Annie thought she was putting one of Abed's documentaries into the DVD player. Honestly. It was a blank DVD with Rough Cut written across the top in black Sharpie, and far enough down the bottom of a pile of DVDs that Annie thought it might be one of his earlier documentaries. One of the ones where he followed pigeons around the quad, before he started exclusively doing documentaries on their friends circle imploding in increasingly innovative ways.
So she's surprised when she puts the DVD in and the screen is full of Troy and Abed, grunting and moaning. She reaches for the remote, fumbling with it in her hands because she wants to turn it off before someone notices the noises. Except the remote falls to the floor and the back flies off, sending the batteries skittering across the floor.
She has to drop to the floor to find them, reaching under the television and trying to ignore all of the dust and... something sticky that’s under here. She doesn’t want to know what it is. She has to find that battery.
“You okay, Annie?” Troy calls out, from somewhere inside the blanket fort.
“Fine!,” Annie squeaks, fumbling around even more urgently. The stupid battery has to be here somewhere. It’s... there! On the end of her fingertips. She pulls it in and shoves it into the remote, changing the channel just in the nick of time.
Troy walks in and Annie gives him her least-guilty smile. “What are you doing?” he asks.
“Just... making sure the batteries all work. I was going to the store, for batteries and... other things. I was just trying to make sure this didn’t need them too,” she says, folding her arms and then unfolding them when her hand with the sticky substance brushes against her other arm. “Like I do all the time. But it doesn’t! It’s in the clear!”
Troy just looks at her. “Okay. Can you get some light bulbs when you’re out? The lamp burned out. I think it might be all the puppet shows,” he tells her.
“Yeah!” she says, nodding. “Definitely! No problem! I don’t have any problems here!”
“Okay,” he says, and then leaves. Annie falls to the floor and ejects the disc, shoving it back to the bottom of the pile, and takes deep breaths.
That was Troy and Abed’s sex tape. Sure, they were wearing weird costumes. Abed had a weird wig and lipstick and Troy had tinfoil on his face, but that was the two of them having sex. Troy and Abed have a sex tape and she watched some of it. Oh god... if Troy and Abed made a sex tape, that must mean that they have sex!
Of course they do. It really... it makes sense now, really. All of their in-jokes and the time they spend together and the way it’s like they read each other’s minds... of course they’re together. That’s what they probably really do in the Dreamatorium. They probably have sex and make sex tapes and do... other stuff like that.
Annie is completely fine with that, though. Honestly, she’s happy for them. Really, maybe she’ll bake them a cake. She has to wash her hands first, though, because whatever that sticky thing she touched also smells, and it’s a serious problem.
“What’s this?” Abed asks, looking at the two-tiered cake on one of their chipped plates. She set it out on the counter, hoping Troy and Abed would find it and immediately understand.
“It’s a cake,” Annie says, smiling. “I made it, for the two of you.”
“Aww, it’s got a rainbow on it!” Troy says. He has a fork in his hand and just sort of spears it, taking a big piece out of it. It leaves a gaping hole in the frosting and cake, revealing that the cake under it is also done in a rainbow.
“Thanks, Annie,” Abed says, and also starts eating it with a fork. They don’t cut pieces out or anything, just hack at it with their forks, laughing over the frosting and rainbow interior and telling Annie over and over that it tastes ‘so great’.
“Seriously, Annie. If happiness had a flavor, it would taste like this,” Troy says, and shoves another forkful into his mouth.
“I agree with Troy. Pretend my face is doing that,” Abed says, also shoveling another forkful of cake into his mouth. He's pointing at the blissed-out expression on Troy's face with his free hand. Annie's surprised at the lack of manners, but almost unreasonably happy at their acceptance of her. Troy eats nearly half the cake and then falls asleep on the couch in the blanket fort, with Abed on top of him, as though they’re unaware of Annie sitting at the end of the couch.
She tucks them both in, shhing them both and letting them slip into a combination sugar and carb coma that can only be achieved after eating the better part of an entire cake in the course of a few hours. Not that she'd know from experience or anything.
