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22 July 2009 @ 07:44 pm
Multifaceted [Arnold x Helga]  
Title: Multifaceted
Pairing: Arnold x Helga
Fandom: Hey Arnold!
Genre: General, Introspection
Rating: PG
Word Count: 935



Helga was a complicated person. Not that many people gave her credit for it.

She was belligerent, but she was kind too (if only sometimes). And she could write poetry (Mr. Simmons praised her daily). And she really did care for her friends, was loyal through and through (Phoebe’s testimony).

And yet, all he ever saw was her brutal side.

(and yet he sometimes acknowledged the sweeter side too)

She grimaced and growled, shook her fist up and down, made ugly faces—rictus—and ritualized forms of torment and torture. Helga G. Pataki, that’s right, buddy.

And then, she would smile, go a-ga-ga, gooey and limp, and recite wondrous works of poetry, of marvel, of insight: O Ode To A Football-Head. (Even astounded herself with her lyrics and limericks and just a tad dash of panache here and there.)

Not that he ever noticed.

That Ms. Perfect Li-la!

—not that Helga Pataki would ever admit it anyway—

Arnold, oh Arnold

Arnold? I mean, move it and stay out of my way!”

Just another opportunity lost, but Helga would never stoop so low, so beneath her high and mighty dignity. She was a Pataki, and Patakis were multifaceted, complex, intricate individuals.

(Or so Big Bob put it down meticulously every morning.)


One day (she must’ve woken up on the wrong side of bed) Helga decided to try a different approach. A sort of experiment, just to see how things would go.

And so, she grandly resolved to be kind and cordial and civil to Arnold that day. And maybe, oh maybe, oh maybe (she implored the gods of love and teenage despairs) he wouldn’t notice a thing.

But he did.

It happened around lunchtime. She hadn’t sent a ricocheting spitball or two his way the entire morning. No smashed-in ballpoint pens, dripping ink. No taunts, jests, or foul words. She was a perfect angel that morning.

And he was suspicious (as was natural).

“Helga, is something wrong?”

Of course something is wrong, you imbecile, you Football-headed baboon!

“No, no, just fine, Arnold. Thank you for asking.”

Conversation stopped. Tick-tock.

He gave her a quizzical look, a hesitant smile, and sauntered away as if nothing ever happened. Nothing did, you idiot.


Two days later (sick in bed with the flu for the weekend) Helga had a new idea forming, fomenting, in the back of her head.

She had it all enumerated, adumbrated, symbolized, and jauntily scribbled down.

These things took time (time she did not have to squander). So, Helga was willing to try it again, extend the timeframe—if you will—and see where kindness will take this. (Her money was on nowhere. Kindness, what a ruse, what an absolute joke.)


Arnold was surprisingly…surprised.

(thought he would just move on)

He took her new persona with grace, inquired into its origins, but accepted that Helga might have changed…for the better (he silently added).

At least there were no more spitballs, gum-wrappers, and exploded ink in his hair.

But Gerald wasn’t the least bit convinced. Helga Pataki was not someone to do something nice without getting a favor in return. It was only a matter of time, of exemplified waiting—an artful patience—and Helga will show her true colors.

(Arnold had his doubts but humored Gerald along. Maybe Helga really had changed.)


He invited her to sit with them at lunch, thought it was only natural. Because, really, Helga was already “one of the guys” in so many ways.

She could kick a ball farther than any of them and knew how to throw a mean punch (Arnold had first-hand experience to bear witness).

So, he could call it inevitable that she joined the rest of the gang. Plus, she could out-eat any of them too, but that was a bit too embarrassing for public knowledge.

Her head was spinning, this can’t be real.

Did Arnold actually invite her? —Yes.

A miracle. She accepted.


It had been a grievous mistake. He didn’t “mean to”, it sort of “just happened”.

“Boy, did you throw that sucker.”

Arnold trembled inside with dread and trepidation. It was like an ugly déjà vu all over again. The baseball, the bat, Helga knocked out with amnesia.

(Except this time, she survived with a mere bump and a head-rush of brilliant, bursting lights. He sighed in relief and helped her off dusted off her sleeves, and led her to a nice bench to rest.)

And she didn’t even scream at him for a second. That was incredible.


Helga was going to lose her mind.

Frustrated, furious, and fast dissolving into a puddle mess.

How she loathed being nice.


Patakis are multifaceted, complex, intricate individuals.

(And she will remember that, quote back verbatim. “Yes, Big Bob,” voice dripping in sarcasm.)


As if by some cruel twist of fate, her deepest, fondest desire came true (and that was what they called desideratum). What a bunch of baloney, total tom-foolery.

She was suffering, and she’s had enough of this nonsense.

She could dispense with the pretenses, even forgo his ever-so-sought-after friendship if only to be herself again. And there was no point in being so overbearingly nice.

“Football-Head!” and it felt too good to say it aloud.

Arnold turned his head in shock, thinking perhaps he misheard. (Perhaps this past month of Helga being nice was all a dream.)

“That’s right, you heard me, Football-Head.”

And he stepped aside, let her pass and made a sweep of his arm, like an ideal gentleman. She scowled, and he smiled—just a bit.

Helga was a complicated person.


der anonym: flowerstemari778 on July 29th, 2009 02:33 am (UTC)
I sure do miss this show. xD Great fic.
Y U no auto-translate?lye_tea on July 29th, 2009 02:37 am (UTC)
I miss it too. :( This is what illegal downloading is for.

Thanks! ^^
Emily_confunded_ on August 26th, 2010 03:01 pm (UTC)
I like your use of parenthesis. Very unique style.
And I loved "Kindness, what a ruse, what an absolute joke." - Very Helga.