Before she met Abed and Troy, Annie had never actually been in a blanket fort in her life. Her brothers were four and five years older than her respectively (they made blanket forts, but she wasn't allowed in), her sister was seven years older (too old to want to play with her and too young to want to humour her kid sister), and her friends were mostly interested in things like board games and puzzles and drawing pictures of women's dresses.
Annie was mostly interested in those things, too.
But what it means is that she's never had the occasion, before, to feel what she's feeling now: secluded and safe, snuggled up with other warm, trusted bodies in a giant heap of pillows and blankets, protected by the hanging sheets that shield them from the outside world. Abed is on her right, sitting motionless but pressing up against her, his skinny hip hot next to hers, their shoulders rubbing; Troy is on her left, fidgeting from position to position, from sitting crosslegged to sitting with his knees drawn up to just splaying himself out on the pillows, but he too is in constant contact with her, poking her in the ribs by accident and sometimes, casually, maybe without even noticing, hooking his ankle over hers.
A few years ago she would've been red with embarrassment and vague, unarticulated desire, but now she just pokes Troy back and challenges Abed to occasional thumb wars when Inspector Spacetime goes into exposition overdrive. They're eating popcorn and wearing pajamas, and it's one in the afternoon.
Growing up isn't what Annie thought it would be. Thank god.
"I have a question," Abed begins, raising his index finger and glancing over at them sidelong, the way he does when what he actually has is an idea.
"Shoot," Annie replies, generously.
Abed turns his finger into a finger gun and shoots it at her, making a little "pew!" noise and winking. She grins, and next to her Troy giggles quietly, the way he does whenever Abed makes a joke. Annie knows for a fact that he never used to giggle like that in high school; she figures it means that he's growing up, too.
"My question is, do we need to re-warm the house? I mean, we had one housewarming, but it was for Troy and me. Maybe it needs to be warmed again now that it's Annie and Troy and me."
"I believe the gentleman from the Star Wars pillows has a point," Troy agrees.
"All in favour say aye," Abed says. "Aye."
"Aye," Troy says.
"Aye," Annie agrees, "But guys, I don't know if I want to have Jeff and Shirley and Pierce and Britta over so soon." Now she does think she's blushing, but she continues anyway: "I'm really enjoying just getting settled with, you know, the three of us."
Abed nods. "An intimate gathering, then, just the three of us. What should we do to celebrate?"
"Well, we could eat popcorn in our pajamas and watch Inspector Spacetime in the blanket fort," Troy says. Annie lets herself snuggle down a little further into the blanket-nest, glad that she won't have to turn into a hostess quite yet.
Abed shakes his head. "We're doing that anyway. We should do something special."
"What, like, fancy popcorn toppings?" Troy asks.
"Even specialer," Abed intones, and Troy nods seriously.
Annie considers. "Let's make pie," she says.
Deciding what kind of pie to make takes two hours, a secret ballot, a run-off voting system, six coin flips, an excel spreadsheet, a nap for Troy while Annie and Abed argue over the excel spreadsheet, two sessions of drawing straws, and a game of Boggle. Eventually they settle on boysenberry.
"Wait," Troy says, "what's a boysenberry?"
Annie's not sure, and Abed is giving her his concerned-deer-in-the-headlights look. "Um, okay, maybe we should use a fruit that we can recognize by sight," she says.
Abed gestures at the poster-board pie chart on the wall. "Okay, what's our fallback? Pumpkin?"
"A pumpkin is not a fruit," Troy protests.
"Then what is it?" Abed demands, raising an eyebrow at him.
"Um," says Troy. "Annie?"
"It's a vegetable," she says quellingly. "I think. Anyway you can totally make pie out of it."
"I love pumpkin pie," Troy sighs. "With ice cream."
"Whipped cream," Abed corrects, and they have a brief and increasingly squinty staring contest.
"With both," Annie says. "Aw, it'll be fun, like early Thanksgiving."
Abed and Troy do their special handshake, then they do a double-high-five with her.
"Bam," Annie says.
Abed nods once, determinedly. "Okay, so now we know we have to get a pumpkin. The question is, what do we do with it once we have it?"
Annie's never made pie before, but she knows how to do research. Once she's acquainted herself with all the varieties of pastry dough, fillings, toppings, and decorations, she gives Troy a list, detailled instructions on how to differentiate pumpkins from pie pumpkins (printed out from the internet), and some money from the "House Expenses" cookie jar, which doesn't have all that much money in it because Troy keeps spending it on cookies.
Troy grumbles at bit about having to put on not-pajamas and leave the house, but Annie and Abed nominated him for grocery duty while he was napping, so there's nothing he can do about it.
"You missed the vote," Abed shrugs. "Sorry."
"Fine," Troy says, and sighs, then appears to rally his spirits. "I shall return, Princess Annie," he sort of bellows, bowing deeply and kissing her hand. Abed does a little flourish-of-trumpets noise to provide verisimilitude.
"Horsebot 3000," Troy continues, nodding at Abed. Abed inclines his head.
"Be swift, gentle knight," Annie grins, then pushes at Troy's shoulder. He smiles his goofy, toothy smile at her and heads out the door.
She and Abed work on a puzzle on the dining room table while they wait, a 1000-piece picture of the study room in the library, complete with study group, that he got her for her birthday. They each take a corner and start working their way out, even though the pieces with Britta's face on them are tempting. Annie's pretty sure that Abed caught her mid-sneeze.
"The real shame is that you're not in this photo, Abed," Annie says, passing him a green piece that matches the green pieces he's working with. He takes it from her with a nod.
"I'm behind the camera. Detached, isolated from the group, observing but not observed. It's my role." Abed has really long fingers, Annie notices, and as he shifts the pieces from place to place on the table they look nimble, like the way they might if he were playing the piano or doing card tricks. She wonders if Abed plays the piano. Or does card tricks.
He breaks into her train of thought. "Are you still in love with Troy?"
Annie glances at him sharply, but he hasn't looked up from the puzzle pieces, just keeps shifting them around and around, looking for a fit.
She rubs her thumb nervously across the piece in her hand. "That's a really personal question, Abed."
"Then let's pretend I don't have a very good sense of personal boundaries and that you're just stalling for time because you really do want to talk about it." He fits in another piece, solving one puzzle but creating another, bigger puzzle as the edge he's working on expands.
"I don't know. It's not like it was." She can't help but smile. "He's my friend now."
Abed nods. His fingers have stopped moving among the pieces. "Troy is really, really good at being a friend."
"I know," Annie says. She looks back down at the pieces. They seem like a jumble to her, a hopeless mess. "That's thanks to you, you know. He wasn't a very good friend in high school. To anyone."
Abed shrugs. "Maybe nobody gave him a chance."
"Maybe not," Annie agrees. She thinks about it for a second. "Are you in love with Troy?"
Abed doesn't answer, just keeps looking at the jagged edge of unmatched pieces.