“Oh, you guys,” Annie says, while tucking Abed’s sheet up around his chin and Troy’s blanket around his well-muscled abdomen. It's not like she was looking or anything, but how could she not see? He was almost like a photoshopped ad or something. Troy was almost unspeakably cut, and Annie couldn’t help but enjoy herself over Troy needing to be put to bed.
She shrugged off the firm, yet supple feel of his abs at once, however, when she considered how it must feel to be like them. Obviously, Troy and Abed weren’t comfortable with being out to the rest of their group. Annie understood that.
She accepted their show of good faith for what it was, a welcome into their lives as a loving, mutually respectful couple. She’d have to do her best to prove herself worthy of their trust, that’s all. She could do that. She was very respectful and incredibly understanding of their relationship, after all.
"How do you act respectful of a gay couple?" she asks Britta. She’s been thinking about it for hours and hours now and has even started a list in her notebook. Mostly she wrote down suggestions like 2. offer them more alone time (poss. in Dreamatorium?), 5. buy them their own Hawthorne wipes, but she’s running out of ideas. The ones she has are more about what she shouldn’t do than what she should
“Huh?” Britta asks.
“Just, hypothetically,” Annie tells her. “If I was interested in showing a gay couple that I was supportive and respectful of who they were as people... how would I do that?” She looks at Britta, pen ready.
“Well, personally I’ve made a commitment not to get married until same-sex marriage is legal in this country,” Britta tells her, nodding emphatically. “I won’t be a part of an institution that’s denying basic liberty to so many Americans!” She pounds her fist against the table, and Annie frowns.
It’s another thing not to do, which doesn’t really help. “Right, but I’m not really going to be getting married any time soon, so it’s sort of an empty gesture... what else?” she asks.
Britta frowns. "It's not necessarily empty-" she starts.
"Britta," Annie cuts her off, giving her her most resolved face. "I'm serious."
"Well, how about… we could have a solidarity rally! And raise money for an anti-bullying charity!" Britta says, and it doesn't sound like what Annie was really looking for, but it's probably not a bad idea.
Abed stares at her for a second. "Cool shirt, Annie," he says, and Annie beams at him.
"Where'd you get it?" Troy asks. "It's… shiny."
"Britta and I were raising money for anti-bullying activist groups!" Annie says. "Since so many gay kids get bullied and stuff. Me and Britta just wanted to do something to show how much we cared for and respected the gay community.”
“I think metallic rainbow shirts was the way to go,” Abed says, nodding.
“Right?” Annie says. “I thought it really got the message across. RESPECT!” She’s pointing to the metallic rainbow lettering, spelling out R-E-S-P-E-C-T across her chest. Then she realizes she’s touching her own breasts kind of a lot and stops. She thinks Troy might be staring.
“Yeah,” Troy says, nodding. “It’s… nice boobs.”
“Oh Troy,” Annie says, rolling her eyes.
“So, you and Britta raising money for gay charities,” Abed says. “Is this going to end like the time you were trying to save the environment or like the time Britta tried to show you how open-minded she was? Because between oil wrestling and faux-lesbianism, I’m starting to think I should start following you around with a camera.”
“I think I will follow you,” Troy says.
“Oh you two… quit playing around,” she says, not wanting them to think they have to pretend to be into that sort of thing. Don’t they see how much she respects them? She heads back to her room, frowning, because she doesn’t really have any more ideas about what she can do to make Abed and Troy trust her.
A week later, and she’s honestly sort of hurt. She’s been dropping hints and doing her very best to show how supportive she is, and they’re still hiding from her. She doesn’t understand it! Don’t they see how happy she is for them? Because she is. Annie is nothing but 100% and completely happy that Troy and Abed are together and having sex and making sex tapes and probably making out in the blanket fort right now, since she’s not there to see.
