A/N Okay everyone, a little fact about me, I have been a very dedicated HxA fan since my own tender age of 9 years. ((I'm 22 now)) not only was Hey Arnold my show that taught me various morals but it also taught me the beauty and tragic of romance. After having seen every episode and almost mentally breaking down at the end of the HA movie after wanting Helga to confess for so long, and not to mention having a serious fit as a result of TJM not seeing the light of day YET, I decided that after reading every single HxA fic on here more than twice that it was time to make my own story. I, however, am a beginner so please excuse any grammar or spelling issues. Some aspects of this story I based off of an anime called CLANNAD because it was beautiful and tragic and would fit so well in this world. So I'm going to shut up, get to the disclaimers, and let you enjoy!

Disclaimer: I do not own Hey Arnold or any of the characters involved. I also do not own CLANNAD.

Many have different perspectives on how life is defined. Some would say lovely, complicated, treacherous, passionate even. But whether the thoughts be pleasant, cherishing its value, or bitter enduring its harsh realities, from my experience I've found this fact to be true...that life is short.

So my story begins…

The soft sea breeze blew gently along the shore while also ruffling my simple yet elegant pink sundress. Our hands warmly intertwined as we continued to overlook the awe-inspiring sunset as it reflected in the crystal ocean waters below the lighthouse where we stood. The events of today continued to rush through my mind as I reflected upon each moment, and the power of emotion that I felt and will forever cherish when we each uttered the finalized phrases of "I do."

The magic of the moment still left me breathless; making me question reality as I've done so many times before. I just couldn't help but wonder, "Was this truly a dream? Was this yet another merciless taunting illusion displaying my desire only to be ripped away by the sound of an alarm clock?"

The blinding sparkle of gold on our fingers told me otherwise…

And crimeny was I ever glad for that!

"And you say I always have my head in the clouds." A deep, gentle voice chuckled.

I didn't have to turn around to see that heart stopping smile since just hearing it in his voice made me tremble. I kept my composure however, as always, and smirked at him.

" Yeah well at least I've got a good and valuable reason Bucko!" I softly smiled at the ring on my finger. "I-it's just all so surreal right now ya know? I mean us? Married? After all this time...And after everything we've been through, it's just hard to believe this is real…Like I'm going to wake up any moment in tears again...Either that or recklessly punch something."

"It's very much real...Just like my love for you," His arms encircled me from behind as he continued softly in my ear, "like our love for each other...Only it's official now. So I can understand why it's so overwhelming."

"It goes so much deeper than that though Football Head! I mean, you gotta look at everything in my perspective! I have craved, dreamed, and longed desperately for this very moment before I could even tie my own shoes! I-I fell in something so deep, something meaningful that caused years of tragedy and happiness for so long...I spent my life hiding, yet embracing a passion so strong that couldn't be contained, suffered emotional damage that at the time I never thought was possible, and yet kept going for more...All for you...All because you noticed me in my darkest, loneliest moment. You were there...and became my world...My purpose of living. I stuck with this realization for 21 years straight. Dreaming, wishing that I would someday be yours as well."

To be perfectly clear up front, it's never like me to be so mushy and emotional and crap like I was at that moment, but to see the genuine love and tenderness in my beloved's piercing emerald gaze as he so graciously listened intently, I couldn't help myself...The tears started rolling.

"And to think...on this very day, 15 years ago, I was hiding, crouched down on the floor of the back of your bus seat, losing all hope that...that you'd ever love me...that we'd never reach this moment. Not just because of your stupid nightmare of us married or Rhonda's stupid origami crap, but because of what I put you through. Because I pushed you away so much, no matter how many times I tried so hard to be nice to you...to show the gift of kindness you so benevolently bestowed to me...But I couldn't...I just...just…"

"Oh Helga..." My love tightened his hold on me, eventually turning me around so he could wipe my tears away with the tips of his thumbs. His loving gaze overpowered me as I whispered the rest of my sentiment.

"I just never would have imagined that my deepest fantasy as a toddler could ever come true…"

"But it has." He replied. "And you deserve every bit of happiness. You have always deserved it Helga. You were and always will be worthy of love from me and in general...never forget that. After everything you've been through...There's no doubt in my mind that you are the strongest and bravest woman I have ever known. I always knew from the start that there was something about you...Something that connected me to you so strongly that I couldn't let it go even when you showed your rough exterior. Sure I was pretty dense, but a realization so intense hit me, but only came in bits from the top of the FTI building, to when we nearly got killed finding my parents in the jungle, to where we were separated for so long and reunited as well, to this very moment...That realization is that...I have been and always will be in love with you Helga G. Pataki. Or should I say...Shortman now…" He whispered tauntingly against my lips.

"I'm still ticked that you wouldn't take my surname Bucko." I teased gently nipping at his lips, making him shudder a little.

"My point being, you deserve to be happy. We deserve to embrace this moment and many more to come. So no more tears okay? This is supposed to be a happy moment…" His lips softly touch mine ceasing my playful bites. I added a touch of passion before pulling away and rolling my eyes.

"Humph, always looking on the bright side eh Arnoldo?" I playfully joked while nudging his shoulder. As always, he just shrugged with that annoying yet captivating smile.

"Somebody has to. And just look at the benefits of what looking on the bright side has done for you my Angel...You've come so far, got the guy and everything…" He brushed a strand of my long hair out of my eye.

"You are my bright side Arnold…" I replied seriously as I reached for his shoulders slowly ascending my arms around his neck. "Always have been...Always will be. You're my everything...You're as bright as the sun presenting its warmth and comfort to my once desecrated soul, saving me from the darkest depths of emptiness that would have claimed me from the lack of knowing true love…"

Arnold closed his eyes, taking my words all in while releasing a breath he probably didn't realize he was holding in.

"Gosh...I'll never know how you come up with such words like that on the fly…that's amazing you know that?"

"Well I'm a pretty amazing person Football Head. And love is a pretty amazing emotion...Combine the two together and you got something dangerous…"

"Care to demonstrate?" His voice grows huskier as we decrease the distance between us. Needless to say, in that moment, our lips made sweet love to each other as we grasped each other for dear life. I was actually caught off guard at the passion we were creating in this type of kiss that I could not even describe. All the love and every emotion that we've ever felt or held back for years was released in that moment; all the while welcoming the beginning of our forever…

And we would face it together.

In that moment, as he swept me off my feet whisking me away to the secluded beach house we recently bought, I defined life as... love.