"Can you believe we made it out of there, alive?" Jeff was hastily removing the black graduation robes from his person.
"I don't know how alive you would call it. Pierce had two heart attacks and Annie was re-admitted to rehab." Abed said, half paying attention to the group and half watching the tassel on his hat as it wobbled precariously from its frayed string.
"Yeah, but I'm fine now." Annie smiled at him from the monitor on the table beside Shirley, sitting upright in her white hospital bed, but wearing her graduation robe and cap, "I'm straight back on the stress pills if you touch this hat." She screamed at someone off screen, and everyone heard the faint 'Just calm down'. The group was silent for a few minutes.
"Well gaywads - sorry Jeff, am I being homophobic? Well people, I'm off, see you all tomorrow." Said Pierce, looking through his satchel slung over the back of his chair. He rustled inside it. Jeff rolled his eyes and put his feet on the desk, pulling the blackberry out of his pants pocket.
"Pierce. We aren't coming back." Shirley's concerned as soft as she broke the news to Pierce, whose eyes grew wide like an upset child. He looked up from his satchel, to each member of the group, looking more vulnerable than usual.
"Isn't this just some Halloween get-up?" He asked, tugging at the sleeve of his robe,
"Nope. This is our last day. This is also the opportunity I have been looking for to complete my final college bucket list item." Abed took the yellowing bucket list out of his pants pocket, and a pencil from his bag, "Ok, so on my count, we all have to throw our caps in the air and say, 'Hooray' got that?"
Voices broke out in a chorus as people voice their arguments.
"What do you mean we aren't coming back?! Ay-bed, this better be one of your Muslim jokes I don't get." Pierce complained.
"I am not bending to the demands of society! Every time you see a movie where people do that, it's after the outsider has learned to get along with people. Name five cases of this in real life." Britta had still not gotten over her aversion to, well, everything.
"If I throw things, they put me in a strait jacket. You don't want me to wear a strait jacket, do you Abed?" Asked Annie, but the screen turned black as Shirley clicked the remote,
"We ain’t ever going to see each other again, and you want to risk a concussion by throwing things in the air? Uh-uh. No way, Abed. No way." Shirley clutched her purse, and shook her head, the tassel swinging precariously.
"I would, but as you know, as a full-fledged lawyer, I can have you sued twenty-two different ways for making me give a damn." Jeff hardly glanced up from his black berry to argue in his usual, smooth, Winger voice.
"Abed, mine is made of paper. I might get a paper cut. Or you might get a paper cut. I don't want to give you a paper cut!" Troy was using this excuse to begin to cry, not wanting the others to think he cared too much about them when he really did. He hugged a startled Abed, whispering, "Not a paper cut. Those things hurt, you know."
Abed unattached himself from a sobbing Troy to face the group.
"We will see each other again, how can we not, we have devoted the past four years to each other. And I am almost positive, in ten years; we will still be close friends." Abed reassured them, a shiver of pride rippled through him, for he was not usually the one to console them, that was Jeff's job.
"Awww, how sweet!" Dean Pelton clasped his hands together as he stood in the door way.
Jeff's head dropped to his chest with an exasperated sigh.
"So," The Dean looked around the room with a smile, walking in and placing a hand on Jeff's shoulder, as he does, "How are the graduates? Ready and pumped to live in the big-wide-world? To fend for yourself?" Jeff shrugged the Dean's hand off, and, without actually turning to the Dean, addressed him.
"May I remind you that we are adults, not teenagers leaving high school? And as an adult, I can have you sued for touching me."
"On what grounds, Mr Winger?" Asked Britta, turning with a smug look on her face.
"Wow, I am so glad you decided to take Law with me." Jeff gave her a sarcastic smile as the Dean withdrew his hand, biting his lower lip worriedly -
"This seemed to be the start of another 'Jeff against Britta'." Abed said, watching the two of them, his eyes darting from Jeff, to Britta, to the Dean, to his bucket list, which crinkled in his hands.
"J.A.B… Jab?" Pierce asked, looking confused. Jeff and Britta stared defiantly at one another as the Dean slunk out of the room,
"I'll leave you guys to it… Abed? Are you still interested in being head of Greendale's AV department? You'll get a free drink every week at the cafeteria." The Dean tried to tempt Abed, looking hopefully at him from the doorway.
"No thankyou Dean, after my big debut at the Denver Underground Film Festival, I realise that I need to go to expand my knowledge." Abed folded the bucket list neatly as he talked and looked up at the Dean as he put in into his pocket. Jeff and Britta had even stopped their mute argument to watch the exchange.
"What if I get, who is it… Indiana Jones? What if I got him to teach here?" Asked the Dean hopefully, but Abed just cocked his head to the side and looked at the Dean,
"Maybe if you got Bill Lawrence, even though he's not actually a teacher, but you do know Indiana Jones is a character played by Harrison Ford in hit Indiana Jones movies?" Jeff had to hide his laughter.
