is my first shot at writing fanfiction and I'm very nervous about publishing it. Any and all feedback is nice and I welcome all constructive criticism as I work to make this story as awesomely fantastic as I can. (Or at least good enough to get you guys coming back to read any new chapters.) For anybody who reads this story I want to give you all a warm thank you and I do so hope you enjoy!
Also note that I do not own any Hey Arnold characters nor do I take any credit for them. Thanks again and enjoy the read!
It was a nice fall afternoon. One of the better ones where the weather was warm enough to be mistaken for summer. It was also perfect enough for a game of baseball. In a vacant lot known as Gerald Field a game of baseball between the fifth graders and the sixth graders was underway. Both sides were giving it there all and the game was now tied at five for both sides.
"Go Arnold, go Arnold!" The boy's teammates cheered as he went up to bat. He narrowed his eyes, and clicked his tongue gripping his bat with all of his might, and made sure to keep his eyes on the ball. His teammates were cheering for him. He refused to be the one to let them down.
"Is that the best stance you've got? You look like you've got to go to the potty!" The pitcher, a rather tall lanky fellow with curly hair shouted. Arnold ignored the rather weak insult and didn't take his eyes off of the ball waiting for the pitch. He'd heard way worse.
"Shut your trap and just throw the stupid ball already since you don't seem capable of doing both at the same time!" A girl by the name of Helga shouted from the outfield. Arnold smiled a little at the retort. She was always quick for the proper comeback and he didn't mind so much as long as it had nothing to do with him.
"Hey, you know what…whatever." The sixth grader turned his attention back to Arnold, and threw his first pitch.
"Strike one!" The catcher, Gerald, Arnold's best friend, shouted before throwing the ball back to the pitcher. Arnold took a deep breath, and got ready for the next pitch.
"See? I knew you couldn't hit any of my pitches," the pitcher said, looking smug.
"You know, it'd be better if you said that after you got him out!" Helga said, adding an eye roll to this newest comment.
"Would you just be quiet?" The pitcher said, turning to look at her.
"Not unless you're willing to pay me on the hour every hour. Can't keep my beautiful voice away from the world for nothing."
He stared and her, then muttered something under his breath that Arnold couldn't catch. Then he threw his next pitch. Arnold swung but didn't feel any connection to the ball.
"Strike two!" Gerald called, all the while tossing the ball back to the pitcher.
"Concentrate Arnold, you can do it!" Eugene, cheered from the bench that posed as the gallery, all the while falling over out of his seat. "I'm okay!"
"Yes Arnold. I'm ever so sure Eugene is right," Lila called from the bench from the left side of Eugene. "You'll get the next one for sure!"
Arnold nodded to let them know he acknowledged them but kept his eyes on the ball as if his life depended on it. As the pitcher let the ball fly out of his hands, Arnold kept his eyes on the ball and watched as it moved in what seemed like slow motion.
"I'm gonna hit it. I know I will." He said to himself and swung the bat with all of his might.
Perhaps if he had kept his eyes opened as he swung, the direction of the ball may have been different, but as it was, he had closed them at just the last second, causing the ball to fly into the outfield, or more accurately, it was making a beeline for Helga's head where it hit her squarely, causing her to black out and fall to the ground.
"Helga!" Arnold recognized the voice as Phoebe's, and opened his eyes. Helga's best friend was running to the spot where Helga had stood. He didn't see Helga there mainly because she was now on the ground.
"Oh no! Not again." Arnold, didn't think about it anymore as he rushed over to Helga like the rest of his classmates were doing.
"It's looking like Arnold done beaned Ms. Helga all over again on a counta he's never been really good at hitting a ball correctly," Stinky said, removing his baseball hat and holding it over his heart.
"Yeah, it should really be illegal for Arnold to use a baseball bat. Whenever he does get a hit someone's always getting hurt," this was from Sid. "I doubt poor Helga here ever saw it coming."
Arnold made his way to the front of the kids, and bent down next on the one side of Helga, with Phoebe being on the other side cradling her head. Phoebe glanced up at Arnold with tears in her eyes. "Arnold, you really must learn to be more careful of how you hit a baseball. There's only so much head trauma one person can take."
"I know Phoebe, I know. I honestly can't believe I did it again. To Helga…again." He looked at Helga who was for some odd reason smiling. "Will she be okay?"
