Turns out, having superpowers is kind of a pain in the ass. No, seriously.
Unless you're Jeff Winger, that is.
The day starts off like any depressingly normal one, the kind that seem to have taken over his life lately - punctuated only by time spent in the study room and the slow, early mornings when he stops at the coffee shop on his commute. It's those first precious moments that he likes to savor, right after he's gotten his caffeine, when the smell of non-fat low-foam latte fills his nose and there's only blissful quiet, not the sound of Pierce puffing helplessly away at the mouthpiece that powers his ridiculous wheelchair, or Abed trying to explain to him the lessons learned from watching Serpico for the umpteenth time.
He steps up to the counter and smiles. He might actually mean it. The girl who waits on him every day is cute enough, freckles peppering the bridge of her nose in a way that reminds him of Britta when he's too distracted to keep track of where his thoughts are going. Watch it, Winger. Remember: coffee. He re-directs.
"The usual?" she asks, hand already grasping for the steel pitcher.
Jeff manages a grunt. He's somewhat unintelligible before he gets his first fix.
He chances a look at his watch as the steam wand spurts to life. Less than two minutes and she's already passing him his cup. Her fingers brush against his during the hand-off.
Her eyes go dark and she clutches at his hand, spilling hot milk over the back of his knuckles. He curses under his breath and drops the cup.
"What the hell are you doing?" Jeff hisses, trying to rip his hand out of her grip so he can at least go for some napkins to mop up the coffee that is currently searing into his skin - not to mention staining the sleeve of his favorite American Apparel thermal.
"I want to have your children," she intones. O-kay, Jeff thinks. He's gotten some lines before, but this would definitely fall under the category of firsts. He busies himself with cleaning up as he gives one last tug to pull free. Immediately, she blinks, looking down at the mess in front of them with a mix of surprise and confusion.
"Oh, my God, I am so sorry. I don't know what happened." She's still babbling through her apology, and even offers to refund his money twice, to make him another latte, but he leaves her behind with a half-empty cup and a wad of soaked napkins. He's pretty sure he can't get out of there fast enough, cringing inside at the feeling of everyone's eyes burning into his back.
In the safety of his car, he pauses before turning the key in the ignition.
"That was weird," Jeff mutters.
Gooood morning, Greendale! As we begin our spring semester, I believe it's important to start things off on a high note - so let's try to keep the mischief and antics to a minimum, shall we? That being said: if anyone has any information on the person or persons responsible for the desecration of our school flag over the non-denominational winter break -
Jeff casts a disparaging look in the direction of the nearest loudspeaker, electing to tune out the Dean shortly before Britta catches up to him in the hallway, the sound of her boots against the tile announcing her presence.
"Someone looks thrilled to be back," she points out, easing into step next to him. There's something strange about the way she utters her words, he notices, but then the reality of his caffeine withdrawal takes over and he stops paying attention to anything that may or may not be decidedly not Britta.
"Oh, the thrills stopped long before I even came back to this hellhole," he mutters. "In fact, it all started this morning, with a dash of awkward and some minor chaos thrown in for good measure."
"Is that why there's coffee on your shirt?" Britta asks, pointing to his left sleeve. Jeff looks down, genuinely puzzled. He'd thrown a jacket on coming in to hide that very stain.
"How'd you know about that?" he asks. Britta shifts, looking down at the floor and turning her toes in slightly, the way she does when she's caught in something. He sort of hates himself for knowing that.
"Okay, don't look at me like I'm crazy, because that's how I feel already for even saying this, but - we've had this conversation before," she finally explains, looking at him like she half-expects him to react - maniacal laughter, projectile vomiting, something.
"Isn't deja vu a little cliché, especially for you?" is all he can come up with.
Britta narrows her eyes at him.
"Come on. I could go into all the ways in which you are the epitome of cliché, but I'm being serious here. We were just here, talking, walking to the study room, and then you told me about what happened at the coffee shop - "
"I did?" Jeff asks, frowning.
"You did. But, somehow, you didn't exactly get around to the why and the how you managed to spill coffee on your favorite shirt."
"This isn't my favorite shirt," Jeff lies.
"It is," Britta says, without missing a beat. "Not the point. The point is that I did this. Somehow, and I don't know how, and I'm not even sure I can explain it without sounding like I need to be committed - " She leans in, glancing both ways, and whispers conspiratorially.
"I turned back time."
"And you expect me to believe this how?"
"Because right before I did it, we were talking, and this happened." She steadies herself, taking a breath, and just when Jeff's about to ask her what she's preparing herself for, she reaches out to grab his hand. Her knees buckle, her eyes go wide, and she stumbles against him, breathing hard.
