"Can you just stop being crazy for one conversation?" Britta demanded desperately. Pierce held up his hands in defence. "This is a serious issue, you guys!"
Shirley nodded. "Rainforests are important, Pierce, it's where monkeys live."
"Yeah!" Britta, though not incredibly proud of Shirley's point, was just happy to have another person on her side.
Jeff, texting away to some mystery friend as he was inclined to do, suddenly spoke up: "Britta, we all know about the rainforests. We get it, they're disappearing. But what can one person really do?" He returned to his phone.
Annie sighed as the group turned the corner in the hallway. "That's why we need your support, guys! If we all get together and work on it, we can really make a difference." She tucked a piece of black hair behind her ear and hugged her biology textbook against her chest.
"We're all thinking it, so I'm just gonna say it," Pierce declared. "No one cares about the rainforests."
The group minus Troy and Abed continued arguing the rest of the way to the library, emphatically debating their points at/with one another. Jeff tried his best to moderate the useless conversation (of course Britta, Annie and Shirley would be victorious against Pierce in the end) but soon lost interest.
They entered the library a few minutes later, Troy and Abed already in the room. They seemed to be in the middle of discussing yet another 'what if?' scenario, likely regarding some sort of sci-fi show or movie.
"It wouldn't be out of character, because – hey guys," Abed said suddenly. Troy greeted them distractedly and immediately returned to their conversation.
"Abed, this isn't TV. Nothing is 'out-of-character' because we aren't characters!"
After exchanging 'hello's, the conversation regarding rainforests and Pierce's inability to cherish nature had picked up where it'd left off – Britta and Pierce now the only participants. The others were fixed on figuring out Troy and Abed's discussion.
Abed shook his head. "That doesn't mean that we don't all have governing characteristics that define us. I'm naturally more of a leader than a follower and I am, after all, older than you."
Jeff, Shirley and Annie were confused to say the least; they, for once, didn't seem to be talking about Inspector Spacetime or another 'nerdy' topic.
"You're not a leader! You never say anything when the rest of the group is here, am I right?" Troy turned to the spectators for support.
Shirley looked from Annie to Jeff to Troy. "I guess that's true," she conceded.
The five were distracted from this confusing discourse to the other when Pierce stood up to leave. "Well you're going to have a hard time convincing me otherwise!" he announced. He began to gather his things.
Jeff looked completely bewildered. "Guys, okay, I can't do this 'two conversations at once' thing. Pierce, sit down, Britta, just give it up. And what are you guys even talking about?" he asked, directing the question to Troy and Abed.
Pierce sat down, Britta pouted and Abed calmly explained. "We're debating over which of us, if we were to be in a sexual relationship, would be on top."
Shirley squeaked. Pierce scoffed. Britta and Annie looked at each other in shock. Jeff sighed and put his ever-present cell phone away.
"Uh, why?" Jeff asked.
Abed shrugged. "We were discussing the seven different timelines you created at our house-warming party the other night, and we figured that if Annie or Britta had gone to get the pizza, Troy and I would have ended up sleeping together."
The others gave Abed looks. "Why would you think that?" Annie asked eventually, the role of her or Britta getting the pizza clearly offending her.
Troy closed his eyes. "It's a long story."
"Gay," Pierce remarked, laughing to himself. The others rolled their eyes.
"Well, it's pretty obvious, isn't it?" Britta piped up. "It'd be Troy."
Jeff braced his hands on the table. "Are we really having this conversation?" Abed nodded. "Then I'd have to say Troy."
Shirley shook her head. "You all need help. I'm praying for you." The six ignored her.
"You're overlooking many important factors," Abed informed them. "I'm not submissive."
The younger man gave his friend a look. "What, so I am?" Abed nodded. "Am not!"
Annie calmed them down: "You know what, you guys? It really doesn't matter."
"Of course it does," the Arab replied. "We've managed to conclusively come up with results for all the possible alternate timelines Jeff created – trust me, you don't want to know some of them – except for Annie's and Britta's timelines. It's very difficult not to think about when you have as much experience with alternate universes as I do."
Jeff put a hand to his face. "How about you're both versatile?"
"What's that?" Annie asked cautiously. Pierce was about to reply but she shot him a look.
Abed's eyes opened widely. "That's brilliant, Jeff," he declared in his standard robotic tone. "That satisfies all possible outcomes. I can't believe I missed that."
"What's versatile?" Troy asked.
"You switch," Britta replied. Jeff gave her a look. "What? I watch porn just like everyone else," she defended. "Just not the kind that exploits women and depicts them as sex objects."
"Wouldn't that be pretty much all porn?" Troy asked.
Jeff ignored this and headed for the conversation's wrap-up. "So this is all hypothetical, right?"
"Not necessarily," Abed replied stoically. "Since I could have let the die be rolled, it could've landed on any number, so any one of us could have gone. Those are all possibilities –"
"But they didn't actually happen," Jeff said.
"Not in this universe," the other replied.
Troy shook his head. "Not this again."
"Alright, I've had about enough of this for one lifetime," Jeff concluded, opening his bio textbook. "And we have a quiz tomorrow. Maybe this study group could actually do some studying for once?"
The others agreed. Troy and Abed shrugged, opened their books and put the hypothesis behind them.
"Don't you ever wonder what might've happened if someone else had gone to get the pizza that night?" Troy asked between handfuls of popcorn being shovelled into his mouth. He muted the TV when the commercials came on.
"All the time," Abed replied simply. "I've come to various conclusions regarding each scenario. Some of them aren't pretty."
Troy shifted positions on the couch and the other leaned his head on his shoulder. "Like what?"
"Well, if Pierce, Shirley, you or I had gone for the pizza or if I'd caught the die in mid-throw (which probably would've resulted in Jeff getting the pizza) we wouldn't have had sex."
Troy raised an eyebrow. "Why not?"
"That's just how it goes. Also, if you'd gone for the pizza I can safely assume that Pierce would be dead, Jeff would've lost an arm and Annie would be on a mental ward."
The shorter young man just shook his head and unmmuted the TV as the show came back on. "Crazy shit," he declared. Abed agreed. Troy turned to his friend and they shared a brief kiss. "Good thing Jeff rolled a two, huh?"
"In this universe, at least."
Troy shook his head fondly and returned to watching Cougar Town.
A/N: First Community fic - likely of many to come. My new favourite show by far :)