Abed probably has Troy on his back, and he’s probably got his hand up Troy’s shirt, feeling up his abs and kissing Troy with those firm, soft lips that Annie remembers from the paintball game. Maybe they’re filming it and making another sex tape, where they can moan and arch against each other like in the last one. Troy seems like a moaner.
Not that Annie’s thought about it or anything, but she bets Troy moans a lot, when Abed sucks him off, Troy’s fingers tangling in his hair, and when Abed fucks him, Troy’s powerful thighs parted for Abed.
She realizes she’s sort of humping against one of her throw pillows and forces herself to stop. This is inappropriate and really, really disrespectful, of course they’re not out to her. She gets up and goes to take another cold shower, because doing anything else about how wet she is would be wrong.
The three of them are at the dinner table, having a nice, friendly meal. It was Troy’s turn to cook, so they’re having Spaghetti-Os with meatballs and bowls with big pieces of lettuce. It’s obvious Troy tried pretty hard with the bowls of lettuce, and it’s almost like having a vegetable with dinner, so Annie lays off making any comments about them all dying of scurvy. She really is becoming a more loosey-goosey, go-with-the-flow type of person.
Troy is leaning into Abed’s space, chair pushed in close, and he’s spearing all of Abed’s meatballs off his plate. Abed’s letting him, taking some of the cooler-looking Spaghetti-O shapes off Troy’s plate as payment. Neither of them has touched their lettuce, and it’s so adorable and couple-y that suddenly Annie wants to throw her bowl at them.
“You can’t have the double-rocketship!” Troy says, spearing at Abed’s spoon. Abed eats the piece before Troy can get to it, though, chewing, and Troy laughs and reaches for another meatball.
“One ball per piece,” Abed says, shaking his head.
“God, why don’t you two just kiss already?” Annie shouts and surprises herself. Her eyes widen, and Troy and Abed turn to look at her. She screws up her courage and stands up straight.
“You’re obviously together. Everyone can see it, and especially me. I don’t see why you’re keeping it from me, but it honestly hurts my feelings,” she says. “I’m your friend. I want you to be happy, and I’m happy for you.” She leaves then, goes to her room and lays down and hopes she didn’t just ruin everything.
Annie wants to sleep, but she can’t. Then there’s the sound of something being knocked over in the blanket fort, and she holds her breath. “Oh, hey.” It sounds like Troy’s voice, and then someone inhales sharply.
She keeps listening, and there’s wet sounds, and Troy mumbles a few more times… she thinks she might be listening to a blowjob. She’s certain of it when Troy lets out a high, squeaky sound.
That must be what he sounds like when he's having sex, she thinks, and her hands tighten into fists over the covers on her bed. She's silent for a few moments more, breathlessly waiting for one of them to make another sound. Then she realizes what she's doing and turns over and hums silently to herself, so she can't hear them, even if one of them does happen to moan or groan or bump into something in ecstasy.
She's sleeping, she doesn't care if they're having sex where she can hear it now.
In the morning, Annie goes to make herself breakfast. She's surprised to find Troy and Abed next to the refrigerator. Troy's sitting on the counter and Abed's between his legs, with one hand holding Troy's wrist against the counter. They're kissing, eyes closed and intent, so caught up in what they’re doing they don’t notice Annie walking into the room.
She clears her throat and they jump apart.
"Sorry, Annie," Troy says, and wipes at his mouth. Abed's steps away, watching them both, head cocked to the side.
"No," Annie says, shaking her head and smiling. "That's great. It's so great that you're making out in the kitchen." She gives them a big smile and a thumbs up. This is exactly what she was hoping for. They feel comfortable in front of her, finally. Good for them.
"You're pouring Kool-aid over your Rice Krispies," Abed says, and when Annie looks down, she sees that she's poured blue Kool-aid over her breakfast cereal.
"I'm trying something new," she says, and sits down at the table to force herself to eat. It's not good, but it isn't bad either.
"Is that good?" Troy asks, clearly curious. He's shirtless, because that's how he always eats breakfast. There's a mark on his shoulder, dark like a bruise and weirdly shaped. Annie's pretty sure it's from Abed's mouth. Which makes sense, why wouldn't Abed leave little marks on Troy's skin while Troy made noises like he was making last night? It makes perfect sense.
