primroseshows: made by me (nino: a piece of literature)
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IMPROMPTU COMMUNITY FIC!!!!!

I'd be writing an Arashi fic right now but I'm feeling decidedly unfunny today, so unfortunately, that train ain't movin'. Which is weird, since Community is a sitcom, so why would I spontaneously write a fic for it instead? Well I can tell you it's certainly not because I'm crushing mad hard on the show and Donald Glover and Danny Pudi and the trifecta of perfection that is Annie-Troy-Abed, okay. Okay?

Rated G; no explicit pairings; Annie, Abed, Troy; 1,500 words; not read through, barely thought out, I regret nothing.



Annie decides to move out halfway through their second year together, after she gets the scholarship to go to Cambridge for an exchange. Troy and Abed had offered to keep her room the way it was for when she came back, but Annie’s smile had been a little wobbly when she’d politely declined.

“I’d stay here forever if I could, you guys,” she’d said, wringing her hands together, “but sometimes, when life pushes us in a different direction, we have to let things go.”

“Even if they’re awesome things?” Troy had demanded. “Because that’s crazy. Awesome things should keep on going forever.”

“I need to make room in my life for new awesome things,” Annie had explained quietly, and the way that her eyebrows had furrowed inwards told Abed that yes, she was being serious. This was Annie’s serious face. Then it was Annie’s I’m-sorry face, then Annie’s It’s-going-to-be-okay face, and Annie was speaking in her I’m-two-seconds-from-bursting-out-in-tears voice, so Abed had said, “Okay, cool,” and had quickly left the room.

In the weeks leading up to the trip, Abed catches Annie giving him worried glances and guilty looks– more so than usual. He overhears a conversation between Annie and Troy, talking about if he (Abed) is okay, if he’s mad at her for leaving, if this is why he’s being cold with her.

It starts to create a tension that makes the commercial breaks during their TV nights stretch into infinity, so one Thursday night, after the ending credits for The Office start running, Abed turns to Annie sitting on the recliner (it’s Abed’s turn on the floor) and says, “I’m not angry at you.”

“Oh,” Annie says, then, “Oh!” Then she beams at Abed, and Abed can see her shoulders relax in a way that is probably a good sign. “I was afraid that – I mean, I’ll always love the time I lived here with you guys, so much, so it’s definitely not because I want to move out, but I’ll be going to London and who knows what’ll happen afterwards so I just don’t want you guys to wait on me. But I thought you might be mad at me because I was leaving.”

“Why would I be mad?” Abed asks. “I expected it to happen.”

Annie’s mouth stutters open. “Well – I,” she starts. “Abed.” Her eyes go a little wet. Abed hadn’t meant to do that.

“It’s okay,” he says hurriedly. “It’s not you. It’s because everyone leaves eventually.”

Annie frowns, but she’s wearing her I’m-sorry face, so Abed supposes that means her feelings aren’t hurt.

“Dude,” Troy says, nudging Abed’s back with his foot. “Kinda dark.”

Abed shrugs and turns back to the TV.

So it all more or less goes back to normal after that. Annie stops treating Abed like someone who’s offended by the air she breathes, and Abed stops feeling uncomfortably oppressed whenever he’s left alone with her.

The night before she’s set to fly out, the three of them have one last stay-up-all-night-a-thon together. Annie’s goodbye party was earlier that evening at Jeff’s place, which had plenty of beer and Troy’s favorite no-no juice, so none of them are particularly coherent when Troy decides it’s the best idea ever to play Timewarp Truth or Dare, which is just like regular Truth or Dare, except ten times faster, so there’s no time for thinking or preparing, just doing.

After two rounds, Troy’s wearing his underwear outside his pants, Annie has a happy-face Sharpied on her forehead, and Abed’s wearing Jeff’s nipple guards under his open shirt (Annie had refused to say how she managed to steal them, but just wait till her next turn).

“Truth!” yells Troy, thumping his fist on the ground.

“Rank the study group from who you most want to sleep with to least,” Abed shoots out.

“Damn it dude, I hate you! That is awesome! Okay -- Britta, Annie, you, me in some weird doppleganger scenario, Jeff, Pierce, Shirley.”

“Shirley after Pierce?!” Annie shrieks, doubling over in laughter.

“SHE REMINDS ME TOO MUCH OF MY MOM OKAY,” Troy hollers, then rounds on Abed. “Truth or dare!”

Abed opens his mouth, but Troy powers through. “Too slow!” he crows. “Truth, you pick truth! Same question!”

