A/N: Little bit of a warning, some descriptions of violence (but it is the darkest timeline, so...) Also, I hope you're as thoroughly creeped out by Evil Abed as I was when I was writing him. *shiver*
Abed sat in the hard wooden chair at the table. He could feel the rough texture that the paper in books always seemed to have. Small sensations like that were the things he tried to focus on at that particular moment. The sound of the fridge mechanism whirring, keeping their food cold; the creak of the upstairs neighbor's footsteps as they walked around in their apartment; the smell of the apple cider vinegar Annie had used to clean the counters in the kitchen earlier that morning; an old cobweb hanging in a tall corner, too tall for Annie to reach (she might not have even noticed it); the way it was June outside and their air conditioning was off kilter making the room a little too warm for comfort- No. Besides that, each of the things he could see, hear and smell were confirmations of reality; Testaments to his sanity, because Abed was not crazy.
Yet there he had stood. Such a person could not exist in any sort of logical reality of a sane person. The man had been standing there in the doorway of the dreamatorium before going in completely. He was no longer in sight, but for some reason, Abed could still feel his presence in the apartment. It was almost like a dark shadow had entered, casting it's gloom in his reality where it did not belong.
Maybe I am going crazy,Abed thought bitterly as he stared at his current page of the novelization of the movie The Chronicles of Riddick. He could've burned a hole right through it. What had just been standing in his view was not a vision of a sane man at all. The facts swam round in his head. The man had stood in the doorway to the dreamatorium, his clothes exactly identical to Abed's, as well as the rest of him, except for the fact the this person had a goatee and Abed didn't. It was very much like Spock and his own evil self in Mirror Mirror, facial hair and everything. Abed put aside his worries of sane or not for a moment and considered the scenario of what were to happen if he should go and talk to his duplicate.
The warning signals were flying high and loud in Abed's mind. Obviously it was a terrible idea, but there was no other way he could see for the plot to progress. The duplicate was not going anywhere anytime soon, and Abed preferred have his dreamatorium back at some point. Aside from that, his curiosity pushed him onto his feet and moved him towards the doorway, where goatee Abed had been.
Abed stayed beside the open door of the dreamatorium, its touch against his shoulder grounding him to reality. It took a moment before Abed raised his eyes again to see his mirror image, who had taken to the far corner of the gridded room, pacing slowing, head turning slightly so that his eyes never left Abed's. Neither said anything for a while, waiting on the other. Abed took a quick inhale and said flatly,
"I'll assume you're my evil twin."
The other Abed stopped pacing, turning his profile towards Abed, "Assume what you like, Abed. We both know that doesn't always make it true. This particular instance, for example."
Abed tilted his head to the side, "The other explanation is that I'm going crazy; hallucinating and seeing something or someone that isn't there. I was afraid of that."
Other Abed faced him fully, "You were closer before. Let's not feed into what everyone else would think. You know your mind. You'd know if you were going crazy."
"I'm not so sure of that. This is crazier than anything that's ever happened to me. And that's including the time we got trapped in that haunted hotel, or when we found a shark tank in the middle of nowhere, or all the paintball assassin games combined," Abed would've smiled at the memories if the situation wasn't so strangely disturbing.
Other Abed stared at him, as if assessing some sort of scenario Abed couldn't predict, "I suppose I'll tell you the truth. It won't make a difference for you to know either way."
His ominous words had Abed's stomach doing that strange thing where it felt like he'd swallowed a rock. Abed let the other him continue.
"You remember your housewarming party? Yahtzee, pizza, then Jeff rolled the die to see who went down to get it..."
Abed nodded, his unease wanting him to turn and run.
Other Abed spread his hands the way Jeff did in many of his 'Winger Speeches,' "I am Evil Abed from the darkest, most terrible timeline. And my goal was to journey to the prime timeline where you, Abed, stopped Jeff from rolling that die."
Abed's eyes widened. He'd run so many scenarios from that night. Different timelines, different events that would change and alter the plot. Never had he thought that they could leak together. They were parallel worlds, parallel worlds in alternate universes. The characters from one or the other, dark or prime, were not supposed to meet each other. It went against the balance of everything.
