A/N: I own no part of Community or its awesomeness.

Chapter 1

Sometimes Jeff still woke up with nightmares. It wasn't as frequent as it once was and he rarely remembered them, but that didn't mean they didn't bother him. Tonight was one of those nights. After the debacle of "I love you's" at the Tranny Dance he'd escaped outside to find Annie, dear sweet Annie. He had been so happy to see her, so thrilled she wasn't transferring with Douchebag Tiny Nipples that he'd forgotten to keep his distance. He'd let his guard down because the Tranny Dance had drained him—he didn't have the energy to keep up the façade. He didn't want to be an asshole to Britta, but his pride swelled at the thought of Slater crawling back to him. The predator inside woke up at the possibility of hurting her the way he'd been hurt. The old Jeff Winger was always there, always one misstep away, and their public declarations and thrown him into an internal war.

How could Britta put him on the spot like that? God he wanted to see Slater beg. No, he would not embarrass or hurt Britta. But he could not meet her declaration head on. He didn't know what he felt for her, but he knew he didn't love her. She didn't love him either—he was pretty sure. She wasn't going to thank him for pointing that out in front of everyone else.

Caught between the man he wished he were and the man he used to be Jeff ran. He ran straight into accepting, loving Annie who idolized him. Beautiful sexy Annie who wasn't as young as he pretended she was.

Drained, vulnerable, and terrified Jeff held onto Annie like a lifeline when he saw her. He'd pulled back when he realized how tightly he was hugging her but then she looked at him and he was caught in her giant blue eyes. He was caught and she was kissing him and this wasn't for a debate. There was no getting around what this was, but she pulled away before he could get over his shock. She pulled away and he wanted more. Lost in her taste, he wanted to kiss her and keep on kissing her until everything else from the night just faded away. So he did.

That was hours and a half bottle of scotch ago. He'd come home and buried himself in drinks until Slater and Britta and Annie seemed like so much noise. He would figure it out he kept telling himself. He was Jeff Winger. And then he'd remember he didn't want to be Jeff Winger. So he'd take another drink.

He'd passed out sometime after three and it seemed like he'd fallen straight into the dream. This was a new variation from the usual nightmare. Instead of being a kid he was himself—an adult—and he was his father. He was drunk and angry, god he was so angry. He couldn't remember why, but he could remember how the rage felt—he could still feel the way nothing else mattered except making her understand. She'd stepped over the line, gone too far; he wasn't about to let her push him around like that. He'd been so fucking furious.

Annie was his wife in the dream. He didn't know how he knew that except he just did. They'd been married and she was so young and stupid; he was screaming at her in the dream, a scotch in one hand as he slapped the wall next to her head over and over. He couldn't remember why they were fighting, but in the dream he knew it was the same one they always had. She didn't understand him. She was too young. She wanted him to change. He worked so hard for her and she didn't understand.

She slapped him and he'd woken up just as he swung back.

He was covered in sweat, his real body as full of the adrenaline he'd been pumped full of in the dream. The rage was a memory, but it felt close—so much closer than he could deal with. He'd been married to Annie and he'd turned into his father.

He'd spent the rest of the night throwing up. He didn't talk to her for the rest of the summer.