Title: Freaky Thursday
Character(s)/Pairing(s): Study group, J/A
Spoilers: Up to 2.21
Word Count: Part 1: 2,780
Disclaimer: I don't own Community.
Summary: The group willingly swaps personalities for a day - what could possibly go wrong?
Notes: I'm imagining there's a month gap between 2.20 & 2.21 - this is set just after 2.20.
Shirley rummaged around in her handbag for some fliers while Annie, Jeff, Abed and Pierce were eating their lunch. She handed one to each of them with a dazzling smile, but wasn't met with much enthusiasm in return.
"You want us to come to a 'Jesus Jamboree'?" said Jeff, scrutinizing the paper. "On a Saturday? Willingly?"
Annie narrowed her eyes. "I'm not being tricked into another baptism am I?"
"God forbid you two get a little God in your lives," said Shirley, folding her arms. "I'm inviting you because my church choir is singing and I have a solo."
Jeff blinked at her. "My initial reluctance still stands."
"No need to be rude, Winger," said Pierce, tucking the flier away in his shirt pocket. "Shirley, you can count on me to be there."
"Thank you, Pierce."
"There'll be free food right?"
"Yes Pierce," she sighed.
"Like I said, you can definitely count on me."
Shirley glanced expectantly at the others. "What about the rest of you? I mean, you may not be fans of Jesus but you can still be fans of me." She played with the straps of her bag. "And never mind the fact that I've been putting in long, long hours making my song sound perfect, thinking in the back of my mind, 'Oh, I hope my study group enjoys this'."
"You can stop using your guilt-tripping mom tone on us, it's not going to work," said Jeff.
"It might be working a tiny bit," said Annie sheepishly. "I guess we could maybe come for an hour or so?"
"What? No! Do not get sucked in. Counter-attack with your Little Mermaid eyes!"
"Annie uses Ariel stare – it's ineffective," murmured Abed, scooping some raisinets into his mouth.
Shirley stabbed at a cherry tomato in her salad. "What do you have against supporting your friends, Jeffrey? Or is it just me you're taking your attitude out on this week?"
Abed heard Jeff make an exasperated sound next to him. "Shirley uses the flame of fury – it's super effective."
"Would you cut it out, Abed?" Jeff put his hands out to placate Shirley. "I have nothing against anyone. You have a great voice and I think you're awesome. But me and religion don't mix and never will."
"Maybe you just need to Chang your point of view?"
The group glanced up to where Britta had suddenly appeared with Troy.
"Oh hey, Chang," said Jeff. "I see you finally got those breast implants."
"You should tell the doctor he didn't fill them up all the way," said Pierce.
Britta glowered at him before sitting down. "I wouldn't make me Changry if I were you." She pointed at Pierce's face. "Are you bitten? Are you bitten?"
"Britta, why are you doing an extremely terrible impersonation of Chang?" asked Abed.
"It's one of our acting assignments," Troy grinned. "We have to choose someone and walk in their shoes for a day. Guess who I am." He cleared his throat and made a raise the roof gesture. "Pop, pop!"
"Garrett?" said Jeff. "Ooh, no, Starburns."
"What on earth did you choose that lunatic for, Britta?" said Shirley, ignoring the boys.
Britta stole some carrot sticks from Abed's plate and shrugged. "Making up Chang puns is kind of addictive."
"And Magnitude, Troy?" said Annie. "Won't that be limiting conversation-wise?"
"Pop, pop can be pretty versatile," said Troy, taking a sip of his soda. "It got me this drink. And I've scored groupies already, it's kind of rad." He waved at a few elderly men at another table.
Pierce rolled his eyes. "They're Leonard's hipster pals and most of them are on a one-way trip to cuckoo-land. They probably think you're calling them grandpa."
Troy appeared thoughtful. "That would explain all the Werther's Originals in my backpack."
"I don't know about you guys," said Abed, "but I'm sensing a perfect opportunity for some group hijinks. We haven't taken part in any for a while."
"What are you talking about?" said Jeff. "Has the rodent infestation from last week completely escaped your mind? We had to fend off hungry rats with library books and carry Troy out on our shoulders after he fainted."
"I still feel awful for screaming in the Dean's face and busting his eardrums," said Troy sadly while Britta patted his arm.
Abed shook his head. "I'm not talking about unplanned hijinks. I mean something that could ultimately bring us closer together."
"Yeah, I'm going to pre-emptively sit this one out," said Jeff. "You kids have fun, though."
Shirley frowned at him. "Don't listen to grouchy-pants over there. What did you have in mind, Abed?"
"Freaky Friday – Greendale style!" he said, waving his hand in front of him as if to conjure the words in mid-air. "Except we won't have to hide our new personality and none of us have to be Lindsay Lohan to do it."
"Oh... that's nice?"
