Annie's email arrives in Troy's inbox before Annie does the greater Greendale area. He opens the Evite in his bed, where he's been spending a lot of time lately. Troy's slept plenty of nights here alone, both pre- and post-Britta, but it's different somehow without knowing Abed's in the other room.
God, even Troy's tired of hearing himself mope.
He gets a bowl of Count Chocula to read about the party. It's entitled Welcome Home Troy! and in the space for organization , Annie has entered Save Greendale Committee. That's good, familiar, but there are a few names on the guest list he doesn't recognize. It makes sense that they'd fill the table again, but it still kind of stings. Frankie and Elroy sound super lame.
Troy shows up an hour early to the party in jeans and a button-down and a bow tie (LeVar Burton taught him how to tie one at sea—lots of time to practice), ostensibly to help set up, but really to ask for advice. He finds Annie trying to hang a banner above the chalk board.
"Annie," he says, and doesn't have time to get out anything else, because she drops her banner and jumps from her stool and crushes him in a hug.
It's a good hug, at least thirty seconds, but everything has to come to an end. They break apart, smiling, Annie's hands still on his shoulders like he'll blow away in the breeze.
"I can't believe you're back," she says. All Troy can do is grin and nod and hug her again. It's awesome seeing Annie excited like this, and weird that it's still her inside the body of this mature, serious-looking lady.
Apparently, that's all the time they have for a reunion. Annie has a lot of pre-party tasks.
"I plan much better parties now," she says, preening. "No skittles, taco shells, or NPR podcasts."
"Aw, Britta will be so disappointed."
Troy follows Annie around like a very loyal dog, handing her tape and pins and glitter glue, which is apparently a crucial last-minute party supply. There hasn't been the right moment to tell her about Abed yet, but he knows it's coming. Annie is the person he has to talk about this with, no matter how busy she is. Annie and Abed kissed during second paintball, and almost kissed when Abed was that guy from Mad Men, so they clearly have a connection. Troy wonders if he should maybe be jealous about this, but he isn't.
"Annie," he finally says, when no more streamers can physically fit on the wall. It comes out strangled enough that Annie puts down her party supplies and looks him in the eye. "Annie, I don't know what to do, you have to tell me what to do. I love Abed and I'm back in Greendale and he's not here and that was never supposed to happen. I was never supposed to go on a boat with LeVar Burton and never come back and he was never supposed to go to California. And I need. I need you to tell me what to do." Troy is crying by now, and when Annie opens her arms, he accepts.
"You have to go to him, Troy," Annie finally says.
" Go to him? " Troy repeats.
"Abed is nothing like Blade," Annie says, like she can read his thoughts. "And anyway, we have to call him first."
"Right," Troy says. This is exactly why he wanted to talk to Annie; she's rational and businesslike and, of course, right. "We call Abed, and then we go to California."
Annie picks back up her glitter glue. "But first, we party."
Ten minutes later, they're done. Troy and Annie sit down on the couch to appreciate their work, and Annie sighs peacefully. Now Troy feels like a telepath; he can almost hear her think how nothing is more pleasing than planning the perfect party , but Annie stays silent for a few minutes.
Finally, she gets up and wipes her hands on her skirt. "We all got a lot gayer this year," she says, almost as an afterthought.
"What?" Troy splutters.
"You'll see," Annie says, and, right on cue, the first of the guests begin to arrive.
Troy's mouth literally falls open as Annie Kim saunters into Study Room F and kisses his Annie—his Annie—on the cheek.
"Hey, honey," she says.
"Annie, you remember Troy," Annie says. This is clearly the darkest timeline; Abed is in California and Troy is shaking Annie Kim's hand . He holds back a shudder, if only for Annie's sake.
Britta arrives a few minutes on the arm of a dark-haired woman Troy recognizes from the Evite as Frankie Dart. He's kind of glad to have already discovered his feelings for Abed; he would feel pretty out of place at this part pre-gay awakening. Although, Jeff does show up with a girl, and Troy can feel Pierce's ghost making gross comments at everyone.
There are hugs, and some introductions, and while Troy really did miss Britta and Jeff and Annie, he feels weirdly squirmy through the whole thing. Annie said they could call Abed an hour into the party, and every word he says until then feels like filler.
Troy checks the clock more than he did in high school geometry. Finally, it's been an hour, and he drags Annie away from her conversation with Britta and Frankie. It sounded like they were talking about Britta's new cats, anyway, so Troy was really doing her a favor.
"Where are you guys going?" Britta asks. Troy can't believe he ever dated such a buzzkill.
"We're going to call Abed!" Annie says, beaming.
Troy's first instinct is to shush her, to make up some other excuse ("A bed… and breakfast!"), but he can't think of any reason to hide this. "We're going to call Abed," he confirms, grinning like a jack-o-lantern. At long last, they're going to call Abed.