Annie picks up a piece, tries it, puts it aside when it doesn't fit. It looks like part of someone's shoe. "You know, you could set the camera on a timer sometimes. Stop observing. Get reattached." She finds the right piece and presses it down gently.
"Yeah, maybe. But then who would be the outsider?"
"None of us," Annie says immediately. Then she reconsiders, and says, "or all of us."
Abed nods. "I like that," he says. "Classic band-of-misfits approach."
"Right, exactly," Annie agrees. She fits another two pieces along what now seems to be the bottom edge, and looks over at Abed's piece of the puzzle. "Hey, look – " she begins, but Abed's already nodding.
"I see it," he says, and picks up his pieces gently, carefully, so that he can set them down next to hers. The two sections fit together perfectly to form the entire bottom edge of the picture.
"Yay!" Annie says, and claps. Abed smiles at her, a rueful half-smile that would look shy on anyone else.
"Now we've got something to build on," he says.
When Troy gets back with the groceries, he takes each item out one by one, submitting them for Annie's approval. Abed watches, leaning over Annie's shoulder.
"One pie pumpkin," Troy says, pulling it out of the bag. It's tiny and bright orange and perfectly round, with a rakish little stem.
"Awwww!" Annie and Abed chorus.
"I know it's so cute I wanna eat it!" He delves back into the bag. "One package of vegan shortening."
Annie nods approvingly. "For those of us who prefer their food pork-free." Abed gives her a little over-the-shoulder fistbump.
"Beer," Troy says, holding up a six pack.
"For those of us who are supposed to prefer their drinks alcohol-free," Abed says, and this time he and Troy fistbump.
"Cinnamon, ginger, eggs, flour, honey – "
"Don't call me honey," Abed interrupts, fast and completely deadpan, and Annie laughs as she organizes the ingredients on the counter.
"And," Troy adds, "Da-da-da-DAH!" With a flourish, he pulls a glass dish out of the bottom of the bag.
"A pie pan!" Annie exclaims, looking at Troy in wonder. "Troy, that wasn't – I forgot to put that on the list!"
"I know," Troy says, and shrugs good-naturedly. "It's just like you to make a list of everything we could possibly need for pie and forget the dish. But I remembered."
Annie beams at him.
Abed nods and starts rolling up his sleeves. "Good work, team," he says. "Now let's get baking."
The pumpkin is done cooking at about the same time the pastry dough is done setting in the fridge, so after they have some soup for dinner (leftovers) and tv to go with it (reruns) they gather in the kitchen and stare together at the ingredients.
"Okay, we can do this," Annie says bracingly. "It's like chemistry."
"Is it anything like making falafel?" Abed asks. "I have some experience there."
"Right, okay, Abed, you roll the dough," she says.
Abed tosses off a salute. "Aye aye, Princess." He puts on the flowery purple apron that Annie's mom made her when she was sixteen and ties it around his waist solemnly.
"Troy, you scoop out the pumpkin and mush it up until it's really mushy."
"Mushy, check," Troy says, arming himself with a fork.
"I'll put together the rest of the ingredients."
"We never doubted you, glorious leader," Abed says, his hands already floury and full of dough. She rolls her eyes at him and bumps her shoulder with his. To her surprise, he bumps back.
It doesn't take them long, even though they have to use a mug for a measuring cup and an empty beer bottle for a rolling pin, so soon enough they have a beautiful, if somewhat lopsided in the crust department, gleaming pumpkin pie ready for the oven.
"I wanna eat it right now," Troy sighs, crouching down so that he's eye to eye with the pie where it sits on the counter.
"Ew, Troy!" Annie says. "It's all liquidy! And full of raw eggs!"
"My uncle eats raw eggs every day for breakfast," Troy replies, not taking his eyes from the pie.
"And how many times has he had salmonella?" Annie demands.
"Oh, he doesn't eat fish," Troy replies. "You can catch stuff from fish."
"Hey guys, look," Abed says. "I have extra pastry dough. What should I do with it?"
They end up making shapes to put on top of the pie; Annie makes a unicorn (it looks like a duck), Troy makes a rainbow (it looks like an eyebrow) and Abed makes a blorgon (it looks surprisingly like a blorgon).
"Duck vs Blorgon in the land of the Eyebrow People!" Abed cries as they slide it slowly into the oven. Troy makes the blorgon laserbeam sounds, and Annie provides the low-pitched evil quacks. No one knows what sound an eyebrow makes.
They retreat to the blanket fort while they wait for the pie to finish becoming a pie, collapsed together again in the blankets. Annie is lying half on top of Abed, but he doesn't seem to mind, just slips a friendly arm around her shoulders and cups her elbow in his palm. She's sprawled diagonally, so her knees end up tangled with Troy's knees, but Troy's a little diagonal too, so his head is right next to Abed's.
Shirley had drawn Annie aside, after she announced that she was going to move in with Troy and Abed, and warned her of the dangers of living with men and the temptations of the flesh and youthful passions and things. The lecture had been vague and startling and full of strange metaphors – Annie thinks she was supposed to be the peanut brittle in the described scenario, but she's not sure – and all Annie was really clear on at the end of it was that Shirley wished she and her husband had used condoms when they were in their twenties.
It had seemed ridiculous at the time. But now, as Abed reaches his arm out further so that it can wrap around Troy and Annie both, Annie figures that this is probably exactly what Shirley was worried about.
There's a part of Annie that wants to have a small panic attack at the very idea; you don't just come on to people without thinking it through first, without weighing the consequences and deciding carefully. Troy and Abed are her roommates and her friends, and she doesn't know if she should, to use Shirley's phraseology, encourage the peckishness for peanut brittle that young people today allow to control their actions. It could go so wrong.
"I'm having a really nice housewarming," Troy says. "This is great." And he sighs a sigh of deep, easy contentment. Annie rubs her heel against his bare shin, where his pants leg has ridden up. Just rubs slowly, the way she sometimes rubs her necklace with her thumb when she's working on her homework.
They sit in silence for a little bit. Probably someone should find the remote and turn the TV on.
"I'm having a really nice housewarming too," Abed says. His other hand, the one not resting on the back of Troy's neck, finds Annie's wrist and touches tentatively.
Annie turns her palm over, entwines their fingers.
She's really, really tired of worrying about consequences.
And if it goes bad, well, she can always live somewhere else. But she has a feeling that if it goes well it could go really, amazingly, surprisingly well. Lying quietly with Abed and Troy breathing softly on either side of her, that possibility seems like enough of a pro to outweigh the cons.
She doesn't have to move very far to kiss either of them; the question is which one to kiss first. She savours the thought for a minute, just imagining all the different ways she could move, the different potential scenarios unfolding before her. Tipping on the edge of the decision feels heady, dizzying. But Troy ends up making the choice for her, moving suddenly to stretch out his whole body, arms above his head, legs stiff, toes pointed, back arching. There's a little skin showing between his t-shirt and his pajama pants. Annie can't help but reach out to tickle it.
