A/N: Before anyone argues "Crush on Teacher" came after his crush on Ruth, that episode was held back from Season 1 (you can tell from the animation quality), so… yeah. XD


Subconsciously

Purring

A light snore came from the dark form, sitting slumped in his seat with his arms crossed and his head fallen over on his chest.

"Dark, psst, wake up." Someone nudged him in the arm.

He just mumbled something incoherent, not opening his eyes or moving.

"Dark Arnold, wake up... Don't make me hug you."

Dark Arnold's eyes immediately flew open and he sat up straight as a board. "I'm up! I'm up!" He shook his head, rubbing the side of his face and eye to try and come fully into the world of the conscious… or rather, 'subconscious.'

"Thank goodness you're up." Dark Arnold shifted his eyes over to Affectionate Arnold, who had just said these words, and was looking very relieved that he was awake now.

Dark Arnold blinked. "Urrgh…" he groaned slightly, straightening out his clothes a little and running a hand through his hair, more awake now. "What'd I miss?"

Honest Arnold spoke this time from his other side, surprising his still-awakening mind a little. "Arnold has found himself a new crush."

"Oh." Dark Arnold's face went dry. "Well, great. Who is it this time? I thought he was still crushing on Ruth."

"Apparently not enough for him to not get a crush on a second girl…" In Love Arnold said with a bit of an attitude. It was clear he was ticked that Arnold was going crazy over all these girls that weren't Helga. In Love Arnold would get like this every once in a while, and it was more than understandable in a time when Arnold was crushing on two girls instead of just one, both of which were not the girl he'd been subconsciously pining over for years.

Dark Arnold blinked at that one, and raised an eyebrow. "He's crushing on two girls at the same time?"

"Yes," Honest Arnold answered this time. "But it would seem this crush will only be temporary, though."

"Well, I should hope so." Dark Arnold smirked. "If he never got over these girls, whatever would we do?"

"Seriously, Dark," Affectionate Arnold said. "He's crushing on his substitute teacher."

Dark Arnold actually froze at that one; his face went blank and all he could do was blink two very slow blinks… before bursting into laughter, a surprising yet not so surprising reaction for him. After a few seconds of leaning back against the wall and shaking with laughter, he managed to burst out with, "Oh, please don't tell me she feels the same way!" He laughed.

Honest Arnold smiled, feeling a bit amused now too at the entire situation. "Well, we don't think so. She seems to be obsessed with the name 'Arnold' so Arnold went all goofy over the attention. She even recited a love poem with the name Arnold all over in it! Or at least…" he blinked, looking down a moment in confusion, "we thought it had his name all over in it. While she was reading he started daydreaming and we kinda just lost the image after that point." He shrugged. "But she picked a love poem specifically by someone with the name Arnold, and made Arnold move to a closer desk to her. We don't think it's because she likes him, but it is odd. Why does she seem so obsessed with Arnold's name?"

Affectionate Arnold shrugged and added in, "Arnold thinks he was invited over to her house for dinner so he's over there now, but she seemed surprised when he showed up at her door. Gerald overheard that she was inviting 'Arnold' over to her house for dinner from the teacher's lounge, and Dense Arnold was practically doing backflips across the room. None of this makes sense."

Dark Arnold gave them all an incredulous look before just all out snorting and rolling his eyes at their clueless expressions. "Okay, wow. You guys have obviously been spending too much time around Dense Arnold. Obviously she was talking about another Arnold, and if she seemed to favor the name so much, was reading a love poem by 'Arnold,' and was inviting someone named Arnold over to her house, then it's probably someone she's romantically interested in." His expression went dry again at seeing their faces light up in realization. "You guys scare me sometimes." He crossed his arms over his chest, his face still dry. "Why did you wake me up for all this if it's just some random crush that'll be over tomorrow?"

"W-We just, um…" In Love Arnold began, blushing incredibly brightly, but looking very amused.

"We didn't want you to miss the show," Honest Arnold said for him, grinning.

"Miss the show?" Dark Arnold questioned, raising an eyebrow at him. "What are you talking about?"

"Oh, oh! You guys! He's doing it now!" Affectionate Arnold said loudly, opening his eyes after having had them closed.

In Love and Honest Arnold both grinned and quickly shut their eyes, as Affectionate Arnold did the same. Dark Arnold just observed this a moment before closing his own eyes curiously, and watched the scene unfold…

Miss Felter smiled, putting her hands on her hips. "It's almost dinner time. Shouldn't you be heading—"

"Ah, you set a beautiful table, my fair senorita!" Arnold burst out suddenly, before rubbing his hands together, grinning, and… purring! Loudly and almost eagerly!