"What do you want to do here?" Abed asked, fearing the response.
Evil Abed raised his eyebrows, "To make this timeline the darkest timeline; where Jeff has one arm, Pierce is dead, Annie is driven insane with her grief of shooting Pierce and sent to a mental institute, Britta dyes her hair, Shirley becomes an alcoholic, and Troy destroys his larynx by trying to eat a flaming troll doll."
Abed could feel that rock he'd metaphorically swallowed even more prominently. His head started to pound. No, that couldn't happen. It was too dark (which made sense for it being the darkest timeline.) Sure, the different events led to different outcomes, some arguments, some drama. Those things were usual, inevitable problems in their study group. Scenarios that were easily fixed so that they could go on to be back to normal. That was the reality of the sitcom they lived in. Horrible events like violent deaths and mutilations of the main characters did not happen in their reality. It wasn't plausible.
Through Abed's long introspection, a thought dawned on him, "If all that happened to them, what happened to you?"
Evil Abed looked at Abed, his face completely blank, "Annie told me to help her stop the bleeding. I took Pierce's hand and felt him go limp as he died. I watched Troy choke on a burning troll doll and Jeff's arm catch fire. Then I cut out felt goatees for everyone to wear to indicate themselves as evil. We are the evil study group because, though once good, terrible things turn good people either insane or evil. I chose the latter. That's what happened to me."
The silence that followed was overpowering, like the stereotypical stillness before a storm. Evil Abed intended to make those things happen in the Abed's prime timeline. He would destroy Troy's larynx, cut off Jeff's arm, somehow force Annie to shoot Pierce. Those gruesome things would happen to his friends if Abed couldn't stop him. They were in danger and Abed had to save them. He had to.
"I won't let you do that to my friends," Abed stood straighter, squaring his shoulders as he blocked off the exit, his feet completely inside in the dreamatorium.
Evil Abed smiled vaguely, "Obviously, you don't feel very in control. Not a feeling you like very much, is it Abed? This doesn't make sense to you and it's all too dark. As for me, I have all the answers right now. I'm the stronger one. Logically, reality will only recognize one form of a person. The two of us are a paradox. We cannot be, according to the rules of the universe. But, here we are. Do you know why that is?"
Abed was horrified and entranced by the conversation. It was almost like something out of Inspector Spacetime. He looked up and around at the tape-covered walls, "The dreamatorium."
"The dreamatorium. We can coexist here because with all its astrological science, it can sustain the paradox which is you and me. Only one of us can leave this room though. The stronger of us. And Abed, I don't think that's you."
The science made sense. It was impossible for two Abeds to both exist in the same reality. The dreamatorium, a bridge between fantasy and the real world, could and would hold the paradox. Abed backed up against the doorframe, his fingers grazed the painted wood. The exit was right there, completely accessible. He could feel the draft that the apartment sometimes got, due to the air conditioning being off whack. With two steps backward he would be in the real world again, released from this terrifyingly dark presence that seemed to encompass the entire room. He could leave right then. Abed was in control.
Or maybe that was what Britta called denial. Sure, the door was right there, open and ready for him to walk through, but he couldn't muster the willpower to move himself through it. Abed's feet felt like they were super-glued to the floor. He hardly felt any control of the situation. Of any situation lately, to be precise. Annie had said they both needed to stop trying to control everything, but he wasn't ready for this cold turkey attempt. Though looking back, he could see that his command and stability were being taken away from him little by little until there he stood, motionless before his evil double.
Abed could no longer predict the actions of the people around him accurately. Annie had proved that by pushing Troy and Britta on a date. He'd run the scenarios and decided that Troy: more laid back and content with the world and Britta: needlessly defiant, wouldn't have a good time with just the two of them. Britta would bicker about useless things and Troy wouldn't really know why. He would start to get upset. Or confused, it depended on the type of day or the topic of conversation. Abed had been wrong. The both came back smiling, saying it had been great.