Troy crumples up impressively, elbows and knees coming in to protect his soft underbelly.
"Annie!" he shouts, "what are you doing! Stop!"
Annie finds a chink in the armour and keeps tickling, making Troy fend her off with half-hearted disbelieving slaps while he laughs himself breathless. There's something amazing about it, about the way Troy sort of writhes away from her, about the way his limbs flail and jerk against her body, about the way his hot breath puffs from him involuntarily.
When she stops tickling, she's kneeling above him, straddling his knee, with her arms braced on the floor at either side of his ribs.
"Uncle! Uncle!" Troy is crying. Annie spares a second to think about what her high school self would've thought of this moment, how giddy and flustered and frozen with fear she would've been. She feels very grown up as she tucks her hair behind her ear, leans down, and kisses Troy softly on the mouth.
She hears rustling beside her. This is why she wanted to be able to kiss them both at once. She pulls back from Troy's mouth, looks sideways, and sees Abed standing up.
"Abed," Troy says softly. Abed looks down at them.
"Yes?" Abed asks, blinking serenely at them.
"I . . . you, you don't – " Troy's mouth opens and closes. He licks his lips, and Annie's heart breaks at the conflicted look on his face.
"Stay, Abed," Annie says. "Come down here." She feels herself blushing a little at her own forthright tone, and adds, "you know, uh, if you want to."
She glances down at Troy, whose eyes are almost surprised-with-LeVar-Burton big. She bites her lip uncertainly. "Is that what you want, Troy?"
Troy doesn't answer, but Abed has knelt down cautiously, sitting on the blankets next to them but not touching them. Annie has never precisely considered herself sexually adventurous, but she can see that she's going to have to be the adult, at least this once. Her stomach is doing flips, and her mouth feels dry.
She leans over a little and runs two fingers over Abed's wrist, questioning. Abed reaches out towards her, and they end up clasping each other's forearms, the way ancient warriors do in movies. Abed leans towards her and brushes their mouths together. His lips are soft.
He pulls back a little bit, then bends his head to press a kiss to her neck, her throat, a spot just below her ear that makes her shiver. She ducks down, finds his mouth again and kisses him, for longer this time. She's only ever kissed four other people in her entire life but she feels confident, sexy in a way she never has before. She reaches out blindly with her right hand, reaches for Troy, and she can't see him but he takes her hand smoothly and holds it, his thumb rubbing against the inside of her wrist.
Abed breaks their kiss, then tilts his head at her in that alien-who-does-not-understand-your-cultural-rituals way that he has. She smiles at him; he smiles too, haltingly.
"Hey Annie," he says.
"Remember what you asked me before?" Annie's still holding hands with Troy, still holding hands with Abed; she feels suspended between them, just about ready to fall. It's an unfamiliar feeling, not knowing what's going to happen next.
"Yeah," Annie says. Her lips feel strange, tender.
"Well. The thing is, I do." Abed says, talking fast, breaking eye contact and looking at the floor.
Beneath her, Troy squirms himself upright. "Annie?" he asks warningly. "Did you propose to Abed when I was at the grocery store?"
Annie gives him a half-smile. "No," she says. She squeezes Troy's hand, then presses a fast, loud kiss to Abed's mouth. She pulls back, then jerks her head in Troy's direction. "Go for it," she mutters at him, talking out of one corner of her mouth like a guy in a gangster movie.
Abed blinks at her exactly twice, then lets go of her arm and sort of falls down towards Troy. He ends up sitting on his hip right next to him, their faces close together.
"Hi Troy," Abed says.
"Hi Abed," Troy says. Annie hears the hitch in Troy's breathing, sees him lick his lips. Abed is calm and still, like always.
"Can I kiss you?" Abed asks politely.
Troy gets a look on his face like he wishes Abed had just done it rather than asking, but to his credit it doesn't take him long to start nodding yes, his eyes wide and his lips slightly parted, yes yes yes. Abed kisses him. It looks slow and delicate, maybe a little awkward as they look for the right angle, but it goes on for a while. Eventually Troy stops breathing fast through his nose and sighs deeply into Abed's mouth; Abed, after a minute, closes his eyes. Annie can't stop watching the angle of Troy's jaw as he tilts his head towards Abed, as he seeks out more contact. When they part, Abed's lips are gleaming wet and Troy's eyes are closed. Annie takes advantage, moves in on Troy while he's still reeling from it, takes up his slack mouth and kisses him until he kisses her back, until his arms come up to stroke tentatively along her shoulders.
Behind her, Abed strokes his fingers slowly up and down her back, that place between her shoulderblades that she can never reach herself. It sort of tickles. After a moment he kisses the back of her neck, just where her hairline ends, and she shivers forward into Troy's arms, breaking their kiss and resting her forehead on Troy's shoulder.
"Abed," she says, and her voice is so loud, like a moan, like a cry, and she didn't even know that people made sounds like that in real life. She's kind of embarrassed, but Abed keeps kissing her neck and so she shuts her eyes and tries not to shake too much. Troy's broad hands are stroking her shoulders slowly.
"Oh wow, Annie," he says, all in a rush of breath, like she's done something amazing.
She smiles against Troy's shoulder. "That feels really good, Abed."
Abed stops for a second. "Yeah?" There's a pause. "Would someone do it to me?"
Annie sits up and looks at Troy, who looks back at her.
"Roshambo?" Annie suggests. Troy immediately gets into the starting position, and they go quick, one-two-three. Annie throws paper; Troy throws scissors.
"I win!" Troy grins, then looks like he's just swallowed a live canary.
"C'mere, Abed, turn around," Annie says. Abed does, facing away from them and bending his head. He looks really beautiful like that, so Annie rubs the knob of his spine with her thumb, just casually, because she can.
Troy leans forward and presses a halting kiss to the nape of Abed's neck, then another a little higher up. He moves slowly, sucking a little, and when he gets to the place where smooth skin meets his neatly trimmed hairline, Annie runs her fingers through Abed's hair right next to Troy's mouth and gives a little experimental tug. She sees a flash of teeth as Troy scrapes against Abed's skin.
"See?" Annie says, grinning.
"It does feel really nice," Abed agrees. "Troy, here, you try now."
Troy blinks his way up from kissing Abed. "Wha?" he says, but Abed's got him spun around and is bending his head to Troy's neck before he can complete a sentence. Troy glances up at her, rueful, and Annie smiles at him. Troy's eyes shutter closed as Abed kisses his neck and tugs his hair, but then he opens them again, meets Annie's eyes again, and takes her hand in his. He kisses her knuckles, just like he did before, when he was joking around.
"Hi, Princess Annie," he says, warmly.
She giggles. "Are you sure that's the scenario you want to go with? Abed would have to be Horsebot 3000."
From somewhere in the vicinity of Troy's shirt collar, Abed whinnies.
Troy and Annie collapse laughing into the blankets, and Abed leans over them with a little satisfied smile. They reach up and grab his arms to pull him down with them, back down into one big pile.
