Getting to know Britta, Jeff thinks, is like deconstruction. You start out with this hot blonde girl who seems to genuinely care about things, is a little overbearing, and smokes but other than that is funny, has a great smile, and sees through all your shit and then you peel off the onionskins and see the mess she is inside.

The amazing, wonderful mess. Love- and even like- is something he's still having trouble navigating.

Jeff wakes up to her face after the first night they spent together (in a bed, at a house, not on a table in their second-rate, second-choice school) and for a second he thinks 'what the hell am I doing', because she doesn't look peaceful even while she is asleep.

You form a history with people. He has it with Duncan (role reversal, constantly trying to one-up each other, etc.), he has it with Pelton (unadulterated loathing and a little bit of fear) and he has it with every other member of the study group, no matter how much he tries to deny it. But with Britta the history is a little more tangled, a little more fraught. Like, he's pretty sure that some of the time she actually legitimately hates him.

But he wakes up, and he sees her face inches from him with all those creases in her brow. He draws a finger down her forehead, smoothing them out, and Jeff knows.

She wakes up gradually, opening her eyes and stretching her arms out above her head, then tugging a hand through a nest of blonde curls.

"Hey," Britta says, voice roughened by sleep. "What's up? You're staring at me."

Maybe it's the morning light on her skin, or maybe it's her tone, maybe it's that he's been going slightly crazy ever since Abed's romantic comedy marathon, but Jeff says it: "I love you," he says, and then starts at the sound of that coming out of his mouth.

Britta smiles, slow and sweet, and all the creases smooth themselves out.

"Okay," she says, reaching over to kiss him on the cheek. Her eyes close and she goes back to sleep, taking his hand in hers.