"I need your mouth on me," she whispers, voice reaching an unnaturally high octave, and Jeff has to give his lower brain a chance to catch up before he can pull away. Britta straightens, tugging at the hem of her leather jacket, clearing her throat.
"It happened, didn't it?"
"Are you telling me you don't remember saying that just now?" Jeff's still not convinced the rest of the study group isn't hiding behind the corner - or even just Abed with the Flip Video Camcorder his dad bought him for Christmas.
"No," Britta hisses, clutching her textbook against her chest as they start walking toward the study room again. "But between the two of us, something seriously weird is going on here."
"I think you might be right," Jeff hears himself saying, at the same time Britta does.
"I knew you were going to say that," she explains matter-of-factly.
The rest of the walk is silent.
The study room is quiet. Too quiet - and the strange part is that everyone's there already, glancing back and forth between each other with the same expression of awkward discomfort.
"Judging by the way everyone is looking at each other and not speaking, I'm going to guess you all had weird experiences this morning," Jeff says, taking his usual seat.
"Shirley can read minds!" Annie blurts out, before falling silent again.
"And I could've lived my whole life without knowing the kinds of things running through Pierce's head," Shirley mutters, shooting a glare in Pierce's direction.
"I would've thought you'd be flattered," Pierce replies.
"You just need to concern yourself about going to Hell for what your filthy mind is thinking," Shirley says, drawing her purse in against her chest like a black pleather shield.
"And anyway, my power's the coolest," Pierce adds. It takes Jeff a minute to realize he's not in the wheelchair anymore, or even on crutches - and when he stands up, holding his arms out in an obvious display, his legs are cast-free.
"Wait, how did you - ?" Jeff starts.
"He can heal himself," Troy explains. "From any injury."
"Seriously?" Britta asks.
"He re-broke his leg walking in here," Troy says, his voice drifting off at the end as he revisits the memory - and then shakes his head, bringing himself back out of it. "Trust me: we all saw it."
"I'd give up a lot of things to un-see it," Shirley says.
"I wonder if I could do something about that," Britta absently replies.
"What're you talking about, girl?" Shirley asks.
"Britta can manipulate time," Jeff nonchalantly offers.
"Jeff can seduce people!" Britta interrupts, casting a triumphant look in his direction and then slouching back down in her chair.
"Only when they touch me," Jeff slowly explains. Somewhere along the line, he ends up sharing a glance with Annie - and he's pretty sure he's not imagining her favorite purple pen starting to come up off the table, hovering in the air in front of her until she snatches it up in her hand, quickly forcing it back down and discreetly clearing her throat. No one's paying attention. Troy's mouth is still hanging open.
"Man, you got the sex power? That is so not fair. I got stuck with this - I woke up this morning and I started thinking about what I wanted for lunch, and then I remembered that taco place down the street that has the most incredibly delicious burritos and - "
There's a loud pop, and when they look back, Troy's gone, papers strewn out on the floor where one lone tennis shoe still remains, the only evidence of him being there at all to begin with.
"It's been happening all morning," Abed calmly explains, suddenly in his chair.
Annie screams. Pierce falls backward out of his seat with a yell of pain and the accompanying noise of something breaking.
"Where did you come from?" Jeff demands, more out of exasperation than predictable surprise.
"I'm alright!" Pierce's cry from the floor sounds only moderately strangled. "I know how to set the bone this time."
"I've been here the whole time," Abed says, shrugging. "Invisibility really comes in handy."
"And let me guess: you're planning on using your newly acquired abilities to re-enact the infamous girls' locker room scene from Porky's," Jeff says.
"Not exactly. There's a bigger issue at stake now, Jeff. Having powers changes everything. We're going to face some serious moral quandaries to make the ultimate decision - the decision of whether or not we will use these powers for good or for evil. It's the biggest choice any true hero has to come to terms with. The one that defines his life," Abed solemnly replies.
The room goes quiet.
"At the very least, we need to decide if we're going to band together like the X-Men," Abed adds.
"I need to get to class," Jeff announces. There's a pause, and then the rest of the group stands and follows, Pierce limping noticeably.
"I was thinking the uniforms could be a hybrid of the comic book series and the movie trilogy, mixed with our own unique color scheme," Abed continues. "I've drawn up a few preliminary sketches, but I'm going to have to get everyone's measurements before I start sewing - "
five minutes later:
" - I can teleport," Troy finishes, glancing around the empty study room.
"Guys? ... Guys?"