"No. No I did not." The Dean said quietly, almost to himself and back out of view as Abed turned back to the group. The dormant screen beside Shirley flickered to life.
"Who turned the television off? Are you ignoring me? What's happening?" Whined Annie, no-one really paid her any attention, so Abed ploughed on;
"So, if we aren't throwing our hats in the air, common Sitcom edict says we should reminisce."
"But, Abed *hic* we aren't in a Sitcom. *hic*" Troy sniffled, turning to his best friend,
"I know it just feels as if our lives here have been overly dramatized; I mean, what about the government threatened to bomb Leonard." Abed looked at each of them, and Jeff removed his feet from the table.
"Abed, this is Greendale, and that is Leonard. It's just a normal Monday, am I right?"
"Up yours Winger!" Cried Leonard from the doorway.
"Shut up, Leonard!" Jeff smiled at the rest of the group, but no-one joined to agree with him; they all sat in thoughtful silence.
"Abed's right. Remember when it was family day? My little Ben ran into the open sewer and Dean got the S.W.A.T team in." Shirley clutched her purse tighter, looking at the table, "What was the sewer doing open anyway?"
"Leonard had this idea; we were going to get a giant fan and blow sewer air out." Pierce looked triumphantly at her, to Shirley's aghast expression.
"There was a giant fan in there?"
"No," Pierce looked at the desk, sheepishly, "Apparently Leonard took it off a cruise-ship-thing. The point is, he was caught by the police and I spent the day in the sewer." Pierce made a face.
"Well, what about all the good things. I am actually going to miss one of my classes." Jeff smiled, and the group turned to look at him like he grew an extra head.
"You? Jeff Winger?" Annie was the first to speak up,
"Yeah, American Romanticism. Britta and I have been going to that class for the past year. You guys didn’t know that?" Jeff smiled cockily from Britta, to everyone else.
"They broke you." Said Shirley, staring defiantly at Jeff, who sighed and pulled out his blackberry.
"Whatever." He begins to click away, and an awkward silence ensues.
"Ok then… Awww Troy, what's wrong? Are you going to miss us?" Annie sees Troy crying, his head snaps up, and he splutters for an excuse,
"No. Yes. Maybe. I don't know!" He buries his face in his hands, and resumes crying,
"Awwww!" Shirley and Annie coo. Groaning in defeat, Jeff dropped his feet off the table, and slouched forward,
"Remember the last time Troy cried?" He asked,
"Wait; was that before or after Pierce's ninth wedding?" Britta asked, staring at the ceiling in concentration.
"Before, when the Dean made him wear the Human Being Suit." Annie pursed her lips, sure she was right,
"They set me on fire." Troy said through his tears. Abed patted him on the back absent minded-ly,
"Nope, it was after. The day the Dean cancelled Taco Wednesday. And Britta became open about her relationship with Paige." Abed didn't have to search far in his mind for that. Everyone 'ohed' in recognition. An awkward silence filled the room, one which Jeff was happy to break.
"What about Pierce's first heart attack?"
"It was shortly after Chang and Chainsaw Friday -" Pierce began, only to be interrupted by Shirley, concern etched into her face,
"What and What Thursday?" She cried, asking the question that had sprung into everyone's mind.
"Chang and Chainsaw. You know, bring a Chang, get a chainsaw?" He looked around at the bewildered group,
"There's no day like that…" Britta was half way between amusement and bewilderment,
"Then why did Chang have a chainsaw?"
"Because he's insane! Remember, he kidnapped the Dean." Jeff frowned, smacking his hands on the table, "Remember how he chewed through the main power cords?"
"He was on drugs, Jeff." Britta raised her eyebrows defiantly, to which Jeff rolls his eyes, dismay coursing through him like blood,
"Children's aspirin. And he ate those four dog treats before he realised that they were cupcakes made of meat."
"His coat never looked better." Another failed Pierce Joke, one of the last. The balding man turns to his companions, wanting some hint of approval, to which they give him none. The look of sadness disappears from his face, only to be replaced with a look of befuddlement, utter -
"Abed! No narrating!" The no longer ex-layer glowers at the strange man sitting at the opposite end of the table, rising to his feet, shouts course through the room, making the strange man cease his talking in bewilderment, yet he doesn't he continues to talk, dictate the daily lives of those around him, so future generations may look at it as-
"Jeff, leave it, I think it adds a finale vibe, you know, when he gets a job, he'll get so many weird looks when he does this… Just let him be…" The blonde beside the lawyer stands up for the strange man, as she has for the past four years. She looks to her comrades, the seven who have stood the test of time, that time being four years. And in those four years much has happened.
"Nurse, can I get some popcorn? Abed's doing his robot memory thing… Get me some flipping popcorn!" The group waits in silence as the beautiful woman on screen is handed a small box of popcorn, smiling as the strange man talks. They look to him expectantly, some with
adoration, concern, love, bewilderment, even amusement, as he regales the tales of Greendale.