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the pair of us

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Troy is standing in the empty office space he and Abed are renting for their new company. There’s no furniture and not even so much as a coffee machine. They are trying to save money where they can, knowing that they aren’t known for their frugalness. They want this more than anything, and they are going to do everything in their power to hold onto it.

Abed is curled up in the corner of the room, asleep, with the computer light illuminating his face. Troy, holding a McDonald’s bag filled with 12-piece chicken nuggets, drops down next to him. He pulls the laptop over to get a peak at what Abed is working on. Abed, still very much asleep, grabs the computer back and tucks it under his arm. He should have known that he wouldn’t have wanted to show anyone until his genius was done.

Troy digs into his food and looks over at Abed’s sleeping face. He really missed his best friend.

~~~

Pierce is irritated, but what else is new. He is trying yet again to break into the business world, but he has had no good ideas. He paces around his study, consulting his notebook. He tried to talk Troy and Abed into making a tv show with some of his character ideas, but they shut him down. Something about it being “way too stereotypical” and “kind of horrible”.

He missed his mansion when he was pretending to be dead. He missed the life of luxury he was accustomed to. He also missed Gilbert, his new found brother and his friend. He hadn’t quite gotten around to telling him he was still alive, but he planned on it today. Gilbert is on his way over to finish packing up Pierce’s things, and he is planning on telling him then.

He doesn’t know exactly what he’s going to say, how he’s going to explain. Although he rarely says sorry, but he feels that it’s necessary this time. He almost apologized to Jeff and he isn’t his half-brother.

The doorknob turns, and Pierce stands up tall. When he walks through the door, he drops the stack of files he was carrying. Pierce swallows hard.

“Hello, Gilbert.”

~~~

Shirley has been in the kitchen all day. Andre is dropping off the kids any minute now, and she wants them have treats to eat. She also wants to have a more than one sentence conversation with the man that she loves, no matter how much he might not want to see her.

She doesn’t know if the Lord is testing her, or if her and Andre just aren’t meant to be. She is hoping for the first one, but she isn’t sure anymore. It seems like their whole relationship over the past few years has been a rough patch with only some spots of light. She misses how they used to be, and she misses her kids.

As soon as she pulls the cookies out of the oven, there’s a knock at the door. She takes a deep breath, fixes her hair as best she can, and slowly opens the door. She is greeted by her three smiling boys and a smile erupts on her face.

“I smell cookies!” Elijah says, pushing past his mom with his two brothers in tow. Shirley ruffles each of their heads as they walk past. After watching them disappear into the kitchen, she finally looks up at the man she loves. For once, she couldn’t read his face. He looks conflicted, his eyes downcast and his eyebrows are furrowed.

“Hi, Shirley,” He finally says.

“Hello,” She chokes out.

“You have,” He reaches out toward her face. “Flour in your hair.” He slowly brushes it away and Shirley tries not to laugh or cry.

“Thank you,” is all she manages to say.

They stand there looking at each other, not wanting to move. Shirley breathes deep, and decides to take a chance.

“Would you like to come in?” She asks.

Maybe the Lord has been testing her. But all of the struggle they have gone through together is made worth it when Andre nods and steps inside.

~~~

Britta wakes up groggy and slightly out of it. She slowly regains consciousness and takes in what is happening around her. A soft blanket is wrapped around her and she can hear someone breathing next to her. What would have been unexpected less than a week ago is that the person next to her is Ian Duncan, the school psychologist from Greendale.

At first she’s surprised, but then she remembers yesterday. She went to his office, just to talk, and she ended up asking him out. It came out of her mouth before she could control it. It’s not like she hadn’t thought about it before, she knew that he’s been into her for awhile. He seemed shocked when she said it, but said yes almost immediately. Then Jeff walked in, so she ran out. She didn’t want anyone to know, not yet.

That night, they went to a bar. She refused to bring him to the bar she worked at, so she brought him to the Red Door. They talked, starting with their families and then about their lives. Jeff called her right after he asked her about her activism days, and after practically pushing him off the phone, she went on for about an hour. The best part about it was that he let her.

After that, he told her about his childhood in England, the psychological studies he published, and how he ended up at Greendale. She was seeing him for the first time sitting here in her favorite bar.

So of course she went home with him. She’s not ashamed of it. She looks over at him now, the light peeking through the curtains streaming across his face. He looks different without his glasses. It’s a nice change, she thinks.

She shifts closer to him, leaning into his chest. If this was Jeff, she’d already be gone. He wasn’t much of a romantic, at least not with her. She almost always left before he woke up. Not this time.

Duncan shifts slightly his sleep, and unconsciously pulls her closer. She smirks and closes her eyes. For now, she’s completely at peace.

~~~

Jeff wakes up in his bed, like he does every morning. The light is dancing on the wall opposite of him, like every morning. Sebastian is curled up next to his feet, also like every morning. What wasn’t like every morning was the arm wrapped around his torso and the head on his shoulder.

He smiles as he looks down at Annie, still sleeping and cuddling up against him. Last night was amazing. He missed her so much.

Now that she’s back, he has so many questions to ask. Is she just visiting or is she back for good? If she is back for good, why? Did she give up her dream for him? If so, he can’t live with that. And the most important one: what does she want with their relationship?

He assumes that she wants it to continue, considering the fact the she came to him before anyone else. He’s afraid of wanting too much out of her, of pushing too hard. He takes a deep breath, then pushes those thoughts out of his mine. She’s here now, and that’s all that matters.
She squirms a little, moving closer to him, and he pulls her in with his right arm. She mumbles something and opens one eye, looking up at him.

“Hi,” She says, smiling.

She’s beautiful, He thinks.

“Hey.”

She leans up a little higher and gives him a quick peck on the lips. She then tucks her head under his chin. He grins, then drops another kiss on the top of her head. He still can’t believe this is happening. Annie Edison is in his bed and they’re cuddling. He’s never cuddled in his life. It’s really nice.

He also can’t believe that he pushed back against this for so long. He’s been into her for years now, since she first kissed him during debate team. At first, he was concerned about her age, then he was scared of commitment. To be honest, he still is. But now he knows that this is worth putting his heart on the line.

This is worth fighting for.