“You, Annie, Britta, Shirley, Jeff, Pierce.”

“What!” Annie gasps dramatically. “I can’t believe you picked Troy over me!”

“I can,” Troy says. “Just look at these guns.” He flexes his right arm and kisses the bulge of muscle. Annie pretends to punch him in the face. Troy ducks and grabs her in a headlock. Pretty soon they’re wrestling across the carpet, getting popcorn everywhere and ruining Annie’s carefully braided hair.

“I’m prettier!” Annie shouts, shoving at Troy’s chest. “Say it!”

“No! I’m prettier! Abed likes me better!” Troy shouts back, grabbing Annie’s wrists and grinning.

“You are not! No he doesn’t!”

Abed’s eyes track their haphazard movements, sloppy but energetic, and sees their trajectory: their dining table. Covered in leftovers from that morning’s breakfast. He feels something pinch, hard, in his gut just as Troy’s back collides forcefully with a table leg and Abed’s Star Wars plate comes crashing to the ground.

“STOP,” Abed roars.

Troy and Annie freeze. They both stare up at him.

Abed rushes to pick up the plate – it’s not broken, it’s plastic, of course it wouldn’t break, it won’t break, it’s not the same as before, it’s not broken, this isn’t broken, they aren’t broken –

“Abed, buddy,” Troy’s voice says.

Abed lifts up his gaze. He’s sitting on his recliner, wrapped in a blanket that smells like Annie’s perfume. His hands are still clutching his plate, knuckles white. Troy’s hand is resting firmly on Abed’s shoulder. Troy’s kneeling on the ground in front of him. Annie stands behind him, fingers clasped in front of her, mouth pulled tight. It’s her Things-are-terrible-right-now face.

“You okay?” Troy asks.

“I—” Abed says. He’s going to say yes. Yes, I’m fine. Everything’s fine. I just had a weird moment there, don’t worry. It’s nothing. It’s nothing.

Before his mother left them, Abed’s parent had had one last huge fight, where doors were slammed, papers were ripped, and plates were broken. The plates had been an accident. Abed wasn’t supposed to have come downstairs from his room, wasn’t supposed to have approached his parents who were too caught up in their argument to notice his presence; he wasn’t supposed to have tried to reach for his mother to get her to stop making her angry-sad-red-wet-expression, the plate was slammed on the counter and its shards weren’t supposed to fly into six-year-old Abed’s face.

The sharp edge of the ceramic plate broke up Abed’s skin, just like how Abed broke up his family.

Abed hadn’t cared about the cut. He hadn’t blamed his mother. He hadn’t wanted her to leave. He doesn’t want her to leave. He doesn’t want her to go.

“Oh, Abed,” Annie whispers, and Abed realizes that he’d been unconsciously narrating aloud. She’s crying. Abed hadn’t meant to do that. He never means to make anyone cry.

“I know you’re not my mother,” Abed says, feeling sick.

Annie takes two steps to him and wraps him in her arms, burying her head in his shoulder.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” she repeats over and over, and Abed remembers that one of her parents left her too.

“Come back for Christmas, okay,” Abed says, carefully pressing one hand to Annie’s heaving back.

“Okay,” Annie nods, in between sobs. “Okay, Abed.”

A new semester starts and ends: Annie sends emails and postcards and calls sometimes; Troy and Abed turn her old room into a storage area for costumes and props. Troy had asked Abed just once if he wanted to move their bunk bed back in, but to be honest, after going full blanket fort, Abed can’t go back. They agree that the room is better off as a space to put their junk because they’ve got so much of it. They keep Annie’s bed in the corner though, just in case.

On December 6, the last day of school, Troy and Abed duck out of classes early to head to the airport. They wait there for nearly two hours, playing every conceivable word game in either of their repertoires, but finally they spot a familiar brunette striding through the Arrivals gate, wheeling a large pink suitcase and wearing a blue backpack with about a hundred buckles. She’s got a headband on with brown felt antlers, and she’s wearing a red Rudolph nose.

“Hi you guys!!” Annie squeals, running across the marbled floor to meet them.

“Annie!” Troy shouts, sweeping her off her feet with a hug. Over his shoulder, Annie reaches out an arm and grabs Abed’s hand.

“Welcome home,” Abed tells her. “Glad you didn’t get lost over the Atlantic like in those old school flying movies.”

“Rudolph always knows the way,” Annie grins, and touches her plush nose. She’s wearing her Everything-is-good face.

Abed doesn’t even need to remind himself to smile back.

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