From a deserted high school cafeteria aisle, Abed could hear various snippets of conversation. He was the only one on his two-seater table, but from the larger groups, he caught strings of words. Jocks laughing and joking; "Ha, it's because I don't have friends!" Popular girls complaining; "No-one likes me!"
Abed didn't have any friends. No-one liked him.
On days like these, where he couldn't escape the humour and attention seeking of students who didn't know how idolized they were, Abed would put aside his screenplays and work on his Special Project. It was one that would never be made into a movie or series - a wishful autobiography, one he would plan out and change, in the hopes that it would come true someday.
He figured he wasn't really main character material. Which meant he'd need a protagonist... Female, to balance their genders out. Perhaps as quiet as him, but with the same bluntness, and the ability to open up around the right people. She would be as into books as he was to movies, making them the ultimate referencing team, and they could either mercilessly Ship Tease for a few seasons, or Will They Won't They for the appropriate amount of time so that no-one would get bored of it. In a more likely scenario, everyone who cared would be a Shipper On Board, but the two of them would simply be Platonic Life Partners.
Abed always got stuck after the categorizing of his friend. What would she look like? What were her flaws and strengths? Would she like Firefly as much as him?
Then a football player would walk by and crumple up his plans. He was always thankful for this, in a strange way - maybe he should have been angry, but it meant he could imagine it again at some point, improving and changing and wishing on this lonely cafeteria seat.
Troy is different. To those descriptions, he is the opposite; loud, culturally uneducated, male.
And not a platonic interest at all.
Community College changes Abed - it's okay to be attracted to guys when there are people here who are just as outcasted as you are.
It would have been suicide in high school... But, when you share a class with ex-professional percussionists, future fruit salesmen and circus folk, it seems a lot less important. He can't help but see the younger man slowly become his friend, then quickly dive into the role of best friend. Abed will never be sure when they became Those Two Guys, but they did, and that's how Greendale recognises them.
Sometimes, when Troy has just left the dorm after a furiously energetic gaming session, Abed will stand in the middle of the room and breathe. He'll inhale slowly, because Troy's cologne will be lingering in the air where they've been sitting for the past two hours. It's faint. It's also intoxicating, and the film student will close his eyes, wishing even more. He wishes he could think up a plotline that isn't lame, or clichéd (Troy feels the same, they make films and play games together forever) that he could act on. He used to have all of the material for a character, a perfect character - or so he thought.
Then Troy came along, years later, and he tosses the stack of papers that held his impossible dreams. All of that work, and a jock came along to screw up his plans again, make him start over.
He minded even less.