Beyond his own brain ceasing proper function, the external darkness that seemed to follow their group like a plague was just as troubling. Abed had thought it through and might've started leaning towards believing that they were living in the darkest timeline. Jeff had practically killed Pierce's dad, Mr. Rad was responsible for the glee club's bus crash, Starburns exploded, Chang took over the school as an evil dictator and nearly blew up the them and the school. It was starting to feel more like a Marvel or DC comics superhero movie instead of their regular sitcom.
Then the worst of it all was Troy. His best friend. Their troubles seemed to start around the time when his friends dressed up as celebrity impressionists to help him pay off his debt. Troy had lied about being angry at Abed, which they had promised they never would do. Then Troy, like so many other people before, was starting to be one of those people who wanted to tell him what to do. It was 'for his own good' like the doctors had said when he was a kid. Ever since he couldn't bear it. As that argument with Troy went on, Troy basically gave him a choice: Friendship or freedom. Abed had chosen friendship because Troy was more important. Even though the unfairness burned in his brain. Abed didn't understand emotions very much, but he felt them all the same. And they hadn't felt good that night at all. He was confused and angry and hurt; more elements he couldn't control.
The pillow war was the next worst thing. It had consumed the school like that paintball games they played, though this had been so had been so many feathers and rage flying through the halls of Greendale like the aftermath of the battle it had been. Everyone was against each other even though most of them didn't even know the main reason. Abed and Troy. The two battle commanders at war with each other, and it was so much bigger than a fight about pillow and blanket forts. Cliche as it was, that plot was about their broken friendship. Abed acutely recalled the harsh text from his 'best friend' that downy day,
'Hey dick, read your dumb email. Really enjoyed it. Guess what? You may have been my best friend, but we both know I was your first friend. And what I know but you don't know, because you have mental issues, is that you're never going to have another friend. Because NOBODY ELSE WILL EVER HAVE MY PATIENCE WITH YOU.'
Abed thought of those words often, his insides sinking each time. He'd even locked the message on his phone. They made him think of every friend he'd had and lost over his childhood because of his 'mental issues'. And he'd used the definition of the word friend loosely back then; someone who would stay and listen to him talk for a little while before getting impatient and leaving. Troy had been right in that message. Abed was willing to ignore that fact the, even though Jeff had put on the invisible hats of friendship, Abed was still angry. Troy had forgiven and forgotten the pillow war, it wasn't a problem to him anymore. Abed still clung to it like the awful burden it was: a reminder of the worst things in his life. How could he forget? He didn't want to be angry anymore, but that was another thing he felt little control over.
Then Troy was gone. Taken by the air conditioning school forever. He'd gone away and Abed would never see him again. And there was nothing he could do about it.
Abed looked back to his evil counterpart. Evil Abed was standing completely still in the corner, his hands resting at his sides, utterly relaxed. Whereas, Abed, though they looked identical through their appearance and apparel and mannerisms, felt frail. He couldn't leave. He couldn't move at all. It was nightmarish, even more so that each of the Saw movies combined. There was no escape for himself nor his friends. Evil Abed would maim them each, physically and mentally, in the way they had been in the darkest timeline. And Abed could do nothing to stop it. The worst feelings he'd ever felt coursed through him like poison in his veins. Uselessness. Helplessness. Defeatedness.
They stood at a stand still. Neither spoke but both knew who was victorious. Abed's defensive shoulders slouched, his fists clenched.
"What happens now," He asked, though he knew the answer.
Evil Abed smiled, "Now we wait for Britta to arrive. And this life becomes your hell."
"Won't she see me too?" Abed asked, thoroughly disturbed.
"She doesn't believe in this place. Merely that it's a place where you and Troy place your silly games. She doesn't know its full potential. Now if Troy or maybe Annie were coming, then they might be able to see the truth because they've witnessed the dreamatorium's workings. We won't have to worry about Britta at all."
But worry was all that was in Abed's mind. Worry for the pain that was surely coming towards his friends. And there was nothing he could do but watch as Evil Abed walked across the tape-streaked floor and close the door.
Lame Abed looked on.
A/N: Hope you liked! Also side note, there may be more of this coming. I though of some plot that continues on from this and it's kinda interesting to me to I might write it. Anyway...