And right at that moment when the purr burst from his lips, the same purr burst from Dark Arnold's, completely against his will. All the Arnolds eyes burst open at hearing the same purr come from Dark Arnold, including Dark Arnold's, and they all sat stiffly a moment as it sunk in…

"Did he…" Dark Arnold started, his face contorted into a rather odd expression, "Did he just… use me…?"

Honest Arnold blinked, his eyes still wide, along with the other two Arnold's. "It would appear so."

"And he used me to…" Dark Arnold closed his eyes tight and shuddered hard, his hands turning to fists, "to purr to his stupid adult crush?"

The three other Arnolds shuddered a bit themselves at his furious tone.

Dark Arnold merely continued, his voice straining with the rage he was desperately trying to repress. But it was hard to repress something when you were in a subconscious and didn't have one yourself. He said, "The first time he ever uses me for something actually romantic… and it's for some woman named Ms. Felter? Not Helga, but Ms. Felter?" He was shaking.

Honest Arnold frowned deeply in concern at his friend. "Dark, try to calm down, please. He couldn't have known—"

"He couldn't have known! He couldn't have known!" Dark Arnold finally just burst, standing up from his seat and practically seething. "That's what you guys always say! That's always his excuse! Well, he's gone too far this time! And what of Gerald?" he yelled suddenly, scowling darkly. "He's not helping! He got him into this situation! If it hadn't been for him none of this would have happened! Arnold would have just kept on thinking she was the one with the crush and soon forgotten about it and never thought about it again! Why won't Gerald help him? Doesn't he understand what he's doing? Honest," he turned his angry eyes to Honest Arnold, who blinked in slight shock at his dark gaze suddenly descending upon him, "I thought you said Gerald suspected Arnold liked Helga! Why is he trying to help him get with some random thirty-year-old if that's so true?"

"Shhh!" Affectionate Arnold suddenly burst, cutting off whatever Dark Arnold had it in his angry head to say next. They all looked at him and Affectionate Arnold looked back with his finger over his mouth, signaling them to be quiet, and then shut his eyes, implying there was something going on. The other Arnolds quickly followed suit.

"Arnold," Miss Felter said warmly with a smile, glancing over at the very handsome man by her side, "I want you to meet Arnold Skelter. He's my fiancé." Arnold Skelter's teeth sparkled and his deep brown eyes glistened attractively in their half-lidded position. "We're getting married in June."

Mr. Skelter reached a tanned hand over to shake Arnold's, still with that grin practically plastered to his perfect face. "Darn glad to meet ya, Arnold."

"So-o…" Arnold began as he took his hand back, his face and voice very blank, "you're Arnold…"

Miss Felter smiled prettily, some understanding starting to come to her lavender-eyeshadowed eyes. "There's been a bit of a mix up here, hasn't there?"

"Yeah, I guess there has," Arnold said, looking a cross between disappointed, awkward, and defeated. "I'm sorry, I-I thought…"

Miss Felter crouched down to his level and put a hand on his arm comfortingly, still with that understanding smile, "Agh, Arnold, I'm glad you came over. I like Arnolds. You're a good kid."

Arnold smiled. "Thanks." He looked down then, the awkwardness of the situation hitting him once more. "I-I better get home."

As Arnold walked down the steps of her stoop and down onto the sidewalk, he heard Miss Felter say, "Don't stop being Arnold."

The Arnolds in his subconscious all opened their eyes at that point, their expressions all much calmer, Dark Arnold's especially.

Affectionate Arnold cleared his throat and said, "Uh, Dark, you're not still angry are you?"

Dark Arnold sighed, sitting back down into his seat, his eyebrows furrowing. "I am," he grumbled, crossing his arms over his chest. "I just can't believe the first time he ever uses me for something romantic… and it's to try and woo someone… someone…" He shut his eyes in pain.

In Love Arnold frowned sympathetically and put a shaky hand on Dark Arnold's shoulder, trying to comfort him. "We know, Dark, we know. We're sorry this happened to you."

Dark Arnold growled a little in frustration and ran both his hands through his hair roughly, making In Love Arnold withdraw his hand. He then said, "I'm just so disgusted with this situation."

"Well, look at it this way," Affectionate Arnold said, smiling kindly, "Arnold wasn't trying to woo another woman, he was just practicing for when he's going to purr to Helga."

There was a moment of silence.

Then Dark Arnold grinned and uncurled his fists, starting to rub his hands together a little. "Well, that would be one way to look at it, now wouldn't it?" His eyes went half mast. All anger was gone, much to the relief of all the Arnolds.

