Abed wasn't greeted with the smells of pancakes or bacon when he woke up. Eggs didn't crack against the counter or sizzle in the frying pan. Plates didn't clink lightly against each other and the drawers didn't slide open or clang knives and forks together.
It was quiet, like it was three weeks ago.
Before Annie moved in it was always quiet in the mornings. He was up before Troy every morning, and he'd usually wake up his friend with two bowls of cereal, special drink, and Inspector Spacetime.
Something felt off in the apartment, even with Troy's gentle snoring and the quiet pacing of Annie's lithe feet in the next room. He would have left her alone to her own devices and settled with some Captain Crunch, but something compelled him to climb out of bed and go to Annie's room.
Annie wouldn't not make them breakfast. Abed's internal sensors indicated that she was too much of a control freak for that.
And yes, while Annie was a control freak, when Abed quietly opened her door he realized she was very much out of control.
She was only wearing some short sleeping pants and a simple graphic tee, one that looked suspiciously like his or Troy's, but it wasn't the stressed out pacing she would do the night before deadline when the study group was cramming again.
It was a frantic pacing, and she was even muttering to herself every few seconds. She was manic, and her hands were shaking as she wrung them between each other. Her hair, usually so flat and controlled, was tangled and messy, tied up in a very loose bun. She didn't even notice his presence, which was also very un-Annie like, as she and Troy had to have a talk with him after he had almost walked in on her changing.
An orange pill was sitting carefully perched on her desk, a little capsule with tiny orange and white beads inside. A bag was next to it, open and tossed to the floor long forgotten. It looked old, and he recognized it from unpacking her room in a box marked SCHOOL STUFF.
It took a second for him to recognize the pill. His expression didn't change as he realized that Annie had found an old Adderall pill. Annie. Annie Adderall, as Troy slipped and called her once when their friendship was new.
Annie Adderall who imagined robots chasing her and ran through a glass wall. Annie Adderall who had faded stitch scars in her right shoulder. Annie Adderall who was staring anxiously at the pill like it was an optic pocketknife and she was a Blorgon.
His Annie wasn't in front of him, and Abed didn't want to deal with this Annie. This Annie was Evil Annie, much like his Evil Abed, except hers didn't come from the dreamitorium, it came from a little pill.
He knew he had to deal with Evil Annie though, as she would foolishly try to handle Evil Abed if the situations were reversed. He couldn't let someone from the darkest timeline try to tamper with his carefully constructed plot.
Abed carefully catalogued this information before stepping forward and grabbing Annie's shaking wrist. He had to be careful when dealing with this Evil Annie. Evil Abed was carefully closed in the dreamitorium, but if he knew that Evil Annie was out too it might just give him enough strength to break out.
Evil Annie was alarmed at the sudden touch, and her cheeks tinted a bright pink as she realized that he had seen her.
"I figured this would happen," Abed found himself saying. He had to calm down Evil Annie before Evil Abed heard her. She was still frantic, her eyes quickly bounced between the pill and Abed as she worried her bottom lip. Abed knew it was a habit of Annie's, one she did unknowingly when she was especially anxious, and so he carefully tried to calm her down, "It's the summer so you don't have anything to study, and studying is what you replaced your Adderall addiction with, right? House did the same thing in season 6. He didn't want to be an asshole to his patients, so he took up baking. He was really good at it too, but he liked medicine more."
Evil Annie looked like she had barely registered what Abed had even said as she quickly burst out, "I didn't look for it, I swear I-I-I was unpacking, and I found my old high school bag and I-I thought it would be fun to relive some memories, you know? I thought I would find old test or homework bu-but I found-"
At that point Evil Annie was sobbing. He stiffened as she wrapped her arms around his torso. He had gotten better at the study group's constant resolving conflict with touching, but he wasn't prepared for any form of Annie to hug him. She usually worked her way up to hugs, and they were usually out of happiness. Evil Annie looked like she was ready to force herself through another glass window.
He tried again.
"Troy has a theory that The Count from Sesame Street replaced his blood lust with compulsive counting. It has its merits, I can admit," Evil Annie was still crying against him. Her hands had managed to embed themselves in his shirt, much to his displeasure. After a few seconds, he checked his internal memory and tried to find what anyone else would do in this situation.
His hands carefully rubbed her back, unsure of how this would help. He had seen mothers do it to their babies to get them to calm down, and it worked when Troy sometimes cried a lot. Of course, Troy hadn't been Evil Troy and Evil Troy hadn't actually been invented yet since Troy hadn't cried in front of him since Jeff foolishly created the alternate time lines and Abed hadn't spent too much time learning the inner dynamics of Evil Annie, as Evil Abed had been very aggressive in stopping him from learning anything about the darkest timeline.
"Even Tony Stark had an alcohol addiction. As opposed to you with school, he replaced it with work and became Iron Man. We don't really have the money to invest in you becoming a vigilante overnight, though. You would make a nice Catwoman but given past experience your character at this point wouldn't allow you to be an anti-hero and you don't have the emotional trauma like Jason Todd did to push you to become one."
Abed inwardly cringed at referring to Marvel and DC in the same sentence, but knew that Evil Annie wouldn't make the connection in her emotional state. He quickly made some more calculations and found he could provide a few more examples of Addiction Displacement to distract Evil Annie, but when he looked down, he found just regular Annie in his arms.
The glint was gone from her eyes, and her sobs had just turned to quiet sniffles. She still clung to him. The only expression on her face was fear, and she appeared to be thinking to herself. He didn't doubt she was afraid since she had just been overtaken by her Evil counterpart.
"Abed," her voice cracked around his name, and for some reason it felt like when Troy had stabbed him in fork jousting as he heard it. "Can you please take me out of here?"
He nodded silently and half carried half walked her out of her bedroom. He shut the door quietly behind her, noticing a distinct change in her expression as he did. Abed analyzed that, like the dreamitorium was Evil Abed's portal to his world, the Adderall pill must have been Evil Annie's.
Evil Abed must have planted it.
As Abed stirred special drink with Annie watching him, he decided it was up to him to keep Annie safe from hers and his parallel selves. Despite her readiness to play with Troy and him, and her glee when they include her in watching television, he knew she wouldn't have the mental capacity to withstand their assault.
A storm is coming, Mr. Nadir, he thought quietly to himself. That Catwoman talk had gotten his mind on Batman. Batman. After he made sure Annie was safe he would definitely need to summon his cowl.
Abed handed her special drink and provided her a bendy straw from his secret stash, she was in an emotionally fragile place right now, he reasoned.
In his usual monotone way, he said, "I'll get rid of it."
Annie looked grateful, and before she could manage to look like a Disney heroine, he quickly turned back.
When his hand was on the doorknob, Annie quietly whispered his name.
He turned and braced himself for her to jump in his arms or kiss him like the heroines usually did when the male saves them from a fate worse than death, but only saw her eyes filling with tears. He cocked his head to the side, examining her. He was going to slay the beast, and then this plot point would be done. Shouldn't she have rejoiced?
"Please... Can we please keep this between us and not tell the others?"
Abed made a zipper on his lips and turned back to her room, thinking to himself that he really hadn't intended to tell anyone else in the first place.
If Annie could succumb that easily to Evil Annie, it was frightening to think how quickly the rest of the study group would when faced with their Evil counterparts.
This is my first time writing as Abed and it is actually very hard to get into his headspace so I'm really sorry if this is bad or anything.