"Delicious," Annie tells him, and shovels more into her mouth.
In order to watch TV together, Annie has to sit with one of them. It's usually Abed, because he's easier to share a chair with. She's sitting on the arm of the chair, leaned in against his side, when Abed takes her hand. It’s something they always do, something Annie does, usually, that's become routine.
She looks down briefly at their intertwined hands and back up at Abed and then over to Troy. She doesn't want Troy to be upset, after all, about them holding hands.
Troy doesn't even notice, he's caught up in something Inspector Spacetime is doing up on the screen. Good. Annie likes being able to be physically close with Abed without Troy being jealous, because jealousy is terrible.
She puts her head on Abed's shoulder, except when she looks over at his neck, she's pretty sure she can see scratches on the back and trailing toward the front that Troy must have left there. She looks away and snuggles closer, glad again that Troy is so comfortable and sure about his and Abed's relationship that he doesn't feel threatened by this. Jealousy is awful.
She's glad no one here is jealous.
"So, how did you know?" Troy asks her. They're all in the blanket fort, and they're supposed to be thinking about what they should shadow puppet next.
"Huh?" Annie asks, wondering what that has to do with their ability to make enough Blorgons to act out the Inspector Spacetime Christmas Special.
Troy gestures between him and Abed. "How did you know about us?"
"Being together?" Annie asks, and Abed and Troy both nod. She shrugs. "Honestly, it was really obvious. I mean, if you didn't want me to know, you definitely shouldn't have invited me to live here. All the in-jokes, the touching, the Dreamatorium. It's all just really clear what you mean to each other."
"The Dreamatorium," Abed says.
"It can be anywhere we want," Troy says. They turn to look at each other and then turn back to Annie.
"We have plans now," Troy says. "We'll do this shadow-play later." Then they leave, Abed grabbing a tube of lube and Troy bringing a pillow and a towel on the way out. Then she's alone in the fort, with Popsicle sticks and construction paper.
Troy and Abed, they're so unpredictable! And they just ruined her plans for the evening. Which is okay, because she's an awesome friend who's really happy for them.
It's seriously like they spend all their time in that stupid Dreamatorium these days. They go to school, study with the group, and then head for the Dreamatorium. She's still really happy for them. Really happy, honest. She just misses seeing them and is pretty sure they'll pull something if they don't stop soon.
Because they're obviously having sex basically all the time in there. It's probably pretty athletic, really. Abed looks pretty bendy, and she knows how strong and athletic Troy is too.
When they played Dungeons and Dragons, Abed named the character he meant to be Troy's 'Hector the Well Endowed' (really, it's always been so obvious). She wonders if they're playing a fantasy now. Is Troy playing Hector the Well Endowed to Abe's Squire or Rogue Thief persona? She can't decide exactly who Abed would pretend to be and ends up deciding on Abed as an outcast prince, questing with his new friend Hector to regain his throne.
They’re probably slaying ogres and trolls and saving princesses from towers and then throwing each other to the earth and rutting against each other because they’re too excited from battle to do anything else. Could they be acting out their own tryst between Hector the Well Endowed and the Elf Maiden?
Annie lies in bed and thinks about things that have nothing to do with Troy blindfolding Abed and fingering him open in the Dreamatorium. She touches herself and thinks about other things, hot, sexy things that aren’t her roommates. It’s very easy, and she doesn’t feel guilty afterward, because she wasn’t thinking about them.
“Troy thinks you’re angry,” Abed says, when she’s making dinner. She jumps a little, knife in hand, because she didn’t hear him come into the kitchen. Last she saw, he was lying on top of Troy in the blanket fort, lazily making out.
“Please don’t sneak up on me when I have a knife in my hand, Abed. We talked about this,” she says, because they have.
“Right, sorry,” he says, and keeps looking at her. “So... are you mad?”