"P-Purr to H-Helga?" In Love Arnold's quivery voice came, and he was just sitting in his little corner with his eyes wide and both hands grabbing at his chest, under which his heart was pounding harder than ever before.

Affectionate Arnold shot his gaze over to In Love Arnold and made a small noise of sympathy before scooting over to give him a hug and try to calm his nerves.

Dark Arnold just continued grinning though, and looked over at In Love Arnold's shaky form and said, "Oh, come on, Love. Can you just imagine how Helga would react if we suddenly came up to her and went…" He leaned over then, the tips of his dark blonde hair falling over into his face a little as he grinned and purred as charmingly as he could.

In Love Arnold's eyes rolled up into the back of his head a moment, and he very nearly passed out right then, but after a moment he managed to blink himself out of it and shuddered very hard instead. Affectionate Arnold pulled back and patted him on the back.

"You know," Honest Arnold said suddenly, looking thoughtful, and they all looked at him, "don't you guys find it interesting that as soon as Miss Felter's 'feelings' for him became more and more real to him, the more almost… panicked and repulsed he acted?"

Dark Arnold blinked, raising an eyebrow. "What do you mean?"

"Actually, now that you mention it," Affectionate Arnold cut in before Honest Arnold could talk, an eyebrow of his own raised up in observation, "I did notice Arnold seemed more like he just wanted to get out of the situation more than have his crush reciprocated."

"Do you think he has a fear of commitment?" In Love Arnold asked, fear in his eyes.

"Or he has a fear of ever having his affections reciprocated by anyone that isn't Helga," Honest Arnold said, smiling. "Like he has some subconscious fear that he'll get tied down by someone and not be available for Helga to admit to her feelings."

"That's what I'm afraid of," In Love Arnold said, pouting a little in his corner.

Dark Arnold rolled his eyes a little. "Heck, who of us isn't afraid of that?"

"Well, there you go, you guys." Honest Arnold grinned, his eyes sparkling. "He was tuning in on us!"

"He was tuning in on me specifically, though," Dark Arnold pointed out.

"Unless," Affectionate Arnold countered, looking intrigued by this entire conversation, "he's always been tuning in on us… just… unconsciously…"

All of this had been slowly starting to process in Dark Arnold's ever articulating mind, and it was at this moment he finally just sat up and exclaimed excitedly (completely against his normally dark and dismal way of talking), "You think we're actually starting to gain some control of him without his knowing?"

Honest Arnold grinned just as excitedly, clasping his hands in front of himself. "I believe so!"

"Oh!" Dark Arnold grinned, straightening up his tie and smoothing back his hair a little, feeling the need to spruce up a bit for an occasion such as this. "To think it might actually be starting to happen… Are you hearing all this, In Love? He's finally starting to acknowledge us! Honest Arnold said it, so it must be true!"

In Love Arnold just grinned back, sitting up for once with his big green eyes filled to the brim with hope. "R-Really? You think it's really possible?"

Affectionate Arnold went on in his own excitement, "We're finally starting to creep our ways into his conscious a little."

"Not to say we haven't always been doing that," Honest Arnold brought up, "This may just be the first time we ever actually noticed."

"Who cares?" In Love Arnold exclaimed, supporting his head in his hands with his elbows propped up on his knees. His eyes were big and dreamy, as they usually were, but now there was a note of happiness glistening in them, something that hadn't been there before. "The point is that he's starting to at least act accordingly… now all we have to do is wait for it all to get so dramatic for him that he can't deny that he's… absolutely crazy for Helga G. Pataki…" He shuddered hard.

Dark Arnold sat back and smiled a little, his eyes out of focus, and clasped his hands in front of himself on his stomach. Normally in times like this (they were very rare, but they did come every few years), he would be telling them all to calm down and try to think more realistically. But this time… he could just feel it. This was real, something was starting to give, just a little. And even in his darkest of times, in his most depressed of states, he knew he could not deny that. He would not deny them all their happiness this time… After six years, they deserved a break, and it would seem they'd gotten it. And so, with these happy thoughts bouncing around in his… slightly less dark mind, he simply mused, "Perhaps we won't have to wait so long to purr to her after all…"


A/N: OR he just has a fear of having a full-fledged relationship with some chick twenty years older than him. :P I know I'D be very unnerved if any of my grown up crushes suddenly felt the same way. XDXDXD

Anywho, review, my lovelies. ;) Oh! Also, I'm dedicating the purring to Azure129 just 'cause. XD :x

AND THAT IS ALL!

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