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summer reading

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Troy and Abed are sitting on their couch in the library. Neither one of them is taking any summer term classes, but Troy drove over to campus at the regular time, and Abed was already there when he came in, so. They're hanging out.

Troy spent the last twenty minutes installing the Nintendo emulator on his phone. He's got it all set up now, but he hasn't started a game yet. Abed is reading, actually turning the pages and all. At first Troy thought Abed was reading the book backwards, until he saw the writing on the cover. He can't tell what the book's about, but he's pretty sure it's not a textbook. That means Abed's not studying, and that means it's okay for Troy to interrupt him. It would totally be fine. Anytime Troy feels like it.

Abed turns another page and says, "Ask me."


"Whatever you want to ask me. Ask."

"Um," Troy says. "Okay. Does, like. All the shit Shirley says- does that bother you?"

"What shit?" Abed says. He still hasn't looked up from his book.

"About how we're too close. How the Bible doesn't approve of it. That shit."

"It's not my Bible," Abed says.

"Well, yeah," Troy says. "But Shirley's your friend."

Abed does glance over at that. "Shirley is like C3PO to our R2. I accept her affection without needing her approval."

"Uh huh," Troy says. "And what about the Qur'an?"

Abed claps his book shut and turns it to lie flat in his hands. "What about it?" he says quietly.

They both spend a minute looking down at the cover.

"Is that why you wouldn't room with me?" Troy finally bursts out.

Abed reaches over and lays his hand on Troy's leg. "No," he says.

"Um," Troy says. "Abed."

Abed cocks his head to the side and says nothing. When Troy doesn't continue, Abed raises one eyebrow and goes back to his book.

Troy keeps watching for another minute, but Abed doesn't look up again. Eventually Troy starts up some Super Mario. The small, bouncy music blends into the quiet of the library. His scores aren't awesome, because his hands are a little shaky. But Abed's palm stays warm and steady on his thigh.