"Is this okay, buddy?" Troy asks, rubbing gently at Abed's upper arm. Annie wouldn't have thought to ask, but now she remembers that Abed usually prefers the outside tier of any group hug, and sometimes doesn't like a lot of touching.
"I'm good," Abed says. "This is nice." He runs a palm slowly over Troy's knee, leans over to smack a kiss to Annie's pajama-clad shoulder.
"Let us know if you want some space," Annie says, worried now.
Abed looks up at her. "You too. You know, Shirley gave me this talk about how young men shouldn't take advantage of vulnerable, impressionable younger women . . . "
Annie groans. "Did this talk involve peanut brittle?"
Abed looks horrified. "No?"
"When she talked to me, it was candy corn," Troy mutters darkly. "Now I feel really confused about my developing attraction to Halloween candy."
"Well, anyway, I'm fine," Annie says, and she is, even though her heart is jackhammering in her chest and her stomach is in her throat and she feels like she's in freefall. "What about you, Troy?" she asks.
"I'm – I didn't even know this could happen," Troy blurts out. "I never – you guys are my friends, and I love you, and I never thought – " he trails off helplessly, so Annie just squeezes him as best she can through Abed.
Abed leans over and places a precise, tentative kiss on Troy's temple. Troy turns his head and kisses Abed's throat, and Annie slings a leg over Abed's thigh and tries nibbling at his earlobe, and then Troy's hand is on her hip and Abed's hand is resting gently against Troy's ticklish ribs and they go on trading kisses, back and forth and back and forth, for a long time. Annie likes the way that their bodies heat up together, the way they all get lost in kissing each other, the way they squish in closer and closer together. Her nipples are hard and aching, and she knows that Abed can feel them where she presses up against him but she's not even embarrassed, because when she rubs her palm slow and soft over Abed's belly he tilts his head back and squeezes his eyes shut and starts breathing hard like he's out of control. Troy kisses Abed's lips, his cheek, looks fascinated by the panting breaths that come out of Abed's mouth and the way he's squirming around on the blankets.
Annie leans over and kisses Troy again, tastes him with her tongue while Abed takes short, shallow breaths beneath them. Annie slips her hand under Abed's t-shirt and keeps rubbing, and a second later she feels Troy's hand bumping with hers, touching Abed's soft skin with her. It occurs to her that she doesn't actually have any condoms, and she feels a lot more sympathy for twenty-year-old Shirley all of a sudden. She also feels like maybe she wasted all that time she spent living above Dildopolis; she could've at least picked up some supplies at discount prices.
The oven timer beeps.
"Is that the pie?" Troy asks, except he asks it directly into her mouth, so it comes out sounding more like "Iffff fat da hii?"
"That's definitely the pie," Abed replies. When Annie breaks her kiss with Troy and looks down at him, he looks strangely rumpled – she's almost never seen him with his hair mussed, and she's certainly never seen him with his shirt halfway up his chest, but he sounds just like regular Abed, if a little short of breath. She takes her hand out from under his shirt, suddenly self-conscious.
"I guess we should go check on it, then," Annie says uncertainly. Abed nods.
"I know the storytelling convention is that people suddenly don't care about food when there's the possibility of sex, but I really do want that pie."
"Me too," Troy says. "We worked hard on it. And it smells delicious."
Annie sniffs the air, and now she can smell it too, pastry and pumpkin and honey calling out to her.
"Okay, pie break," Annie announces. "Let's go see if it's done baking."
It turns out that it's not done, not quite yet, so Abed has to slap Troy's hand away from it.
"It's still wiggly in the middle!" Abed protests.
"I know," Troy says mournfully.
"Five more minutes, Troy," Annie says, watching the oven clock. "Then it should be done. Then it can cool for a little while – " at this Troy groans, " – and then we can eat it."
"All right, fine," Troy grumbles. They sit down together at the table, empty plates in front of them.
"Thumb war?" Abed suggests, and Annie nods. They grasp hands; Abed's palm is a little sweaty, which is somehow reassuring. Annie's whole body feels hot.
"One, two, three, four, I declare a thumb war," Annie begins. "Bow to your opponent – to your corners – "
"Ding ding!" Abed sings out, and they start wrestling.
"Um, hey, Abed," Troy says.
"Yes?" Abed, who is a true champ, doesn't break his concentration. Annie can only beat him two falls out of five, and she was the thumb war champion in high school despite her tiny hands. Annie has thumb war strategies.
"Did you mean – are we all gonna have sex?"
Abed's concentration does break at that, but so does Annie's, and their battling thumbs go limp.
"Do you want to?" Abed replies, so quickly that it feels like he was anticipating the question.
"I do," Annie says, surprising herself. "If you guys do. But I don't have any condoms."
"Oh my god, Annie, how long did you live above Dildopolis?" Troy blurts out. Annie laughs.
"I know, right?"
Abed shrugs. "There's stuff we could do without condoms," he says. Troy blinks at him; Annie feels her cheeks getting hot.
"This is such a surreal conversation," she says. Her nipples still feel tight; she wonders if Troy and Abed can see.
"Yeah," Troy agrees. "I would really, really like to have sex with you guys, though."
The oven beeps again.
"After pie," Troy adds.
"Agreed," says Abed.
The pie still needs a few minutes to cool, so they hang out in the kitchen, leaning against the counters together. Abed kisses Annie on the forehead, and Annie kisses Troy on the cheek, and Troy, very slowly, kisses Abed on the mouth, squeezing Annie's hand at the same time as if for support.
Annie starts moving to Abed's other side, but Abed squirms against her and gets away.
"Nope," he says, "I was in the middle before. It's someone else's turn."
"Abed, it's nice to be in the middle," Troy points out.
"If you say so," Abed says, and shifts around to Troy's other side. He hops up on the counter and pulls Troy backwards against him, hands on Troy's shoulders, bending his head to nuzzle at Troy's ear.
Annie steps forward and presses herself up against Troy's front, tugging his t-shirt collar aside to expose some chest. She leans in and sucks at him, a little, while Abed nibbles some more at that spot on the back of the neck.
"This means I get to be in the middle next time," Annie mutters into Troy's skin. He smells really good.
"Fair's fair," Abed agrees, sounding muffled by his own bit of Troy.
Troy just makes a sort of laughing moaning sound and drops his head back to rest on Abed's shoulder.
After a few more minutes, Troy's eyes are closed and his breathing is fast. Annie can feel him hard against her hip.
"Hey Troy," Annie whispers into Troy's ear, winking at Abed. Abed's eyes light up and his eyebrow quirks at her.
"Ungh," Troy replies.
"Hey Troy, the pie's ready," Abed says.
"Aughhhhhh I hate you!" Troy yells, head coming up and eyes coming open. "That is just mean!"
Annie laughs, and Abed cocks his head in a pleased sort of way.
