Contrary to what I expected, I have not rejoined Occupy but instead am now interning at Sanctuary One, a therapeutic "care farm" that rescues dogs, cats and farm animals and hosts many visits and activities. I recommend it to everyone! Just don't show up all at once ;D Comments and conversation welcome. Now -- fic! I actually have an Angel: the Series fanfic nearly completed, but for now here's a recent little something about the show Community (also recommended to everyone). It includes many jokes about Inspector Spacetime, the Community homage to Doctor Who, because a significant portion of us nearly wet our pants in delight when they made that joke and it shall never die.
And Now Back to You Mr. Barnes
Summary: Everybody is reading way too much into Troy and Abed's student film projects. Yeesh.
Length: ~2500 words
“This is seriously not a big deal,” Troy explains patiently. “It's all a legitimate part of our shenanigans, and I think that should be obvious.”
“Troy,” Annie says unbelieving, glancing down at the tape in discomfort, “Those were not shenanigans-level... hijinks. There was some serious tongue-on-tongue action--”
“For the dramatic payoff!” Troy rebuffs. “Come on. Annie. Weren't you into drama? You should know all about romantic tension.”
Annie looks skeptical. “Well, maybe you should just explain it to me, if it's that obvious.”
Crap. Troy gets shifty-eyed. This is so awkward.
“Unresolved feelings of attraction provide interest and promises of things to come. It's a reliable way to humanize the main character while adding some sex appeal,” Abed appears on cue, taking a seat next to Troy. He has a bowl, cereal and milk; he takes the spoon out of Troy's empty cereal bowl and begins eating with it. “What are you guys... oh, is this Space Chronicles Nine?” Abed studies the laptop screen for a moment but is distracted by a fly on his cheerio as soon as he's identified the image on screen. Annie is once again dumbfounded.
“How did you-- does none of this strike you as atypical? In any way?”
Abed squints at the screen. “I guess we have more of a propensity than most of our peers to construct fantastic narratives. Is that what you mean?”
“Wow.” Annie's grabbing her bag and making an exit. “Okay, I'm not getting in the middle of this.”
“I knew from the poster of Admiral Dawkins in the background!” Abed calls after her, twisting around on the couch. He turns back around and continues at a normal speaking volume. “The only other time the leads make out is Samantha's moment of weakness in the Viper docking bay in Space Chronicles Five, and we used the basement to film that.”
“I know,” Troy lies unconvincingly. “Samantha's not a slut.”
So they had done the hand-in-front-of-your-mouth thing at first but Abed said it looked really phony on film. Plus, it was so much trouble, it just wasn't worth maintaining. Troy knew it was, okay, a little weird, but it was really exciting for Abed when they got a great finished product. He was always going on about “rawness” and “gritty realism.” And Troy, despite the disastrous potential if the tapes ever got into the wrong hands, didn't really mind. It was actually a great way to create stories together, helping Abed write out scripts and then acting them, and what's a space-age comedy noir without a romantic subplot?
“That was strange,” Abed states flatly. It hangs there for a moment.
“Yeah,” Troy sighs. “I just don't know why she doesn't get it.”
Britta is totally weird at dance class the next day. She sidles over to him as they're warming up.
“Troy,” she nods at him, suppressing a grin. Oh, crap.
“Look,” Troy heads her off. “I know you probably already talked with Annie--”
“And what would I have to talk about with Annie, Troy?” The grin is getting bigger. “Perhaps a certain... student film? You know, Abed is quite the student of the human condition.”
Troy groans. “Look, I promise it's not what you think.” He goes into a lunge to stretch his calf.
“--In fact, his movies have been known to predict people's real-life behavior,” Britta continues blithely. “He's kind of a genius like that.”
“I know he's a genius!” Troy hisses, not really wanting to attract attention. “Listen, if you saw Abed's vision you would help him achieve it too, and if I get distracted and twist something because you're crowding my quads then--”
“Okay, okay!” Britta moves away, eyes rolling. But twenty minutes later, there she is, back all up in his grill again. “You know,” she whispers, “seriously, the world wouldn't end if it turned out that you and Abed... y'know...”
“Britta!” Troy gasps, as quietly as possible. He can feel himself blushing. “Shut up!”
“Just saying!” she whispers back. She doesn't bring it up anymore after that, but every time she looks at him he can see she's biting her tongue to stop herself. So that's kind of satisfying.
Annie and Britta keep exchanging charged glances and it fills Troy with foreboding. After the rest of study group leaves, their faces plead with Abed and him to stay another minute, so they sit uneasily.
