Abed had a busy week of shooting. Because of the holiday season he was trying to get as much stock footage of the city done up in Christmas lights as was possible. It never hurt to have a little something in the can should he decide to set his Kick Puncher fan film during Christmas, like a homage to Die Hard. He never expected to see what he saw…
As he did a slow pan from a tall Christmas tree to the crowd standing beneath the strings of lights, while snow slowly drifted to ground, he noticed something. Technically he noticed someone. Actually, two people. Jeff looking impeccably cool in his leather jacket and jeans. Next to him, Annie, bundled up in her red, wool pea coat. The Burberry scarf Pierce got her last year for Hanukah wrapped around her neck.
From where he stood he could see that both had a take out cup in hand… probably coffee for Jeff and that peppermint hot chocolate for Annie. He could also see that their free hands were intertwined. With a raise of his eyebrow, Abed made the decision to move closer. He slithered through the crowd, trying not to look like some kind of stalker. Hopefully people would just think he was trying to get a closer shot of the tree. Once he was in earshot, he stopped.
"You know, for being Jewish you really into all of the Christmas festivities." Jeff observed as Annie took another sip of her hot chocolate.
"There's no law that says I can't enjoy the lights or a decorated tree. Anyway, you did Hanukah with me, it's only fair we do Christmas stuff together for you." She shrugged.
"About that, my mom said you shouldn't feel compelled to bring anything tomorrow."
"Is she sure? I can make cookies or something."
"Couldn't hurt to have something edible present. My mom over estimates her cooking skills."
"I'll make a batch in the morning." She smiled.
"What're you going to do tonight?" Jeff leered.
"I don't know, any suggestions?"
"I can come up with a few."
Abed stood slack jawed, watching his friends (still hand in hand) walk away. This was his first clue that the pair were carrying on a secret relationship… and by clue he of course meant, flashing neon sign of truth. Every film and TV show he had ever seen told him that if Jeff was taking Annie home to meet his mother, things had to be serious. That's when the idea struck him… a documentary.
It took a bit of wandering, but Abed eventually spotted them. Jeff and Annie had both skipped study group that morning. It was becoming more and more obvious that something was going on between them. A topic that had actually been discussed to death in their absence. Abed, however, kept his mouth shut about what he had seen at the winter festival, as well as all the little things since then.
Now he had spotted them on bench in a deserted part of campus. Secluding himself in a large bush, Abed pulled out his camera and zoomed in on the couple. Jeff had an arm wrapped around Annie's shoulders, her head resting on his shoulder.
"When are we going to tell them?" Annie asked, nuzzling closer to him. There was still a chill in the air, left over from the winter.
"I don't know, Annie. We'll have to tell them eventually. But I'm enjoying not having Shirley hitting me with a Bible every other day… what if we wait until you turn 21?"
"Yes. Two months to ourselves and then we can open up the judgmental flood gates."
"Until then we'll just enjoy our alone time."
Jeff took a deep breath, the crisp air burning his lungs. He easily pulled her closer, her arms wrapped around his middle. He enjoyed any time he had with Annie.
Abed put his camera down, observing his friends through his own eyes instead of through the camera display. For a moment he pondered how long it would be until everyone else figured out the secret.
Abed had tailed them to a laundry mat. There he found them… sorting their laundry. From what he could see their laundry was mixed together… almost as if… were they living together? But they had only told the group a few days ago. To cut off any rants they assured everyone that they were taking it slow. Mixed laundry didn't seem slow.
There was no real way for Abed to get into the laundry mat without being seen. So this section of the movie would have to be silent. He zoomed in, capturing Jeff laughing at something Annie said. He watched as she separated their lights and darks into separate machines while Jeff inserted the quarters and add detergent.
Abed watched as Jeff made Annie laugh before picking her up and putting her on top of one of the running machines. It was like watching part of a montage from a romantic comedy. Annie smiled, leaning forward and pulling Jeff to meet her in a kiss. Her hands rested at the base of his neck, while his found her waist. Her feet hooked behind his knees, keeping him close to her. They were lucky that no one else was doing their laundry at 8 pm on a Tuesday night.
It took Abed a moment to realize that they had stopped kissing and were instead looking towards the window… where he was standing. Abed peered up from behind his camera and realized they were staring at him. With a swift click, Abed closed the video display on his camera and ran. He would later pass it off as a coincidence, that he was there to test the colors of the laundry mat on camera. Scouting locations. Not making a documentary about their love. That's right, they might not be using the word yet, but Abed was. He'd seen his videos of them, they were clearly in love even if they weren't ready to admit it.
The elopement of Britta and Troy was… surprising to say the least. It came a week before graduation. The two had disappeared for the afternoon with Abed in tow. They returned Mr. and Mrs. Barnes, Abed served as their witness. Though taken back by the announcement, the group eventually embraced them. A party was quickly thrown together in the school cafeteria, which in turn morphed into a campus wide wedding reception.
Abed moved through the crowds with his camera, filming people as they congregated around the makeshift buffet or pair off on the dance floor. Shirley and Andre taking a break from dancing, sitting with Pierce and a random lady he had shown up. Britta and Troy were of course on the floor, but beyond them, towards a dark corner of the room, Abed spotted another couple.
