This plot bunny has been bouncing around for months. Dan Harmon's being fired yesterday sent me into an irrational rage. I may have watched all of season three today on Hulu, and part of two, doing research for some of this story.
Normally I write in the HP fandom, as some of you may know. I love Annie and Abed for the same reasons I love Harry/Luna – two kind of loners who clearly belong together. JK Rowling clearly screwed that up. Let's hope Season 4 (whatever that looks at) gets these two together.
This piece is unbetaed and has not been slept on. I apologize in advance.
Disclaimer: I own none of this. I wish I did. I wouldn't have fired Dan Harmon…
It started during the second paintball game.
She had never really noticed how elegant his hands were before then, the long tapered digits showing such expression as he talked. She certainly had never thought about those hands anywhere on her person until the supply closet incident. She had hurt her hand trying to move paint buckets, and before she knew it, Abed's hand was wrapped around hers, stroking her palm to soothe the pain.
"You like me because I'm immature."
Even though she had just mocked for playing Star Wars, the combination of his voice, so much more assertive and rich than Abed's normal voice, and his fingers stroking her lifeline caused a part of her she didn't know she had to melt.
And then, in what only felt like a few moments later, he stood up for her to Garrett. Garrett, who wouldn't listen to her because she was a girl. A girl, not a woman… Abed talked Garret down in a way that didn't demean her. Very few men ever stood up for her without invoking her youth in some way. Sure, Abed had called her a good kid… but it didn't come off the same way as when… Jeff said it.
Her apology was genuine, even if she did butcher that line from Empire. Either way, Abed seemed to enjoy it, if you could ever take that sideways smirk seriously. And then we were getting shot at… Abed's hands, cradling his gun like he did this every day, shooting the "stormtroopers" trying to kill them both. Watching him was far more invigorating than it should have been.
The falling action for everyone else, but the climax for her: the end of the game… As the paint rained down from the sprinklers, he kissed her. And it wasn't just any kiss. She never knew Abed had ever kissed a girl, let alone…
Orange paint rained from the sky, sticking to her hair and coating every square inch of the library. And his hand, one securely placed at the small of her back, pinning her body to his. The other roaming her back, first tracing her shoulder blades, then whispering down her spine to cup her ass, drawing her even closer to him. The line between acting like Han and Leia and it just being her and Abed blurred. Time stood still, the universe shifted… until Abed pulled away, the spell broken.
Later in the study room, he told her to cool down, that the game had demanded it. Annie wasn't sure she could.
The second time had been the first day back their third year.
She almost had managed to forget everything from paintball. All summer, she pushed down those feelings, trying to "cool down" like Abed had said.
And she had… until that first day back. As they left the study room having said goodbye to Pierce, Abed followed her. For an instant, his hand grazed the small of her back. As she looked up at him, he removed his hand, his gaze never finding hers.
The third time involved a pillow.
To be fair, her apartment really was unsafe. And their apartment was closer to school. But moving in with Troy and Abed might have been the worst idea she had had in a while.
Her obsession with Abed's hands had gotten worse of late. And every morning, she would be able to see him, cradling a bowl of cereal, running his fingers thru his hair…
This was getting ridiculous. She was ridiculous.
The Blanket Fort Incident just about did her in. She was trying to follow Britta's loosey-goosey advice, but her months of fantasizing about Abed were nearly crushed by how inconsiderate he and Troy were being. She expected this from Troy—Troy from high school, at least…
But Abed? So often people accused him of lack of empathy… but Abed knew what it was like to be marginalized.
The puppet show nearly made up for it. She couldn't help the tears that welled in her eyes. If living with them was like this, and she was no longer in the scariest part of town… well then maybe it was worth it…
And then, the Dreamatorium. A whole room she could have had, and they built her a blanket fort?
She had stormed from the apartment, going back to tell her landlord she would stay, when she found Pierce's… accident. It was too much. She returned back to Troy and Abed's to begin moving her things back.
So to walk in to find all of her things unpacked, Abed standing next to her bed, cradling one of her pillows between his palms…
This moving in together was going to be harder than she thought.
The fourth time was the week she got sick. It was just before the madness with the Christmas pageant began. She had spent days in the blanket fort, curled up on Abed's bunk, watching episodes of Inspector Spacetime and wrapped in a Star Wars blanket she had taken down from one the fort walls. It had been their idea to make her more comfortable, and she was touched that they had taken the time to move the television and DVD player in there for her.
As she nodded off during the closing credits of yet another episode, Abed came in the room, a bowl of buttered noodles in each hand.
"How are you feeling?"
She curled up on her end of the bed to make room for him to sit.
"A little better. Just very tired."
Abed cocked his head at her, looking at her face.
"Well, then, I'll put these here until you're ready."