The pie really is delicious; Abed has his with whipped cream, and Troy has his with ice cream, and Annie has hers with both and it's amazing, warm and honey-sweet and pumpkin-rich. The pastry's a little too brown on the edges and their special shapes were even less recognizable after the baking process, but it's still the best pie Annie's ever had. She takes a big bite out of the Eyebrow People and wants to just grin and grin, even though her mouth is full and it's rude. She can feel the whipped cream sticking to her lips, smooth and cool in contrast to the sweet thick pie in her mouth.
They all play footsie together under the table through the whole pie-eating process, and that makes it even better, the anticipation.
When the dishes are in the sink and the pie is put away in the fridge, they all turn to each other and there's a long, awkward pause.
"So, sex now?" Abed asks. "Wanna go back into the blanket fort?"
"Sure," Annie says. She doesn't think she's ever been this nervous in her life, but despite that she feels calm somewhere deep inside, sure of herself, glad.
Troy puts a hand between her shoulderblades as they walk together. "Hey Annie," he says quietly.
"Hey Troy," Annie replies, smiling at him.
"How're you doing?"
"Good. How about you?"
He shrugs. "Kinda freaked out," he says.
"Me too," she replies. "But, you know," she licks her lips, considering. "It's just us. Just you and me and Abed."
"Yeah," Troy says, and smiles.
When they're all curled up on the blankets and pillows again, Abed asks, "So, what do you guys want to do?"
Annie tries to think of things. She's read about a lot of stuff on the internet, but she doesn't know which of those nebulous sex acts might apply to her, personally. "I only – I've only ever done the stuff that you need condoms for," she says slowly.
"Troy? What do you like?" Abed asks.
Troy's eyes shift to the left, like he's looking for an exit. "I, uh, never really – "
"What?" Annie says, sitting up from the pillows, trying not to yell. "You never – what?"
"I was always drunk. At parties. With cheerleaders and stuff," Troy says, wincing. "I've never really done anything sober. It's kind of weird this way, actually."
"We have beer if you want," Abed offers carefully.
"No," Troy says immediately, and then the tension goes out of him and he smiles. "No, I like this." He rests his head on Annie's shoulder, and Annie pets his head absently, scritching at his scalp with her nails.
"That's really nice, Annie," Troy sighs.
Abed tilts his head thoughtfully, then shuffles over to lie next to Troy. He slowly eases his fingers under Troy's t-shirt, pressing into his belly and then moving upwards.
"Second base," he says, matter-of-factly.
"It's not second base if it's a dude, Abed," Troy says, rolling his eyes.
"No?" Abed thumbs slowly over one of Troy's nipples. "Why not?"
"Uh, actually, I don't know," Troy says, blinking and looking down at his own nipple in surprise. "Do that again."
Abed does, starting up a slow rhythm. Annie takes her fingers out of Troy's hair and shimmies herself down to lie alongside him, kissing his neck, mouthing at his collarbone.
"I thought you were gonna be in the middle, Annie," Troy says, but his eyes are shutting and he's relaxing back into the pillows. He spreads his thighs, only a little, but Annie can see the shape of the muscles shifting under the denim and it makes her want to reach out and touch.
She does, running her palm over the front of his thigh and in between his legs. "Are you complaining?" she asks, laughing.
"I'm fine with it," he replies equitably. Annie looks up and meets Abed's gaze; he winks at her. She winks back.
"Hey Troy, can we take off your pants?" Abed asks.
Troy's eyes stay closed, and he breathes in and then out really fast. "Yeah, okay," he says. He sounds nervous.
When Annie and Abed both reach for the waistband of Troy's jeans, fingers dipping under the material and brushing against skin, Troy shivers.
"Shhhhh," Abed says, as he undoes Troy's fly one-handed.
"Lift up, Troy," Annie says, and Troy does, lifts his hips from the floor so Abed and Annie can peel off his jeans.
Troy's naked under them, and now Annie runs her hand over his bare thigh, loving the feel of the thick muscle there, the soft skin. She takes the opportunity to get a good look at her first real penis; Troy's pretty hard, a vein throbbing against the underside, and he looks kind of beautiful like this, squirming against the blankets, sweat building up in the creases of his thighs.
She's so caught up in looking that she almost doesn't notice when Abed starts to lean down, mouth open. He gets his mouth around just the head, then pulls off for a second, looking annoyed; after a minute he goes back again, slower, and leads with his tongue this time.
"Annie," Troy moans, and Annie laughs.
"Not me, buddy," she says, but, encouraged by Abed's example, she does lean down over those hard thighs and start gently caressing his balls with her fingertips.
Troy looks up, eyes opening. "Really? Abed?"
Abed gives him an OK sign with his hand and sucks a little harder. Troy's expression softens and he puts his hand in Abed's hair.
"That feels really good," he says, and he sounds sort of choked up. Annie can't help but rise up on her hands and knees and kiss his mouth; he responds to her easily now, eagerly, doing half a sit-up trying to meet her mouth, rubbing his tongue slowly against hers.
He breaks the kiss after a minute, panting, head falling back down to the pillows. Annie glances back; Abed is still licking and sucking tentatively at Troy's dick, pulling off now and then to lick his lips consideringly.
"This is really interesting," Abed says, and Troy starts to giggle. "No, seriously," Abed says. "I've never done this before. Not that there haven't been offers." He bends down to suck again.
"I'm honoured, Abed," Troy says, and it's funny, but he sounds like he really is. Annie starts rucking his t-shirt up his chest, exposing his belly and pectorals. "But hey," Troy says, frowning down, "could someone other than me get naked? I'm feeling kind of weird about it now."
Abed's head comes up again and he shrugs, then starts to pull off his shirt, but gets tangled halfway through. Annie watches Troy watching Abed for a second, then reaches out to pick up where Abed left off. She wraps her hand slowly around Troy's dick and gives it a light squeeze, a little tug. Troy's gaze swivels over to her, amazement all over his face.
"Annie!" he says, like he's shocked.
Annie moves her arm up and down, up and down. Troy's leaking over her hand, getting her wet. "What? Abed was licking you."
"Yeah, but – " Troy trails off, maybe realising that he shouldn't complain.
There's something really satisfying about this, about holding Troy like this. His skin is hot and slippery, responsive to her touch.
"I like this," she says quietly.
"You can do it anytime you want," Troy mumbles, head falling back, thighs opening further. Annie giggles.
Abed finally gets himself free of his t-shirt, then stands to shimmy out of his pajama bottoms. He's wearing briefs underneath.
"What's up guys," he says, falling back down beside them. Troy looks up at him, then reaches for him tentatively; Abed takes his hand and draws it to his chest, where Troy strokes slowly over Abed's chest, nipples, abdomen.
"Um, Annie," Troy says, a minute later. His voice sounds strangled. "I'm gonna – if you don't stop – "
"Oh!" Annie says, and releases her grip immediately. Then she hesitates. "Sorry, does that mean I shouldn't stop? Or that I should?"
Troy's breathing hard and fast; his dick is pressed against his belly and leaking copiously. "Whatever," he manages.