“Troy told me that you two would try to talk to us. And I think you guys should really reevaluate your interpretation here. Remember, we don't all have your values.” Britta scowls at this.
“What's that supposed to mean?”
“Nothing offensive. What I mean is, if you were in our position, you would probably be having all sorts of conflicting emotions and giving them priority. But I value artistic exercise and the pursuit of authenticity in creative outputs. You know the scene where Billy Crystal is skeptical that all women have at one point or another faked a climax? I'm like Meg Ryan. Sometimes, there's smoke but no fire.”
“What are you even saying?” Troy asks him. Britta also looks puzzled.
“When Harry met Sally. Iconic scene,” Abed fills him in. “Rob Reiner. The point is, it's all for the camera. Perhaps not the most common phenomenon, but definitely plausible.”
“Dude,” Troy mutters to him, hoping the ladies don't hear. “When you say stuff like that? It sounds like you just made everything up.”
“Not at all,” Abed responds at full-volume. “Things can be plausible or implausible in real life.” He gestures to Britta's frowning face. “Britta being skeptical of my explanation? Plausible. A man dressed like an eggplant cursing out a bookcase?” here Abed gestures out of the study room toward Todd, dressed in a purple eggplant-suit of high gloss and losing his temper at Memoirs and Biographical Fiction, “Implausible. Excluding Dean Pelton. You reacting well when you realize why we're here? Implausible.”
“Why we're... is this a hooking-up thing? Are you guys trying to get Abed and me to be gay together?” Troy's eyes widen. Britta panics and tries to salvage the situation.
“No, Troy, that's not what – I mean... well, okay I do think you guys would be amazing together, but I wasn't going to try to, to sway you or anything,” Britta pauses uneasily and then continues rambling, now mostly to herself. “Not that it's something you can just decide for a guy.”
“You were! This is so weird. I'm leaving!” Troy stomps out, quite shaken.
“Troy!” Britta calls, getting up to run after him. Annie and Abed are left sitting alone.
“You understand about my vision,” Abed says to Annie slowly, piecing it together.
“Hmm?” she asks. Abed frowns for another moment, considering, before he elaborates.
“You understand my priorities, but believe that the reason my movies necessitate a romantic subplot so often is a subconscious and unacknowledged attraction. To my same-sex roommate.”
Annie opens her mouth to speak, thinks better of it, closes her mouth again and nods.
“Well, it doesn't seem that way to me,” Abed thinks aloud, “but objectively it's worth considering. Thanks for the alternate interpretation, Annie.”
Abed gets up and leaves, then. Annie is left wondering what exactly she was hoping to accomplish with this.
“Willem Dafoe's character in Boondock Saints is gay,” Abed remembers. Troy nods.
“He was badass,” Troy has to concede. They're lying in their beds, Troy on the top bunk, Abed the bottom.
“There are famous lesbian pirates in the seventeenth century. Anne Bonny and Mary Read.”
Troy perks up visibly. “Yeah?”
“Well, you have to read between the lines a little,” Abed qualifies. Troy looks a little disappointed.
“Nah, that's two ladies. Two dudes is a little different, you have to admit.” Abed nods his understanding.
“Yeah, male homosexuality carries more stigma. But because it's more controversial, it also has fierce defenders. I went to a gay bar once last year? Saw a man get punched in the face because he insulted someone's boyfriend.” Abed contemplates this memory for a moment, fondly. It was always exciting when such cinematic moments manifested spontaneously.
Troy smiles a little. “Naw, I mean...” he pauses to consider his wording. “I'm cool with all that. I'm just... I'm still about the ladies, you know?”
“Have you considered bisexuality? I hear it's becoming an increasingly culturally-viable lifestyle option.” Troy had that feeling Abed was making a joke again. “There's this character on Inspector Spacetime, Captain James? He's from a future where everyone is omnisexual. Humans, aliens. It's used as comic relief, but the message is fairly positive.”
“Captain James?” Troy sounds hopeful. “The guy with the cool coat?”
Troy considers. “That guy is a serious pimp.”
“Precisely,” Abed nods. “His pimpitude knows no boundaries of gender or species.”
“So he's like, an intergalactic player.” Troy nods to himself. “Oh dude, can the Dreamatorium be the DARSIT today? I was thinking, what if the Inspector finds out that one of his old Associates teamed up with the Blorgons, and he has to find out why?”
Abed sits up. “Is the answer complex and morally gray but ultimately emotionally satisfying?”
“It could be,” Troy breathes. “I didn't really think that far.”
