Happy JxA Appreciation Week 2016!
Tumblr Day 4 Prompt: Favorite JA headcanon, from any point in the show or future or past/missing scene or end tag fic
This ficlet takes place during Remedial Chaos Theory (season 3). Please note I am going with the original planned episode outline here. Geography of Global Conflict, although airing before this episode, was originally planned to air after. If you rewatch, this order makes more sense, as events in RCT are referenced in GGC.:
As the group gathered their things to leave, Jeff eyed Annie. She was leaning over to pick up her purse, and as she hoisted it on her shoulder she let her gaze linger on his baby blues.
She felt her cheeks flush. She looked down and attempted to maintain her composure. The last thing she wanted was for anyone to catch on. She had been humiliated enough last year with her public display of her interest in him. She finally felt she had regained some sense of status in the group.
She looked back up and was startled to see he was still watching her. His mouth turned up slightly at the ends and he gave a slight nod.
What does that mean?
She wasn't sure these days where she stood with him. They had been getting along pretty well since school started, after she hadn't seen him most of the summer following paintball. That had been an interesting day, with the Black Rider. And um, other things.
She shot a confused look over at Abed. She shook herself, realizing that she was being silly. He had merely been playing a role. And so what if he asked her to move in with him and Troy? She was sure he didn't mean it romantically.
She moved her eyes back to Jeff. He was still regarding her with a softness she couldn't quite interpret.
Was it romantic?
She was aware of a faint buzzing sensation on her lips. She lightly touched them in puzzlement.
As the others were murmuring their goodbyes, she decided to take a risk. She returned his small smile and gave a nod.
A chill went through her when his smirk transformed into a grin.
His eyes then opened wide, and he placed his hands in his jean pockets and looked down.
Was he flirting?
Did he just freak himself out?
Somehow she was able to squeak out some quick goodbyes and promises to Abed and Troy that she would be in touch about setting up a time to move in. She gave Britta and Shirley hugs, the boys a salute, moved out of Pierce's reach, and then turned to the door.
"Hey, I'll give you a ride home."
She cast a look to her side to see Jeff cocking his head down so that he could see her face. She smiled slightly and mumbled, "Sure, um, that would be great. Thanks."
He opened his mouth slightly and then abruptly closed it, keeping his lips together tightly. He cleared his throat and turned away from her.
"Well this has been grand. You guys throw a swell party. My favorite part was the toilet olives."
"See? I told you that's what people do at fancy parties. Jeff knows this kind of stuff."
"I shouldn't have doubted you, Troy."
Annie gave a slight wave as she pushed open the door. "Bye guys."
She shuffled ahead of everyone, hearing Jeff come up behind her. She turned to him as she neared the elevator. "Stairs?"
He grinned and cast a look back at Britta, Shirley, and Pierce making their way down the hallway.
"Hell yes. Plus you won't catch me dead in that 'elevator.'" He used finger quotes on the last word.
She let out a quick laugh. "Okay, follow me."
She felt her cheeks redden as she skipped down the stairs, conscious of Jeff behind her. They made their way out of the building and arrived at the Lexus.
Jeff popped open the passenger side door. "After you."
She gave him a slight curtsy, "Thank you."
What is wrong with me? Who curtsies these days?
He laughed and ushered her into the car, closing the door after she tucked herself in.
They drove in silence for about a minute before Jeff cleared his throat again.
"So…pretty good party?" He cast a quick glance at her out of the corner of his eye.
She bit her lip and then said breezily, "Yeah. It was a lot of fun. And I'm so happy they asked me to move in. I really hate my apartment."
"Yeah, I don't really remember your neighborhood, sorry. That one time we all stayed in the car I was pretty wasted."
She rolled her eyes. "I know." She then turned to watch him and said, "Seriously, I live in a really really bad neighborhood. I'll feel so much better on this side of town."
His eyebrows rose. "God, Annie. That stinks. Please tell me you'll move over here very soon."
She continued to regard his profile. "As soon as I can. I'm on a month-to-month lease so I won't lose much money on it."
She leaned back in her seat and sighed. "You'll see my neighborhood soon anyway. We're probably ten minutes away."
He nodded and kept his eyes on the road. "Annie, um, I don't quite know how to bring this up."
She waited for him to continue. There were several beats of silence.
Finally she said softly, "You were watching me."
"Jeff, I can't go through this again." She felt her voice crack as she added, "Please don't tease me."
There were some more moments of silence before he said in a low voice, "I wasn't teasing you. You look really pretty tonight."
She felt her heart begin to pound quickly. She took a deep breath and asked, "So?"
He answered in an almost whisper, "So I really wanted to kiss you. The whole time."
"Please, Jeff, don't…"
He interjected, "I'm not teasing. I mean, obviously I didn't kiss you, but I swear if there had been a moment, an opportunity to do so, I don't think I could have stopped myself. But, um, only if you wanted to, of course. God, Annie, I don't want you to think I'm a creep. According to Britta I am, but I don't want to be lecherous like Pierce. I don't…"
She turned toward him and noticed his right hand was gesturing in the air. She reached out and grabbed it.
Luckily they had just rolled to a stoplight.
He seemed startled as he turned toward her. "Um."
She smiled sweetly at him. "You're not lecherous."
His eyes widened further. "Oh. Er, thanks."
She began to laugh.
"You're such a goof."
I'm just gonna be a big jerk and end this here, folks. This is long enough for a 'ficlet' as it is! I'm terrible! :o