thestoryweaver: baccano: rachel (Default)
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Title: Out of Habit
Fandom: Hey Arnold!
Pairing: Arnold x Helga G. Pataki
Rating: PG-13

"Move it, geekbaits! Chop chop, everyone, or you'll all face Old Betsy here!"

For Helga G. Pataki - and that's me - those words constituted a greeting.

And of course, I wouldn't want to miss the love of my life in my daily morning rituals.

"Football Head! I told you and everyone else in this slimy old school to step on it!"

That's how I usually start the day at P.S. 118.


"Pardon me, Helga, but I can't help feeling a little bit curious." Phoebe remarked quietly as we sat down on our regular place in the cafeteria during lunch time.

"Go on, Phoebs. What is it?"

"I hope you don't get mad, but I find your behavior towards Arnold rather...fascinating, in a better sense of the word."

"Facinating? In what way?"

"Well..." Phoebe pushed her glasses up. "It's obvious you...like him like him."

I snorted at Phoebe's Lila-ish words.

"You have special feelings for him, but why do you...torture him with your fists, your spitballs and your words?"

My only reply was to raise an eyebrow.


Why, indeed?

Every afternoon, Phoebe and I would have the same conversation we just had during lunch time. And everytime I ride the bus home from school, I always think about her question?

Like this morning and during lunch time, I always had a ritual as well on the bus ride. Sitting two seats diagonally away from me was the love of my life, and I wasted no time staring at his very beautiful profile.

"Oh, Arnold, Arnold! Why must I torture you so? Why must I pain you with my thoughtlessness? Your kind, gentle heart surely could not stand the suffering! Oh, cruel Fate! Oh, cruel, cruel Fate! You keep me apart from my heart's desire, and---"

Behind me, I heard the same old raspy wheezing - a clear sign that someone unwanted was stalking me. As usual, I wasted no time raising my fist and punching the pest's face.

"Good old Brainy." I muttered to myself as I heard him fall on the bus floor. "You never disappoint me."


"Olga? Dinner's ready!"

I shrugged, and continued kowtowing to my makeshift Arnold shrine.

"GIRL! ARE YOU DEAF?"

I growled angrily. Parents are such a pain.

"I'LL BE RIGHT DOWN THERE, BOB!" I blew a kiss to Arnold's picture taped on my closet wall and stamped downstairs to dinner.


As usual, Arnold and I were at our usual place, waiting for the school bus. It turns out that that day, Tall Hair Boy---Gerald was being driven to the school by his older brother.

"Helga?"

"What?" I replied irritably as Arnold looked at me, half-expectant and half-afraid. Inside, I sighed. Here we go again.

"Can I ask you something without you introducing Old Betsy and the Five Avengers to my nose?"

I smirked. "That depends on your question, Football Head. So spit it out and stop wasting my time."

"Why are you being so mean? Not just to me, but to everyone else."

I was caught off-guard. "What's it to you?"

"Well, maybe you could be nice for a change. That way, people will like you."

"Nice? Like your precious Lila?" I nearly spat out the words in anger. "You want to be to be like her?"

"No...I didn't say that." Arnold replied diplomatically. "But I wish you could just be nice. I know that..."

...Everyone has their good side, and you're not an exception. You're not as bad as you look. I finished his statement ahead of him in my head. I wish I could, Arnold, but that's impossible. See, I'm in love with you, and I'm only doing this because I want you to notice me.

"Everyone has their good side, and you're not an exception. You're not as bad as you look. So why not try being nice?"

I'm sorry, but this is the only way.

"It's ritual, Arnoldo." The bus arrived, and I sneered back at him as I started shoving people out of my way. "Live with it."
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