Abed stands and begins pacing. “I think I could come up with a sufficiently intriguing scenario. Maybe Brooke has to make a deal with the devil to save humanity. She knows the Blorgons are going to turn on her, but they're the only force powerful enough to counter the Time Deviants now that they're led by Ms. Patch.” Troy is sitting on the edge of the bed, listening intently.
“Cool! Can Jeffrey come, too?”
“Sure, but he might be redundant. Or I guess we could use him instead of Brooke. Is that what you would prefer?”
“Nah, whatever. Who do you want to be, the Inspector again?”
Abed smirks, extending his hand to help Troy off the top bunk. “Well then. Let's normalize the alignment of the electron stream.”
“Excellent.” Troy takes his hand. “I mean uh, by Jove, Inspector, that just might work!”
“So, uh.” Troy panics for a second at the questioning faces, but Britta is smiling encouragingly and Annie seems pleased. He smiles at her and gets a cheerful thumbs-up.
“Now, you all know how much I love the ladies,” Troy continues lamely. Eyebrows rise.
“Troy, have you found yourself a new ladyfriend?” Shirley guesses.
“Not exactly,” he doesn't meet her eyes, and Shirley frowns in confusion. “The thing is, Abed and me... well, I decided that even though... I mean, okay, it's kinda unusual but--”
“Oh!” Shirley gets it, midsentence. She glances involuntarily over at Pierce. “You and Abed? You two are... dating?”
“Really, though, right?” Jeff interjects. “Because I thought you guys were together when you told us you were getting an apartment. And like, five other times. You guys do a lot of really gay stuff.”
Pierce gives a wheezing laugh. “You guys are gay? Holy crap. GAY. Are you doing it in the butthole?”
“Pierce!” Annie squeaks. “Not really your business! And, not really something I want to hear about.” Shirley nods fervently. Britta shrugs.
“Well, boys, let me be the first to, um, to congratulate you on your new relationship. I wish you both happiness.” Everyone looks at Shirley, surprised. “What?” she asks. “I may love Jesus, but I also love my friends. Besides, a good Christian knows to "judge not.'” (Jeff and Britta share an incredulous look, but say nothing.) Shirley smiles at Troy, and he finds himself returning it.
“So, the coming-out genre has been done to death in the Queer film community,” Abed offers.
“Yeah, let's move this along,” Troy translates. “Shouldn't we be studying something? Cells? Nucleus...es?”
“Very true!” Annie responds, opening her book. “Okay, who can define the 'nucleolus'?” Several people groan in unison.
The opening strains of Batman Begins fill the apartment. Troy is on Abed's right, glancing over apprehensively. Abed has a bowl of popcorn in his lap. He grabs individual kernels and pops them in his mouth one at a time. Troy starts to feel really weird about this.
He slides his arm behind Abed, resting it on the couch. Abed adjusts his position slightly and keeps watching.
“Hey, man,” Troy starts. “Do you wanna, uh...” Abed looks over and Troy gives him a Significant Glance. Even throws in some Significant Eyebrows. Abed looks him over for a moment, coming to a decision. Then he closes his eyes, tilts his head, and leans in... and Troy jumps back.
“Sorry,” Troy mutters. “Okay, I'm cool now.” He leans back in, remembering wistfully the days when he was the smoothest guy on campus. One hand touches Abed's cheek, and they kiss, tenderly, for a few brief moments.
Abed withdraws slowly, gives Troy a scrutinizing look.
“I know what to do,” he says. He stands up, offering his hand to Troy, and Troy takes it. Abed turns off the movie and leads him into the Dreamatorium.
“Dammit, Inspector,” Troy cries, “how can you act like nothing's happened after all we've been through? It isn't fair!”
“I'm sorry,” Abed grimaces, full of angst. “It's just so hard for me to face. I've been alone for so long... I'm not sure I can be what you need anymore.”
“Oh, Inspector,” Troy smiles. “Why do you always worry? All I ever wanted was you. Let me teach you...” He draws in closer, “how to be human.” Troy's lips are almost on Abed's mouth. At once, Abed grabs him, kissing him desperately. Troy can barely hang on for a second, then rallies and begins kissing him back. Abed stops kissing him momentarily but doesn't release his hold on Troy's hip.
“All this time, I've been traveling through time and space,” he says worshipfully, a faint smile on his face, “And now, for the first time, I find there's still something so new; something I'm not sure I understand. But I know it's what I need.”
He holds a hand to Troy's cheek.
“Humans,” Abed smiles fondly. “I couldn't ask for a more spectacular adventure.”
~no further dialogue in scene~