"He has his own wing," Troy said. "So it's not like we see each other all the time. But 2 A.M. Pop-Tart time is solo Pop-Tart time now, and his footman keeps giving me dirty looks."
"Why does Pierce have a footman?" Abed asked.
Troy shrugged. "Guards his shoes or something, I dunno."
Abed contemplated this for a moment and then picked up their bucket list again. "We could move speaking in Pig Latin to Thursday, giving us tomorrow to sneak into Jeff's apartment and move everything six inches to the left. "
"Fine by me," Troy said. "The thing I can never figure out is how Dustin never touches Pierce's shoes. Or feet stuff. He just mostly hangs around, glaring."
"Other people are weird," Abed said.
A few days later, they were in the porch swing on the second veranda at Pierce's and watching Breaking Bad on Abed's laptop when the new mail icon lit up with something from Greendale. Abed clicked on it immediately. His forehead wrinkled up as he read.
"So?" Troy said, watching the little twist his mouth made when he was upset. Abed didn't make a lot of faces; Troy had learned to read him by his mouth.
"They're reclassifying my room," Abed said. "Apparently they made an error, and my single is unrealistically large for a college dorm room. They're giving me a roommate."
"Ew," Troy said. He peered over Abed's shoulder. "Dan Boyle. I hate Dan Boyle."
"You know him?" Abed asked.
Pierce came striding out of the gardens, and stopped short when he saw them. Troy looked at Pierce. Then he looked at Abed. Abed looked at Pierce. Pierce looked at them, and then turned around and walked away.
"This is the worst," Troy said.
"The double stall bathroom in my dad's falafel shop is less awkward," Abed agreed.
Annie and Troy helped move all of Abed's stuff to one side of his room. Dumb Dan had agreed to keep the bunk beds, but Abed had been using the second bureau for more DVDS, and the closet they were supposed to share was filled with hoodies.
"Why don't you just get an apartment, Abed?" Annie asked. "Then you can fill it with all of this silly stuff and no one would care."
"My stuff isn't silly," Abed said, holding a pez dispenser of Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting.
"And apartments cost money, Annie. Duh." Troy said.
Annie rolled her eyes. "You can take more money out when you apply for your student loan and use it for rent. And you can get one in a crappy neighborhood to save money! Or get a roommate."
Troy didn't say anything at all and pretended to be looking at sweaters. "Troy?" Abed said.
"Should I leave?" Annie asked. "Do you two need privacy?"
"I thought you didn't want to," Troy said, clenching the sleeve of Abed's Bert sweater in his hand, his voice too excited.
Annie left. Neither of them noticed. Abed tilted his head, and Troy watched his mouth, and saw him smile just a little. "Changed my mind," he said. "Hey, do you still have the packing boxes from our submarine?"
The worst thing about their super genius plan was that neither one of them knew anything about picking apartments.
"Get one with stainless steel," Jeff said with his feet on the study table. "Nice faucets, if you can."
"No way," Britta said. "You have to look for character. Evidence that people really lived there."
"No porn shops," Annie said. "No clubs, no all night businesses. Get blinds."
In the end, it was Shirley who had the best advice. She explained to them twice what utilities were and then pulled out the classifieds part of the paper. Troy and Abed circled ones in their price range, and then went to go look at them.
Everything Shirley said went out the window because the first one on their list was above a movie theater/arcade. "It's got running water," the landlord said gruffly as he showed them around. "Sometimes you gotta hit the sink to get it going so I included a hammer. Free o'charge."
"Damn," Troy said. "I love hammers."
"And we enter through the theater?" Abed said, not even looking at the place.
"Yeah," the landlord said. "It's my theater. This used to be the main office but then I remembered how much I hate being here, so I pay other people to do it and make them work out of a closet." He cackled to himself. "You boys like movies? You can come down and see'em if you don't make too much trouble about it. I only show them second run movies but I got AC."
"I don't think the bathroom has a door," Troy said.
"We live here now," Abed said.
"Duh," Troy said.
The first month they lived in the apartment was pretty bad. Troy went from his parents house to Pierce's house, and Abed had gone from his dad's house to the dorms, so while they had the futon, posters, and a TV, they didn't have dishes, beds, appliances, or shower stuff. They used paper towels to eat off of and slept in blanket forts. The first time they went grocery shopping, they came home with two bags of Doritos and a brick of cheddar cheese.
"I think I have scurvy," Abed said, lying face down on the futon, which remained the only piece of furniture in their apartment.
"I do feel unpleasant," Troy said. "Wanna go downstairs and play Pac Man?"
Abed did, and after they spent their quarters, they begged stale popcorn from Leroy at the concession stand and went into the theater to see E.T.