"Well, I'm not a doctor, but we won't know for certain until she opens her eyes." Phoebe brushed back a bang of hair from Helga's forehead. "Arnold can you cradle Helga's head? I'm going to make her a towel to put over her head."
"Sure, yeah I can do that much." He was still quite honestly in shock. How could he have beaned Helga again? Last time she had amnesia. What if she had it again? This time permanently? No, he wouldn't think about it, for now they should probably try to get her to a doctor or something.
Helga stirred as Phoebe shifted her over to Arnold and her smile seemed to get bigger. "Oh, my beloved. How I adore being in your warm, strong arms." She said, causing a blush to come over Arnold's cheeks. He could never forget that sweet way of talking she had that day. Not even if he had really tried. What he didn't notice was how his classmates reacted to this until they began talking.
"Well, there you have it. Arnold's broken Helga," Sid said. "I mean did you hear what she just said? It sounded very unHelga like."
"I hate to agree with you Sid, but you very well may be right about this," Rhonda, a rich, popular girl with fabulous taste in clothes, chimed up. "There is no way that the Helga we know would ever sprout she things. She'd rip out her own tongue if she could hear herself talk. Especially since it's Arnold whom she's resting on. She can't stand him more than anyone else."
It was after this was said that Helga opened her eyes, a dreamy look on her face. She glanced around herself, and smiled up at everyone, then her smile grew as she stared at Arnold's concerned face. She reached up and gently brushed his cheek with her hand. "Oh my darling, how I've dreamed of waking up in your arms and now it has happened. Why it has, I cannot bring myself to care, but I must thank the gods or the heavens for this most wonderful turn of events." She sighed and swooned a little.
"Um, Helga? Are you…um, are you feeling…like yourself?" Arnold struggled to come up with words as he looked at her face. She looked so serene, so happy. He couldn't believe she could look like that.
"Never better, my love. Why do you ask?"
"Well…it's just…you know that…you're not exactly acting like yourself right now."
Helga blinked and stared at everyone once again. He could see it in her eyes that she was remembering where she was, and who had her surrounded. He could see the hesitancy as she slowly brought her eyes back to him. It was another minute before Helga rushed to sit up and grimaced as she did so.
"Ugh, I feel like I was hit by a ten ton truck. I can't believe this moron still doesn't know how to hit a ball without knocking someone out with it. You can trust that I'm sending any and all of my medical bills to the boarding house if I have any brain damage because of you football head."
Arnold blinked. He couldn't believe he felt a bit sad that the other Helga was gone. She was all barbs and sarcasm all over again and he had kind of liked the look she had given him. Not as intense as what she had gave him during, well that rooftop fiasco, but still it was a good look on her.
"Oh Helga! Thank goodness you're okay!" Phoebe ran back over and gave her friend a big hug, the wet towel she brought back dropping from her hands. "I was worried sick over you."
"Yeah, yeah enough of the mushy stuff Pheebs." She stood up, and Arnold saw her grimace again. "I'm good and well see?"
"Thank goodness for that." Sid said. "It was getting a bit creepy to listen to you sprout gibberish, and to Arnold of all people!"
"Well…that doesn't matter since I don't really remember what I said. I was out of it at the time. I probably picked it up from some soapy drama Big Bob watches at times."
"You were saying stuff like you were in love with Arnold!" Harold, a big slovenly boy said, pointing at her and laughing. Helga turned towards him and glared at him, and then swung that glare at everyone around her. "Listen up and listen good. I don't want to know what I said, I don't want to even think I see any of you chuckleheads thinking about and or discussing what I said. Are. We. Clear?" She held up her fists and made sure her glare was even more menacing. "Or should I make pink boy here an example of what could happen to you if you think of disobeying me?"
"No, no Helga. We'll keep our minds and thoughts hush, hush. Won't we Harold?" Sid said nervously, shooting his eyes to Harold.
"Yeah, totally. You won't know that you said-" Stinky placed a hand over Harold's mouth.
"Don't cha worry Helga. I reckon we all understand good and well." Stinky said, with an uneasy grin. Everyone else nodded.
"Um, Helga?" Arnold said, and he watched as she turned around and glared at him, her arms crossed.
"What is it football head? And it really ought to be good since because you decked me and all I was planning on high tailing it on home."