"Let's get Troy off," Abed suggests to Annie. "He can always go again."
"Okay," Annie says, nodding. She can do this; it's just like cuddling in a blanket fort; just like baking a pie.
Abed waggles his eyebrows at her. "Thumb war?" he suggests. Annie bursts out laughing, and even Troy manages a choked little giggle.
They link hands around Troy's dick, Annie still giggling, Abed smiling generously. He's got an erection, too, tenting out his little white shorts ridiculously, but he doesn't seem to mind or feel embarrassed.
"Hang on," Annie says, and takes a second to ditch her pajama top. She's wearing a bra underneath, but it still makes her feel good, hot, exposed. "So that Troy doesn't feel weird," she explains, joining Abed again.
"Thanks, Annie," Troy says, staring at her breasts. Annie smiles at him, preens a little. His attention makes her whole body feel touched, makes her nerves jangle.
"One, two, three, four, I declare a thumb war," Abed begins, and Annie sets her attention to the task at hand.
"I can't – believe . . . you guys are doing that," Troy pants, his hips writhing, trying to get more contact from their slack hands. "You're both . . . such . . . dorks – "
"Bow to your opponent," Annie says, ignoring Troy, who groans as their bowing thumbs brush the head of his penis. "To your corners . . . "
"Ding ding," Abed says quietly, and they start moving together, slowly, Abed working the base and Annie running her fingers and palm over the head.
"Nnnngh," Troy says, through his teeth. Annie smiles down at him, then up at Abed, and then Abed leans across Troy's body and kisses her. She's starting to get used to the way Abed kisses, wet and sloppy and full-speed-ahead; it's not what she would've expected from him, but it feels right. Abed never does anything halfway.
They keep moving their hands together, squeezing gently and stroking; then Abed mutters a word into her mouth,
and she goes with it, speeds up her strokes, matches her pace to Abed's. Slowly she raises her other hand and spans Abed's ribs with her palm; his skin is soft and warm and she finds herself scratching it just a little with her nails.
"Mmmmm," Abed says into her mouth, self-satisfied, the way he sounds when he's eating pie, and beneath them Troy is groaning under their hands and thrusting up into their warm shared grip and –
Annie breaks the kiss to watch Troy as he comes; his eyes are closed tight and his back is arching up and he looks beautiful.
"Wow, ew," Annie says, looking down at the truly impressive amount of semen that's all over her hand, Abed's hand, Troy's belly, and a few blankets and pillows for good measure. She didn't know there would be this much.
Troy's panting and blinking rapidly. "What?"
"That's a really big mess, Troy," Annie says. She's still stroking Troy slowly, absently, just rubbing her fingers against the soft, supple skin of his dick.
"We can do the laundry later, Annie," Troy says, sitting up, and he sounds so much like her annoyed roommate that she has to smile.
Troy's a mess – he managed to get his t-shirt off, but his jeans are still dangling from one ankle, and he's sweaty and covered in his own semen. Annie kisses him lightly.
"You're really pretty," Annie says, and Troy grins happily.
"Thanks!" he says. He glances down at Annie's breasts, then bounces his gaze back up to her face guiltily.
"You can look, if you want," Annie says. She glances over at Abed to include him in the directive. "Or, you know, touch."
"I was hoping you'd say that." Abed bounces to his knees and shuffles over to her. She notices again that he's hard inside his briefs, and she wants to touch him like she touched Troy, wants to get a feel for him, make him lose control. Abed cups one breast and runs a thumb over her nipple, overtop the pink cotton of her bra, and on her other side Troy copies his movement.
"Here," Annie says, reaching behind herself to unhook the bra. It falls away, and there's a part of her that wants to blush and hide but she doesn't, just sits calmly in the safety of their blanket fort and waits for Troy and Abed to touch her.
Abed pinches her right nipple between two fingers, rolls it, tugs on it lightly; Annie blinks slowly and takes a slow, satisfied breath. Then Troy bends his head to her other breast, kissing first the outside curve and then the nipple, and the sucking heat of his mouth drives her crazy, makes her want to grab him by the back of the neck and hold him there forever.
"Ooooh, nice," Abed says, glancing over at Troy. Troy gives him a thumbs up, and Abed leans down to put his mouth to the nipple he's been rubbing with his fingers. The sight of the two of them – latched on to her together, licking, sucking – is dizzyingly good, deeply satisfying in a way she can't quite articulate, and Annie has to fall backwards a little so that she's propped up on her elbows. Troy and Abed follow her down, and now their hands are on her, too, stroking her tummy, over her pajama-clad thighs, Abed caressing her knee for a moment while Troy dips his thumb into her belly button. She's wet and slick between her legs, has been for a while, and now the occasional throbs of pleasure are increasing in frequency and intensity. She presses her thighs together for a second, just wallowing in the sensation.
"Take – take my clothes off," she stutters, and they do, stopping their sucking and stroking for a moment to skim off her pajama bottoms and panties. She's naked now, but it's warm in the blanket fort, comfortable, and her boys are on either side, smiling their familiar smiles. Annie spreads her legs.
Her mother and sister used to use that phrase a lot – she spreads her legs for anyone, or don't spread your legs without a ring, honey – but Annie's never actually done it, sat in front of men and opened herself up. She feels wanton, like the sluts her sister used to make fun of, and she likes the feeling.
Troy smiles easily and kisses her throat, his hand rubbing hot and hard against her inner thigh.
"Abed," she says, "take off your underwear."
"Okay," Abed says, and does. Standing naked he's skinny and long-limbed but not at all delicate; Annie would've thought that he would look delicate. She wants to touch him.
Troy's getting increasingly bold, his hand working its way slowly inward to graze at her outer lips. Even that light, delicate touch makes Annie want to buck and grind; she feels sensitized, like her whole body is one big nerve.
"Come here," she says to Abed, and Abed kneels beside her. She slides her palm up his thigh and he watches her do it, calmly, observing. She wraps her hand around his dick and starts to stroke, the way they did with Troy. Abed is very still, and very quiet. "Is this okay?" she asks.
"Yes," Abed says immediately, confidently. She grins at him.
"Annie?" Troy says, softly. She turns her head to look at him.
"Go for it," Annie says.
Troy does, gingerly slipping his fingers between her lips, pressing against her opening. "You're really wet," he says, sounding amazed.
Annie sighs and shimmies down against Troy's fingers. Her grip on Abed stops for a moment as Troy pushes two fingertips into her, but she starts again after a beat or two.
"Um, I don't really know what I'm doing," Troy admits. Annie opens her mouth to tell him he's doing fine, just keep trying, but Abed beats her to it.
"Are you penetrating her?" he asks.
"Yup," Annie says. Troy has good fingers; good, broad fingers.
"Okay, crook your fingers up like this." Abed demonstrates, and Annie feels it as Troy obeys, the long stroke against her inner wall that makes her arch forward against him. The hand she's using to stroke Abed squeezes almost involuntarily, and Abed grunts and jerks in her grip.