"Freaky Friday?" said Pierce. "Isn't that the movie where the busty blond twins go to the frat party and—"
"No!" everyone yelped in unison.
Annie tried to shake the image out of her head. "So what you're saying, Abed, is that you think everyone should swap personalities with someone else in the group for a day?"
Abed nodded but Troy looked conflicted. "Does it have to be on Friday? Because we're dressing up like pirates in my sword fighting class that day."
"It doesn't have to literally be on a Friday," said Abed. "We could try it out tomorrow during our Anthropology field trip to the train museum."
"I still don't get what that has to do with Anthropology, BTW" said Britta.
Jeff lifted his head up from his phone. "BTW? Did I miss the memo about talking like a 13-year-old girl on Twitter?"
"No, but you missed the one about shutting your stupid pointy face."
"LOL," said Troy, giving her a high-five.
"Although now that I think about it," Britta continued, "the train museum can't get any worse than Duncan's excursion to the donut shop because, according to him, 'mankind is known for eating donuts and I forgot to plan today's lesson'."
"I think Freaky Friday sounds like a wonderful idea to get a better understanding of each other," said Shirley, beaming across at Abed. "Just as long as I don't end up as Pierce," she mumbled under her breath. "I understand him just fine."
"How are we going to choose who is who?" said Annie.
Abed took out a notebook and pen and started to write everyone's name down on a piece of paper. "We'll draw the names out of a hat."
"But we don't have a hat?"
"Hello!" yelled the Dean, leaping out in front of their table. He adjusted the top hat and tails he was wearing and bowed in front of them. "Just stopping by to formally invite you to our fumigation fundraiser dance next Wednesday. It's sure to be a hoot and a half."
"Does that mean there are still rats running around?" said Troy, lifting his feet off the ground.
"No, no cats from the pound, Troy," laughed the Dean. "We got rid of them last fumigation."
Britta looked horrified. "You better be joking."
The Dean glanced down at his costume. "What am I poking?"
"Oh man, I killed his ears so baaaaad," muttered Troy, trying to avoid eye contact.
"Dean," said Abed, making sure he could read his lips. "Could we borrow your hat?"
"Sure!" He passed it to Abed and stood smiling at the group until he realized they were waiting for him to leave. "Right, well I'll just pop over to another table while you're busy shall I?"
"Good idea," said Jeff.
"Why thank you, Jeffrey," he said, playfully swatting his shoulder. "I have been working on my biceps."
Jeff stared at the Dean in bewilderment as he left. "That sounded nothing like biceps! I call selective deafness!" he yelled out after him.
"Never mind your sex games with baldy, I want to know who I'm getting freaky with," said Pierce, ignoring everyone's groans of disgust.
Abed put the rolled up pieces of paper in the hat and shook it around before inviting everyone to choose. "Don't open them yet, though." He took one out himself and held out the hat to Jeff. "You get the last one."
"Abed, I already told you I'm not playing."
"Jeff can you just do this with us?" said Annie. "Is it too much to ask that you drop the cool guy act for one day and have some fun?"
"I'm not sure what your dictionary has under the definition of fun, Annie, but mine doesn't say anything about unwanted personality transplants."
Troy screwed up his nose. "I was hoping I'd get you Jeff, but if this is how I'm going to have to act then I'd rather get Pierce. At least I could spend the day passing gas and blaming it on Shirley."
"You hear that, Winger?" said Pierce. "I officially became cooler than you."
Jeff rolled his eyes. "Like I care."
"Oh I think you care a little," said Annie. "But hey, don't worry about us. We'll just have a good time bonding as a group tomorrow while you're off hanging out with Chang while he scrounges through bins looking for half-eaten food."
"Fine," said Jeff, shoving his hand into the hat and snatching the last bit of paper. "You want to go there? We'll go there. But I'm calling it right now. Tomorrow is going to end in tears because let's face it; we're us. And when that happens, I'm going to sit back and laugh and look up different translations of 'I told you so' on Babel Fish."
Britta took Abed's notebook and poised the pen over it. "Do you buy your douche flakes from a specific place or is the cereal aisle at the grocery store OK? I want to be prepared just in case."
"LMAO," drawled Jeff. "Better get my preparation underway too."
"I'll send an email to everyone tonight outlining all the specifics of the swap," said Abed. "But for now, Freaky Thursday is officially a go. Everyone, open your piece of paper."
The group stared at each other with varying degrees of discomfort. They were sitting around the study room table, but no one was in their usual seat.
"This is weird," said Troy, shifting around in Shirley's chair. "My back is warm. I'm used to getting a draft on it from the door; I don't think I can work like this."
"You don't have to do any work," said Abed, sitting where Pierce would normally be. "We're just easing into things before we officially start proceedings at ten o'clock."
Pierce wriggled around with a look of distaste. "I want my own chair back. Troy's doesn't have the right butt groove in it."