“Why would I be mad?” she asks and yes, her voice is a little too high there. She smiles anyway, and it’s tight and stiff, but he’s Abed, so he probably won’t notice.
“I don’t know. Troy just said that you were chopping vegetables kind of angrily and it was freaking him out,” Abed tells her.
“I’ll try and chop more kindly,” Annie says, annoyed that Troy and Abed have the nerve to tell her to keep it down.
Abed just looks at her and steps forward. “In the eleventh episode of the sixth season of Seinfeld, Jerry does this in order to get rid of his girlfriend to date her roommate. That’s not my intention,” he says.
“Huh?” Annie asks, confused, and then Abed is leaning in, tilting Annie’s face up and kissing her. It’s a good kiss, like when they played paintball and he was Han Solo. She drops the knife and puts her arms around him, falling into it for a few moments before pulling away.
“Abed, no,” she says, holding her hand up to her mouth. It’s definitely in shame and not because she likes the way her mouth feels right now. “Troy is in the blanket fort right now, waiting for you.”
“Actually, I’m in the doorway watching,” Troy says, and when Annie looks up, he’s leaning against the doorway in jeans and a muscle shirt with his arms crossed over his chest.
“Troy!” Annie says, and now she is embarrassed and ashamed. “This isn’t what it looks like.”
“Abed said he was going to talk you into joining us,” Troy says. He doesn’t look mad. “That’s why he was kissing you, right? He said he could do a Han Solo thing you were into.”
“Wait... what?” Annie asks, looking between them.
“You’re mad a lot more now, and we’re actually making less noise and less mess,” Abed says, then pauses. “So long as you don’t go in the Dreamatorium.”
“And I was thinking about why you might be mad, because Abed’s chart says it’s not that time of the month for you right now,” Troy says, and Annie shoots Abed a dirty look. “So then I was thinking, and if it was you and Abed that were dating, I’d feel pretty left out. And if it was you and me that were dating, I’d feel bad for leaving Abed out. So... that’s it, right? You feel left out?”
“I’m-” Annie starts, and then shrugs. “I’m really happy for you.”
“You just also feel left out,” Abed finishes.
“A little,” Annie says, looking down.
“So this is perfect,” Troy says.
“What’s perfect?” Annie asks, still not understanding what’s going on.
“You should join us,” Abed says. Annie just looks at him. “Really. You living with us has been really great. We have even more fun. It would probably be that way if you were having sex with us too.”
“Is that... do you want that?” Annie asks, because it sounds kind of weird, but not in a way that she doesn’t want.
“Yes,” Abed says, and when she turns to look at Troy, he’s nodding.
“Okay then, sure,” Annie says, and steps forward, up against Abed. “Are you going to-?” Abed leans in again, putting one arm around her waist and kisses her, holding her body against his. It’s good, so, so good, and Annie goes a little limp up against him, but Abed keeps hold of her, keeps her up.
“Oh man, this is gonna be perfect!” Troy says, and when Annie opens her eyes, he’s still leaning against the door frame, watching them. Annie breaks the kiss, but doesn’t pull away from Abed. Troy’s grinning, and Annie smiles back. “I can’t believe you didn’t come up with this.”
“Why would I?” she asks, because it honestly hadn’t occurred to her to think that.
“Me and Abed having sex was the best idea ever,” Troy says. “Someone who comes up with an idea like that, I expect them to come up with something as awesome as adding you to it too.”
“That wasn’t my... wait, you weren’t having sex until I brought it up?” Annie asks, shocked.
“No,” Troy says.
“Then why did you start?” Annie asks, confused.
“You said it was obvious,” Abed says. “And you’re a lot smarter than us, so it really just made sense to follow your lead.”
“Oh.” Annie’s a little surprised at that, and she just stands there for a second.
“Can we follow your lead in the blanket fort, with a lot fewer clothes on?” Troy asks, and Annie smiles and nods, following him out, with Abed right behind her. She hasn’t been thinking about having sex with them in the blanket fort at all; this should be fun.