After that, they discovered tag sales, bought cookbooks for dummies, and collected an odd assortment of patterned dishes and coffee cups with various slogans on them. Pierce, once they were all friends again, bought them a microwave and Abed's dad gave them a couple pots and pans from his shop. They hung a sheet with rockets on it over the bathroom door frame so no one had to yell "NO LOOKSIES" when using it.
The first time they found a mouse, Troy was nearly traumatized. They both were pretty bad slobs, and as Troy slotted a piece of bread into the toaster, he disturbed a little brown mouse who was feasting on the crumbs of the last ten pieces of toast they ate.
Approximately 0.06 seconds later, Troy was on top of the table, knees pulled to his chest. Abed found him there an hour later when he got home.
"I hate mice." Troy said.
"Yeah," Abed agreed. "I know." He called the landlord who laughed and bought them a couple traps. Abed did not even attempt to argue who of the two of them would be in charge of clearing the bodies. Troy bought more cleaning supplies.
When it got cold, they cheerfully dialed the heat up to comfortable levels and played video games as the frost curled on the windows, warm and snug in what Troy privately thought of as their little nest. Until Abed opened the first heating bill while sitting at the study table, and silently made the Eyeballs Of Buggin Out.
Troy held out his hand, and Abed passed it over. "Holy shit," Troy yelled, dropping it like he'd been scalded.
Britta picked it up, and whistled. "Are you guys running a sauna?"
"No," Troy said. "If we did, it would have more happy endings."
"More?" Jeff asked, raising an eyebrow.
"I explained to you how--" Shirley started, but Troy turned to Abed and said "We have got to start closing that window in the bathroom."
That night, they experimented in temperatures that didn't start with 8, and Troy was so cold, he crawled in with Abed.
"We should get beds," Abed commented, as he shifted to make himself the big spoon. "It probably wouldn't be so cold if we weren't on the floor."
"That's some grownup shit," Troy said sleepily, and stuck his cold toes between Abed's freakishly long calves.
"We could be ready," Abed said, and he settled his hand on Troy's hip. Troy didn't say anything at all.
When he woke up, he was sprawled across all the available space and Abed was gone. He stumbled out, bleary eyed, and had to stare for a minute before he comprehended that Abed had laid out two bowls of Captain Crunch on their coffee table.
"Hey," Abed said, setting the milk down. "Breakfast."
"Yes," Troy said and pumped his fist. It was so delicious, Troy didn't think to ask until he had almost finished slurping the milk what he had done to deserve it.
Abed shrugged and didn't answer. "Do you want to go out for dinner tonight?" he asked.
"Hell yeah," Troy said.
"Okay," Abed said, and took their dishes to the sink.
It didn't get weird until later. Well, Abed did weird stuff all day, like pull out Troy's chair and share his chicken nuggets, but Troy was used to a certain level of weird from Abed. He didn't ask any questions until they came home, and Abed reemerged from his room wearing a tie.
"Whoa," Troy said. "I thought we were going to Chili's."
"No," Abed said, and ducked into the bathroom.
"Is that cologne?" Troy called after him to no response.
They rode their bikes to a restaurant near school, one with a hostess who raised an eyebrow when they came in, but seated them anyways.
"Abed," Troy said, once they were alone. "Are you filming this? Is this a reference I don't get? I told you I hate Woody Allen movies."
"It's dinner," Abed said blankly. "What's weird about dinner?"
"Nothing," Troy hissed, "But this kind of seems like a date."
"Yes," Abed said.
When the rushing left Troy's ears, Abed was still sitting there, unflappable as always. Sometimes Troy wished he was a little more flappy. "Why now?" he said. "Because of last night?"
"Yes," Abed said. "And this year, and the year before." He tilted his head at Troy. "Remember the episode of Inspector Spacetime where Lily Taylor got stuck in that upside down dimension and the Inspector couldn't come after her or time would melt?"
"Yes," Troy said. "You know I don't like being reminded of it."
"Because you, the viewer, realized that it was stupid how Lily was on the show for two seasons and it was only then that the Inspector admitted anything when it was too late." He looked at Troy seriously. "I don't want to wake up one day and realize the only reason we never got together was because we were both too scared to try."
Troy felt like his heart was gonna pound out of his chest. He had never let himself think of his relationship with Abed as anything else but innocent fun, otherwise even he'd have to admit they were really weird for each other. He thought about the mouse traps, and the Captain Crunch, and Abed's hand on his hip.
"We're really going to need a bed," he said.
"I totally can't pay for this restaurant," Abed said, and on an unspoken count to three, they ran for it.
On the way home, they stopped for condoms and squirt guns.