"I just wanted to say that…well I'm glad you're okay." He gave her a soft smile and a half lidded glance. He watched as she surprisingly smiled, and then she opened her mouth as if to speak, and suddenly she covered her mouth with her hands. Frowning at her unusual behavior he raised an eyebrow. "Um, Helga is everything okay?" She nodded her head frantically, and then made a mad dash out of the lot.
Nobody spoke for a second as everyone's eyes stared at the corner Helga turned around as if expecting her to reappear within a moments notice. "Is anyone else as confused as I am about everything that happened after Helga got decked by that baseball?" Gerald asked, moving to stand next to Arnold who had got up after Helga left the lot.
"Yes, Gerald I concur that is probably how we are all feeling," Phoebe spoke, looking worried.
"Well, okay. Glad I'm not the only one."
"Do you really think Helga didn't suffer any brain damage? Maybe she should be heading to the hospital instead of home," Rhonda said, frowning slightly. "I can't say I particularly like Helga, but her behavior has been…mighty unusual considering how she is."
"Oh, I'm sure she'll be fine after a good night's rest!" Eugene spoke up. "I remember this one time when I got hit by a baseball. I was disoriented but okay!"
"Yes, but you're an accident prone little geek. You're used to stuff like that happening to you more than once a day." Rhonda huffed. "To compare the two just isn't quite fair."
The silence this time was more based on agreement with Rhonda. "You know what everyone, I want to double check on Helga just to be sure she really is okay. I cannot help but be a little worried about her suddenly leaving like that." Phoebe said.
"Yeah, I'm still a little…worried about her too." Arnold said. "Let me know how it goes okay?"
Phoebe smiled. "Okay Arnold. Goodbye everyone!"
After everyone said their goodbyes to Phoebe, everyone decided it was time for them to head home as the game was more than finished. As Arnold and Gerald separated from the rest of their classmates, Gerald asked Arnold a question.
"That was really weird…wasn't it?"
"Yes, Gerald it was."
"Then how come unlike the rest of us you didn't seem all that surprised when Helga started saying all of…well that stuff to you?"
Arnold started at that question since Gerald was partially right. Sure he was shocked that she had said all of those things, but surprised, not really. He had heard her speak with that soft voice and say romantic things all before on a rooftop not all that long ago. It shocked him that she would say stuff like that again to him sure, but he already knew she liked him regardless of her agreeing to the 'heat of the moment'. There was no way she could fake that voice…those words. He knew even as she walked away from him that those words were true. He just couldn't find it in himself to go over all that she had said that day and believe it wasn't. Helga G. Pataki liked him. Well…loved him quoting her own words, and the only reason heat of the moment came about was because Arnold was sure she should get an out if she so wanted one to avoid any awkwardness since there was no way at that time he could return her feelings. How could he? His feelings towards girls…well it had changed quite frequently during the fourth grade. He himself wanted an out as well so he could deal with Helga's feelings for him and he knew that if there was going to be…anything between the two of them it'd have to come from him this time. At least that's how he felt before he beaned her again and she started saying romantic nothings that made his heart race a little…
So that's how it was that months later Arnold found himself more than tolerating Helga these days. Every time he felt a spitball hit him, or she tripped him, or even made the water fountain drench him, he knew that the main reason why she did these things to him over anyone else was out of…love.
"Well, Gerald I was more happy she was okay enough to be able to talk to fully worry about the words she was saying."
"Hmm, man that's true. What if Big Bob Pataki sues you, well your grandparents, over it? I guess worrying over a few words Helga for sure never meant was low on your list of priorities."
"Ha, yeah, exactly." Were the words he said, sure, but he had enjoyed her glances and words more than he wanted to admit even to himself. And when she touched his cheek…well, he definitely didn't dislike it as he was sure he should have. He'd even say he liked it enough to want to hear her say stuff like that again. He wasn't sure how he should feel about that.
"Well Arnold my man, it's been real…interesting…today that's for sure. I'll catch ya tomorrow."
"Sure thing Gerald." They did their handshake as a way of goodbye and Arnold went up to his bedroom to stare at the sky before dinner. He couldn't help but wonder if Helga really was okay, if some part of her had meant the words she had said, and why she had run off the way she did. Before he knew it though, he was drifting off into a nap where he had dreams about the potential whys and a smile came across his face as he realized, her meaning any of those words definitely wouldn't be so bad at all.