He wasn't sure where the high heels came from, if Annie had them on at the beginning of the day or if she kept a pair in her car. But she was tall enough to comfortably rest her head on Jeff's shoulder as they slowly swayed to Dream Weaver.
Jeff's arms comfortably wrapped around Annie's waist, while she had one arm slung over his free shoulder, the other curled around his back. The two looked content. Jeff had his eyes closed but as they turned another slow circle Abed and Annie made eye contact, she smiled softly at him before her eyes fluttered shut again. This felt like the prom none of them ever really had.
"Hey, put the camera down for a little bit." Someone said behind him. Abed turned to find the brunette girl from his film class. "Come dance."
Abed hesitated for a moment.
"Okay." He handed his camera off to Shirley who watched in amazement as Abed moved to the dance floor.
He awkwardly located his hands on her hips, making the decision to go middle school on the situation. Just as they began to dance Dream Weaver ended and Come Sail Away by STYX began to play.
"Cool. Just like—"
"Freaks and Geeks." His dance partner supplied with a grin.
"Yeah." Abed suddenly realized that human participation could be tolerable with the right person. Something all of his friends apparently figured out already.
Annie and Jeff continued to slow dance even as the music changed.
The Big Step
"Abed, are you ready with that?" Jeff asked.
"All set. Just waiting on you."
Jeff looked around, their study room was filled with hundreds of lit candles. Call and Answer by Barenaked Ladies was playing on a small boom box. The blinds on the door shook lightly as it was pulled open.
"Jeff, I got your text—what is-?" Annie began. She was suddenly frozen looking around the room, her gaze finally landing on Jeff.
"Milady. I figured this would be the best place to do this. We got to know each other here, I fell in love with you in this room. Annie, I will spend the rest of my life listening to Canadian alt rock if I get to do it with you. A few weeks ago I realized, I'm never going to be able to function without you. That man I described once, the perfect mix between the guy who tries to be better, but still has his faults. That's who I am when I'm with you. I want to be better for you, even though you never ask it of me. I want to marry you."
Annie smiled, brushing a few tears away from her face.
"I won't make you listen to them every day." She managed before launching herself at him. Jeff caught her, quickly pulling her into a slow kiss. His hands holding either side of her head. "I love you."
"I love you too."
"Cool. Cool, cool, cool." Abed smiled a real, genuine smile. Suddenly considering how lucky he was to witness this moment.
"Not a chance in hell, Abed!" Annie screamed as they transferred her from the bed to the gurney.
"This is an important moment, don't you want a video record?" He questioned.
"NO! And I don't want you filming anything with that… area."
"Annie, I'm a professional. Birth is birth, it doesn't matter who—"
"She said no, Abed." Jeff interjected, returning to the room with a nurse who had just provided him with scrubs.
"Fine. Good luck, Annie. Everyone will be here when you get out."
"Thanks." She smiled, though the expression quickly morphed into pain as another contraction hit. "Fuck! Jeff!"
He was quickly at her side, holding her hand as the nurses rolled Annie down the hall. For being so small, Annie really had a death grip. Jeff was beginning to wonder if she had fractured a few bones.
"It's going to be okay."
"Explain that to me, Jeff. How is it going to be okay. I have a tiny human coming out of my vagina! That's not a normal thing." She managed through clenched teeth.
"It's the most natural thing in the world." The doctor interjected as they rolled her into the delivery room.
"Annie, just remember what they said at the Lamaze classes. Visual… and… something. Just remember, at the end of this we're going to have a beautiful daughter. And we've both been screwed up enough by our parents that we know what not to do with her."
Annie laughed, almost manically as the laughter morphed into a cry of pain.
"I'm getting the epidural next time."
"Annie you know why you said no to—next time?"
"Okay, Annie. One more big push."
She clenched Jeff's hand, baring down and giving it everything her tiny body had to give. The room fell completely silent. Another moment passed before it was filled with the cries of a newborn. Annie's body collapsed onto the bed, her head resting on the pillow, still holding Jeff's hand. The doctor returned with their baby, laying her on Annie's chest.
"We need to decide on a name." She whispered quietly, lightly brushing a hand over their baby's cheek.
Jeff emerged from behind the swinging doors to find the study group waiting for him. Everyone jumping to their feet when they spotted their approaching friend.
"So?" Britta asked.
"We have a daughter, Margaret Winger. 8 pounds even." Jeff beamed.
"And Annie?" Pierce asked.
"Sleeping very soundly."
The group offered their congratulations before dispersing around the room. Abed took this moment to have a word with Jeff.
"You know, I've captured almost every major milestone in your relationship with Annie on film."
"Abed, if you don't get to film the conception, you don't get to film the result."
"Didn't film it that you know about…"
"Kidding." Abed chuckled, holding out a DVD to his friend, "Here. Everything up through the wedding. I figured it would be nice to show your daughter how you and Annie became… well, you and Annie."
"Thanks, Abed." Jeff smiled, patting him on the back. "I should get back to check on Annie."
"Hey." Troy appeared behind Abed as soon as Jeff returned through the swinging doors. "Did you really film the conception?"