"There you go," Abed says. His breathing is coming faster now. "You got it. Now lick her, sort of at the top. There's a little nubby thing – "
Annie groans quietly as Troy finds it with his lips.
"Ike isss?" he asks, mouth full.
"That's fine," Annie says faintly. She turns to look up at Abed. "Do that a lot?"
"Sometimes," Abed says. "Oral sex is great. You don't have to make eye contact."
Annie laughs, and she feels it against her when Troy laughs with her, and she speeds up her strokes. Abed is wet now, too, pushing into her grip.
"Has anyone ever done it for you?" she asks. Abed frowns down at her. "Because if you want, you could, um, shift over – I could – " she trails off. "Or do you want Troy to do it?"
Troy strokes his fingers and sucks with just the right pressure and Annie feels a bright crest of pleasure. She starts to clench down involuntarily against Troy's fingers.
"Whoa," Troy says, pulling his mouth back a little. "You're – really strong, Annie."
"I work out," Annie giggles. "Abed?"
Abed shrugs equitably. Annie rolls her eyes, then glances down at Troy.
Troy takes his fingers out of Annie, stares at them for a second, and then wipes them on the blanket. "Abed, come down here."
Abed crawls over to where Troy is kneeling. Troy kisses him – they still look awkward together, brand new, and Annie wonders if she looks like that when she kisses them – then smiles brightly.
"You have your sincere face on," Abed notices. He's right; Troy's eyebrows are raised and his expression is serious.
"Yeah, buddy. How do you want to, to do this?" Troy puts his palm on Abed's chest, slides it around to his back. Abed leans in to him. Annie sits up and rubs her palm slowly against his upper arm.
"It depends on whether we're going to be doing this again, or whether this is our only time," Abed replies, all in a rush. "If you and I are going to have sex again, but not with Annie, then I want Annie, but if the three of us are going to have sex again all together, or if I'm going to have sex with Annie again without you, or if none of us are ever going to have sex with any of the others again – "
"Abed," Annie interrupts. "We can do this again."
"We can do this again later tonight," Troy assures him, and when Annie looks she sees that Troy is already starting to get hard again.
"So, this is an ongoing arrangement, rather than a one-time crazy night where we all got drunk on pie and made a huge mistake?"
Troy glances at Annie. She blinks. "Abed, it can be whatever," she says. "We could . . . you know, uh. Date." She feels ridiculous suggesting dates when she's turned on and wet and naked in front of her best friends – it sounds like such an innocent word, such a high school word - but it's the only one that comes to mind.
"The three of us?" Troy asks.
"Interesting," Abed says.
Annie squeezes his arm. "Just ask for whatever you want right now," she whispers in his ear.
Abed hums consideringly. She takes a minute to kiss him below his ear, then down his neck, over the cup of his shoulder, in over his collarbone and down to his heart.
"Here," Troy says, his voice soft, almost like he's surprised himself. He wraps his hand around Abed's dick and strokes gently. "How about this?"
"That's good," Abed says, watching Troy's hand move on his body.
"Lie back," Annie says. "I have an idea."
Abed slowly eases himself backwards so that he's lying down on the flat part of the blanket-bed. Troy leans forward slowly and kisses Abed's nipple, then glances up to check in. When Abed nods at him, Troy sucks a little, then kisses his way slowly down Abed's chest and belly. Annie watches, fascinated, as he puts Abed's dick in his mouth and starts to suck.
"Cover your teeth," Abed says.
"Sorry," Troy replies, pulling off, looking embarrassed. "Um, okay, take two."
Abed raises his head for a while to watch Troy take him in. "What was your idea, Annie?" he asks, after a minute.
"Um," Annie says. "I thought you could do me while Troy does you?"
To her relief, Abed nods immediately, and wraps his hands around her bare waist to slide her towards him.
"I, uh, wasn't sure how – " Annie begins. Abed just keeps encouraging her forward.
"Like this," he says. "Put your knees on either side of my face."
She starts to do as he instructs, then blushes at the implication of the position. "Abed! I can't do that!"
She stutters for a second. "It's just not . . . " she can't find the word. "Polite," she finishes awkwardly.
"Well-behaved women seldom make history, Annie," Abed says, deadpan, and Annie smacks his shoulder.
"Okay, I've got the hang of this now," Troy says from below them. Annie glances back, and sees Troy rubbing his palm against Abed's balls, leaning down to suck on the head of his dick, using his other hand to wrap around the base and pump lazily.
"Oh," Abed says. He blinks, his eyes going unfocused. "Oh," he says again.
Annie can't tear her eyes away from the stretch of Troy's lips around the head of Abed's dick, the way he looks so open somehow. She thinks this might be the guy equivalent of spreading your legs, and she loves Troy for doing it.
Troy pulls off again for a second. "Annie, c'mon, it's okay," he says, before going down on Abed again.
She hesitates, but then slides her leg across Abed's chest and down, shifting her weight to kneel over his face.
"Crouch down," Abed says, his voice breathy and quiet. His hands come up to cup her ass, stroke her lower back. Annie relaxes her thighs until she feels herself settle on top of Abed, until she can feel his mouth pressed up against her.
Abed, it turns out, is really good at oral sex; his tongue moves fast and wet and precise inside her, pressing up against her hole, rubbing hard over her clit, licking a long stripe between them. She can feel his lips, too, rubbing and sucking, and even his nose pressing against her. She was pretty close before when Troy stopped, and she falls right back into the heady sensation, picking up where she left off.
"Oh, oh Abed," she breathes. Abed's hands clutch at her ass, which is startling but so good, too. She can't see behind her to what Troy's doing, but Abed is shaking underneath her now, and she can hear the wet noises as Troy sucks and licks, matching the obscene sound of Abed's mouth beneath her, sucking her, lipping her, pushing inside her with his tongue. She feels the sensation building, rushing through her in a bright hot wave of pleasure and she only has a second to think about how good it feels, how good it all feels, before it breaks through her and takes her out of herself.
"Fuck," she says.
She's fallen forward onto her hands and knees, Abed's mouth still on her, wringing out little aftershocks that roll shivering through her body. She's panting, and when she slides off of Abed to collapse beside him she sees that he's panting too, eyes shut, hands twitching at his sides. His mouth and chin are wet and gleaming. Further down his body, Troy's eyes are closed as he runs his mouth up and down Abed's dick.
Annie kneels up behind him, propping him up on her thighs. "Hey, Abed," she says, and leans over, upside-down, to kiss him. When she pulls back, his eyes are open and staring, upside-down, into hers.
"Look," she says, and sits up so that Abed can have an uninterrupted view of what Troy's doing. She moves her hands slowly over his face and neck, runs her fingertips over the shells of his ears, rubs her thumbs against the knob of his spine.
"Look what Troy's doing to you," she says, and Abed moans and arches his head back against her and goes completely still. Troy pulls back abruptly and gets semen all over his face for his trouble, but he looks pleased with himself, goes back in to rub Abed with his hand until he finishes.