"Please don't talk about butt grooves when I'm sitting so close to you," said Britta, peering curiously at Abed's 'Classic Wingers' notches. "I can't believe you're up to thirty, Abed."
"Well I like my new seat," smiled Shirley, putting her handbag down next to Britta's chair. "It's nice being able to see the noticeboard for a change. And speaking of the noticeboard," she cooed, "I'd like to point out the new flier for my Jesus Jamboree."
"Subtle," murmured Jeff. He stretched his legs out and rested them on the spare seat next to Annie. "This arrangement sucks by the way, the overhead light keeps reflecting off my phone."
"Or does it suck because someone else has finally taken over the Winger throne?" asked Annie, primly folding her hands in front of her.
"Please, throne away," said Jeff. "I'd just like to remind you you're now in prime position for the Dean to paw at you."
Annie drew her cardigan closer to herself while Abed passed around some stickers. "Just so we don't get confused during the day, we should all write our new aliases on these 'Hi my name is...' tags."
They all complied and attached them to their shirts, Jeff sticking his down the bottom of his sweater out of sight.
"Is everyone clear on the rules?" asked Abed.
"We have to remain in character until five o'clock," said Britta.
"No using the ladies bathroom even if you're a lady person," said Troy.
"And don't feed the gremlins after midnight," said Jeff, trying to find a better angle to see his phone screen.
Abed nodded. "OK, I think we're good to go."
Duncan stood at the front of the Anthropology classroom to address his students before their field trip. "While we're waiting for Samuel to arrive with the bus – and can I just say, most delightful new driver Greendale has ever had." He was met with murmurs of agreeance. "I want to remind you about representing the school while we're out in public. Namely, don't mention where we're from because people like to throw rotten fruit at us." Shirley raised her hand to get his attention. "Yes, Shirley?"
"Oh no, I'm not Shirley, I'm Britta." She pointed to her name tag. "See?"
"I beg your pardon?"
"Everyone in the study group has swapped personalities for the day," said Abed. "Some Freaky Friday junk that Ay-bed came up with."
The rest of the class stared at the study group members like they were on crack. Starburns uneasily shifted away from Pierce who was trying to make gangster hand signals at him.
Duncan sat down on his desk. "So you're telling me that... no wait, I actually don't want to know. My care factor has fallen so far below zero that we've now entered negative numbers. Right, moving on!" he continued, clapping his hands together. "Birley had a question. I'd go with the other amalgamation but I'm afraid that's a bit rude."
Shirley gave him a confused smile before pressing on. "I just wanted to say a big WTF to everyone here."
"And here's me trying not to offend people. Well a big WTF to you too."
Britta leant across to her friend. "Um, do you know what that means, Britta?"
"Yes I do, Abed," said Shirley in a sweet tone. "You're not the only one with your references. It means 'Welcome Terrific Friends'."
"Yeah, in the land of sparkles maybe," scoffed Jeff, earning a glare from Annie. He sighed and tried to adopt a perkier, more Annie tone. "And I'd know that because I was born there. My father is actually Prince Charming and my mother's a unicorn!"
"Real smooth," said Annie.
"That's not nice," said Troy, wagging a finger Jeff's way. "You just made Jesus mad and he'll strike you down with his big Jesus hammer or something."
Duncan rolled his eyes. "And you're making me and the rest of the class mad by yammering about things that are sending us to sleep. Congratulations and bags not having to sit next to any of you losers on the bus." He glanced out of the window. "Speaking of, I see Samuel's just pulled up so please collect a worksheet from me on the way out and I'll see you in the parking lot." He took a long swig from his hip flask while everyone was collecting their belongings.
The study group were the last ones to leave (Duncan had just thrown the rest of the sheets on his desk when he realized). Annie led the way down the hall. "I think we're off to a good start," she grinned, before remembering who she was. "Not that I care or anything because having fun sucks."
"I know we're off to a good start because I've seen Freaky Friday many times," said Britta, trying to sound convincing.
"Is that right, Abed?" said Jeff. "Who was your favorite actor in it?"
Britta's eye twitched. "All of them. I gave it five cools out of five." She made her hands into finger guns. "Pe-chew! Pe-chew!" Everyone stared at her as she slowly dropped her hands to her side.
"Don't worry, dude, I thought it was pretty cool too," said Pierce, nudging Britta's shoulder. "How about one of our weird high-fives, dog?"
Troy looked pained. "I think the word you're looking for is dawg, not that Troy even says that word and if he did he would kick himself in his own face... even though that's not very nice."
Britta held up her hand for Pierce but ducked away in outrage when he moved forward. "Hey! You slap your own chest, not mine!"
"Let's just go before the bus leaves without us," said Jeff, looking at Annie. "Lead the way, handsome hobo."
They set off down the corridor, not noticing Chang slinking around behind them.