He placed the bowl of noodles on the floor towards the head of the bed and made to leave. He and Troy had been camping in the Dreamatorium since Annie had been sick.
"Wait…" She didn't want to be alone. She hated being alone while she was sick. "Abed, do you want to watch TV with me?"
"Which episode were you about to start?"
"Time and Time Again."
"Cool. Cool cool cool."
They sat in companionable silence until she began coughing. As she bent over the side of the bed coughing into a tissue, his hand came to rest on her back, rubbing reassuring circles as she contained herself.
She looked up at him, tears in her eyes. She was so tired of being sick, so exhausted from the coughing and sneezing.
His hand still rubbing her back, he beckoned with his other, and she fell into his arms, cuddling into his side as they continued to watch TV together.
His hand came up to her forehead.
"You're warm again."
"I can take more medicine in another hour."
She closed her eyes, listening to the beating of his heart as it lulled her to sleep. As she drifted off, she could have sworn she felt the lightest brush of his lips against her hair.
All Abed had wanted for Christmas that year was for their group to spend time together. Instead, it had taken Glee madness to bring them together… iagain/i.
Another improvised Jeff speech had made the study group realize what they had done. To apologize, they had decided to surprise Abed at home as carolers, hoping that he would forgive them. And of course he did. He was Abed. He didn't know how not to forgive people.
As she perched on the edge of his chair to settle in for the truly terrible two-and-a-half-hour Inspector Spacetime Lost Holiday Special, her hand quite naturally slipped into his. That simple grounding made sitting on the edge of that chair for so long far more comfortable than it should have been.
As easily as her hand slipped into his, his thumb stroked her fingers.
It was the fifth time.
Later, they said goodbye to their guests, and Troy crawled into bed in the blanket fort. Abed and Annie did the dishes, talking quietly about the party.
"Why did you hold my hand tonight?"
Annie dropped the cup she was washing, not expecting the question.
"Because you're my friend…"
"I don't think so. You could have sat anywhere. You picked my chair. There was no hesitancy, no moment of wondering. Your hand just slipped into mine. Like it was a natural thing to do. Why?"
"Are you upset, Abed? I didn't mean—"
"No, not upset. Just curious."
"I… I just like your hands, Abed."
Confused and embarrassed, she seized a dishcloth and quickly exited to her bedroom.
The spring semester had just ended, and Troy had gone home for a few days. Annie and Abed found themselves alone at the apartment more often than they ever had.
It was hard for Annie, seeing Abed every day and not telling him how she felt. Ever since Troy and Abed had taken down the Dreamatorium and moved into the bedroom, she found herself hiding in the blanket fort, now covered with pillows, blankets, and Abed's Dreama-frigerator-box. She sat on the floor, back against the Dreama-frigerator-box, knees drawn up, her arms wrapped around her shins, wondering what she would do.
Sometime in the last year, she had gone from a weird obsession with to actual desire for Abed. But how could she ever tell Abed that. Abed, who only ever seemed attracted to her when he was playing a role…
She jerked her head up, completely startled by his presence.
He cocked an eyebrow. "What's wrong, kid?"
Annie's eyes went wide. He had not made reference to paintball since the afternoon Troy had decided to sleep on their joint decision to choose a class for fall.
Abed extended his hand towards her, and she grasped it, standing as he gently pulled her up. He didn't let go once she stood.
"I've been thinking about what you said at Christmas. There are things I like about you too."
About what she said? Could he mean…?
"I like that you watch movies with me, even when you don't like them. I like that you always taste food before you put pepper on it. I like that ever since the day that we took part in Professor Duncan's experiment, you've gone out of your way to show me how you see me as a friend."
Her eyes welled up, and all she managed was a squealy "Aww."
Abed smiled, squeezing her hand.
"I like how even now, you're still making your Disney face." His other hand comes up to wipe a tear from her face before cupping her cheek. "But mostly, I love the way you fit in my hands perfectly."
The hand on her cheek threaded into her hair, and he kissed her. She gasped, and he deepened the kiss. She let go of his hand, her palms sliding up his chest before locking behind his neck. His arms wrapped around her, and the kiss escalated, tongues and teeth clashing as months of mounting frustration peaked.
Abed backed her up against the frame of the Dreama-frigerator-box, which no one had thought to secure in any way. The cardboard walls gave way, and they tumbled to the floor, Abed managing to catch himself on his elbows to keep himself from crushing her.
"Oh no, Abed! Where will you go to imagine now?"
He smiled down at her, his hands brushing her hair from her face. "What more could I have left to imagine now?"
"Cool," she thought, as he leaned down to kiss her again. "Cool, cool, cool."
AN: Of course that last bit was made up. Abed fixed the Dreama-frigerator-box immediately. But Abed has also watched every rom-com made in the last 30 years, and he just knows exactly what to say.
Sorry if this got a little OOC…