"Awesome," Troy says, grinning broadly and dripping white goo from his cheek. Annie smiles, then grins, then starts to laugh helplessly, bending down again to put her head next to Abed's.
"Annie, your hair is in my mouth," Abed points out. Annie straightens up.
"Sorry," she says. Troy is rubbing at his face with a corner of blanket – ew, they really will have to do laundry – and still smiling.
"How you feeling, buddy?" Troy asks. Abed smiles and stretches, pushing his body into their hands, one of them bracing him at either end. He ended up in the middle again, Annie notices, but he doesn't seem to mind too much.
"Pretty good," Abed says. "Annie, did you come?"
No one's ever asked her that question before, so she blinks for a second, taken completely aback. "Yes," she says, eventually. "It was – it was really nice." She nods to herself.
"Cool," Abed says. "Cool cool cool. We can go again later if you want. I liked going down on you."
"Okay," she says softly.
"But I didn't get to go down on Troy very much, so I want to do that again too."
"Uh, that's totally fine," Troy puts in.
"But in the meantime, I'm kind of cold. I need new jammies." He considers. "Back in a flash!" And with that he gets up and runs, stark naked and probably kind of sticky, for the dresser he keeps in the hall by the bathroom.
Annie and Troy laugh as he goes, then turn to each other. "I'm kind of cold too," Troy says. "Come here and get under the blanket with me."
Annie shuffles over to him, but wrinkles her nose up at the blanket that was on top of the heap. "Ew, it's got . . . stuff all over it. Get another one."
"Come, Annie. It's got come all over it. You can say come, you've got some on your face."
"What?" she says, wiping at her cheek. "How?"
Troy tosses aside the sticky blanket, pulls up the next one, and tucks it around them. Then he rubs his index finger against her other cheek, near her right temple.
"Backsplash, I guess," he says. "Sorry. Maybe you shouldn't date two guys at once."
"Maybe we should get some condoms," Annie grumbles, but snuggles down against Troy. His naked skin feels good against hers, luxurious, but also comfortable, like they always curl up naked together. She realises that Troy smells like Troy, unique and familiar.
"Yeah," Troy agrees. He wraps an arm around her, and he's still half-hard against her hip. "I'd really like to, um. Do condom things."
"I want you to," she agrees, and puts her head back against his shoulder. "And I want Abed to." She cranes her neck to look back at him. "And, um, if you really like butt stuff, you know, Abed could . . . "
Troy blinks at her wonderingly. "Yeah," he says slowly. "He could."
"I'd like to see that," she says. She blushes at the idea of just watching them, not participating but just – watching, maybe even touching herself. She doesn't really know how guys have sex with other guys like that, but maybe Abed does. Or there's always the internet.
Under the blankets, Troy's hand slides against her thigh, and she wonders if he wants to start something up again, but then his fingertips touch the back of her hand and when she turns it over he cups her palm in his, holding her hand gently, easily.
"Hey, Annie," he says slowly.
"You're not just using me to get to Abed, are you?"
Annie turns her head slowly to look at him.
"I mean, I don't really mind," Troy continues. "If you're in love with him that's okay. He's pretty great."
"Troy," Annie begins, then can't find the words. She bridges the distance between them and kisses him instead. When she pulls slowly back Troy keeps his eyes closed, like he's savouring the kiss.
She rubs her thumb against his knuckles. "I'm not – we have to give it some time. But I, I . . . want to be with you both." She narrows her eyes at him. "Wait, did you ask out of guilt? Are you just using me to get to Abed?"
"No," Troy smiles, sort of goofily. "But he is pretty great." Then his smile falls away suddenly, and his eyes go wide. "But, uh, so are you!"
Annie sighs and lets her head fall back against the pillow. "I know," she says.
When Abed comes back from cleaning up and re-jammying himself, he crawls under the blanket with them without a second's hesitation. Annie wraps an arm around his neck and kisses him on the cheek.
"Hey guys," Abed says. "What'd I miss?"
They end up sleeping there, in the blanket fort, snuggled in together, warm and safe. Annie and Troy each get up eventually to clean up and get new pajamas (Annie and Abed wolf-whistle when Troy walks out of the room naked, and Troy takes a bow as he goes; Annie takes a sheet with her), and Troy needs a glass of water and Annie needs her vitamin pill and Abed needs to put on his going to sleep music, but after a while they all get settled in – with Annie in the middle, this time – and go to sleep.
Annie wakes up a few times during the night, and every time she finds her arms wrapped around Troy or Abed, or their arms wrapped around her, or their legs tangled with hers. Troy kicks sometimes in his sleep, and Abed snores, and Annie loves it in the middle, will take all of Abed's being in the middle duties forever if he wants.
In the morning it takes Annie a little while to figure out where she is, and why she's there, and what happened to get her there. She blinks, and sits up, and then looks back at Troy and Abed on either side of her. Abed is still snoring, which is basically the cutest thing ever, but Troy has a furrow in his brow. A second later his hand shoots up, grabs her by the shoulder, and pulls her back down. She yelps involuntarily.
"Sleeping time, Annie," he mutters, not opening his eyes. "Still time for sleeping."
Annie checks the bedside clock. "It's eight o'clock, Troy. Time for getting up."
"Unnnnggghhhh I am never dating you again!" Troy still doesn't move or open his eyes, but his hand gropes behind him until he comes up with a pillow to hit her with. She deflects easily (his aim is pretty bad with his eyes closed), takes the pillow from him, and hits him back.
"Morning is the best part of the day," she chirps, just for the satisfaction of watching him groan miserably into the pillow that's now covering his face.
"You two are very loud," Abed says, and Annie didn't hear him stop snoring, but now his eyes are open, his gaze darting between her and Troy.
"Whatever," Annie says. "I'm going to go take a shower. You guys stay here and sleep."
"Kay," Troy mumbles, obviously half asleep again already.
"Okay," Abed agrees, putting his head back down and closing his eyes.
When she stands up, there's a little space left between them. "Save my spot," she whispers.
As she tiptoes her way out through the blankets, she hears Troy speak again. "Abed. Can I have a hug." He sounds like a little kid, soft and trusting and not embarrassed at all to be asking.
"Yup," comes Abed's prompt reply, and Annie turns around to see them shuffle together, wrapping their arms around one another and settling in.
"Don't worry Annie," Troy calls, still sounding sleepy, but also determined. "We'll save your spot."
"Just keeping it warm for you," Abed agrees, burrowing down to rest his head against Troy's chest.
Annie smiles. "Thanks, guys," she says.
There are general muttered noises of welcome, and then she turns again and lets the blanket-door drop shut behind her.
As she walks toward the bathroom, she thinks about breakfast. She has granola and soy puffs and bagels and yogurt, but she thinks she might have pie for breakfast. Maybe with ice cream and whipped cream.
After all, she's a goddamn grownup. She can do what she likes.