This is a little bonus, optional epilogue for this story I wrote based on TJM. You can consider it canon or not, it's just something small and fun I came up with. I hope you like it.
Of Jungle Dreams and Romantic Scenes
"Arnold? You who, Arnold? Snap out of it already," Helga said dryly as she waved a hand in front of Arnold's face.
He had been staring forward with wide eyes but now he blinked and cleared his throat as he returned to the present moment. "Sorry, Helga, I just…that story was, um…wow."
Helga shrugged and reclined back a little more on his red couch. "Hey, I told you that between dreams and daydreams about ways we could have gotten together right after FTi, I'd come up with some doozies. That one was mostly dreamt though over two or three months."
Arnold raised an eyebrow. "Does Brainy actually like you?"
"Uh…" Helga cleared her throat, "it's a little complicated. But believe me, either way he knows that I do not like him."
"And you know I don't like Lila anymore, right?" He looked at her eyes.
Helga nodded, smiling a little again. "Yeah, believe me, I know at this point."
Arnold blushed slightly then glanced down and swallowed. " Um…in your dream, you had us kissing…a lot."
Helga just smirked and blushed a little too. "Hey, they were my dreams and I did what I wanted in them."
"I guess." He smiled a little then looked forward awkwardly again. "But, um…does that mean you…want us to be kissing that much?"
Helga blinked, and her blushing darkened. "I-I don't know. I mean, it sound nice but…there's a big difference between fantasy and reality, after all. Do…you want to be kissing that much?"
His blush darkened now. "I, uh…sort of preferred the end of your story where we both decided to take things slower."
"Hmm…in a weird way I think I did too," Helga added softly, smiling a little more.
The two kids glanced at each other and then shared a warm chuckle.
Arnold sighed and tilted his head back to gaze up at the clouds through his skylight. "Helga…thanks for telling me about your dream. It helped."
"Hey," she tilted her head back to look up at the clouds too, "I just figured you needed to know that you're not the only one capable of having recurring stressful illogical dramatic fantasies play out in your head at night after a traumatic adventure." Her voice softened. "Your mind has a lot to work through about your parents and what happened in San Lorenzo. It makes sense that you might have some nightmares about none of it being real. And it's okay if you need time. And if you want to talk, I'm always here for you, Football Head."
She gave his shoulder a light punch and Arnold picked his head up to meet her gaze again. "I know. And that makes me feel happy. Really." And then he came forward with a big smile and wrapped his arms around her in a tight hug.
Helga stiffened up and then melted completely; her voice became airy as her eyes hazed. "Aw sheesh, Arnold, you always get so mushy." She giggled, unable to help herself.
Arnold pulled back with his eyes hazed as well. "Well, you're sort of nice to be mushy with."
Helga blinked then blushed again and rolled her eyes. "Heh, talk about a corny line, Football head. A-Anyway you're getting us off topic." She put on her best firm look. "From now on if you wake up from one of these dreams about your parents not being here, you're going to call me. I don't care what time it is. Okay?"
Arnold sighed but nodded with a smile. "Okay. As long as you promise me you won't walk over here in the middle of the night to talk to me about it in person. I don't want you out after dark alone and in the cold like that. Deal?"
Helga sighed but nodded. "You drive a hard bargain but deal." She shook his hand as they shared a smile.
Helga released his hand. "So now that I've finished telling you a wacky rendition of mine about our love being inevitable, what do you want to do?"
"Gerald invited us on a double date with him and Phoebe to Dino Land later. I know we were both a little shy over the summer about going out on actual public dates so…I think he thought this would be a good transition. As long as you want to." Arnold shrugged.
"You know, I think I'd like that, Football Head." A bit of her blush returned, and she lightly chuckled. "Us…dates… It does have a nice ring to it."
Arnold chuckled a little too. "And whenever it's okay to touch you while we're on them, just let me know and we can hold hands."
Her smile grew sheepish. "We'll see. I guess I'm just a little shy about the touching in public. Who knew?"
"I'm okay with whatever you're comfortable with, Helga." Arnold gave her a warm look.
Her eyes hazed again. "Holding hands might be okay out on a date. After all, one of these days I'd like to make good night kisses a traditional end to our dates, and those definitely require touching."
Arnold blushed and smiled more. " Yeah, that would be nice." He swallowed. "If…If you're not ready for that yet though, we could always take care of the goodnight kiss before the date when we're still alo—"
Helga came forward and set her lips gently to his. Arnold blinked but then closed his eyes and kissed her in return.
When they separated Helga was smirking and Arnold had a wobbly smile. "You're adorable when you flirt, Football Head. And thanks for the offer of private kisses. I may take you up on that again in the future."
"Whatever you say, Helga." Arnold just collapsed back against his couch with a big smile.
Helga chuckled. "How much time do we have to kill before meeting Gerald and Phoebe?"
"An hour," Arnold sighed blissfully.
"All right. Want to grab some ice cream at Slausens in the meantime? You can grin while I try to act all awkwardly casual in front of our friends because for some wacky reason you think it's cute when I do that."
He laughed, finally coming out of his daze. "It is pretty cute. I…think they're all aware there's something going on with us, Helga. And I really don't think they mind. We're all in sixth grade now and a lot more mature than we were a few years ago."
"Doesn't matter, old instincts die hard. But I'm getting better about it." She hopped up, walked over to his bed, then started to climb the steps to his fire escape window. "Now, chop chop, Football Head. You need to relax and have some fun to help take your mind off your bad dreams, and I'm just the girl to make sure it happens."
Arnold watched her with a smile and then followed. "I know you are. You can make anything happen, Helga. It's kind of amazing."
"Aw quit sucking up!" she chided playfully as she got onto the fire escape and Arnold followed suite.
The two kids climbed down to the street and headed toward Slausens, laughing and talking the entire way…and holding hands without even realizing it. And Arnold had a good feeling for the first time that his nightmares about his parents still being missing would stop very soon.
Thank you all for reading and reviewing. And a special thank you to anyone who has been waiting since this story was first started a very long time ago for an ending. I appreciate your patience and your readership. You guys are all a wonderful group.
Everyone, take care!
~Azure129 aka Jenna