If there were two things that Jeff learned in his six years at Greendale, the first was that you should never sleep on the study room couches because the night life on campus was far too worrisome; and the second was that Annie Edison was off limits (no matter how much passion there was in your heart to ignite a creepy robot computer and open a goddamn door). So when Jeff woke up to find himself underneath a sleeping Annie on one of the lumpy study room couches, it was safe to say he was surprised. And disoriented. Kind of content…but mostly surprised.
The last thing he remembered doing was sitting on the couch with Annie after the whole giving-a-degree-to-a-dog debacle. Greendale was safe, Annie was staying, and all he wanted to do was catch up on some much-needed sleep before his morning classes began. He guessed Annie had the same idea because one minute he closed his eyes, and the next she was sound asleep on top of him.
Sure the couch was uncomfortable, but other than that he felt pretty damn good. But that soon faded when it finally hit him that Annie was on top of him. And it was Annie who was softly grasping the fabric of his shirt. And it was Annie who was making his heart ache with the realization that he wanted to do this every day.
Somehow, he managed to lift his right arm to check the time on his watch without waking her. It was just after nine and he had class in 45 minutes. He debated sending his students an email, declaring his classes cancelled for the day, but he knew he couldn’t stay on that couch forever. And he knew that soon enough, Annie would stir awake and apologize for their compromising position. He wished he could tell her it was more than okay, that it was rather enjoyable and that they should maybe do it again sometime, or you know, for the rest of their lives.
But this was Annie. And he was Jeff. He shook his head at himself because he knew it wasn’t an option. As much as he wanted to stay on that couch, underneath Annie forever, he knew he had to wake her up before anyone walked into the situation. He was going to wake her up. In a minute. Maybe two.
(It was thirty.)
God fucking dammit.
This was not how he expected to spend one of his last nights with Annie and Abed before they left for the summer (or indefinitely). He cursed Britta as he piled into her beat up car with the rest of them, practically soaked from the pouring rain.
Camping. Of all things, why did Britta insist they go camping for the last study group gathering?! She hated camping! He was beginning to think it had less to do with “the psychological importance of saying goodbye” and more to do with the fact that she wanted to swing by her weed guy’s place on their way home tomorrow. A fact she quickly mentioned as she pulled into the campsite earlier that day.
Of course, Jeff was really the only one who was put off by the whole thing since they arrived. Abed was willing to go along with it, explaining he wanted to experience one last disastrous group debacle before he left for L.A. (he definitely knew this was going to happen). Annie tried to enjoy herself for the sake of Britta and because she knew it was important that they all did this one last thing together. And Jeff was willing to do anything Annie wanted because he was about to spend ten whole weeks without her.
But the rain. God, the fucking rain. At around midnight, the “light drizzle” they were experiencing turned into a full-fledged rainstorm. One of which, was far too heavy for even their tents to withstand. First, the tent Jeff was sharing with Abed completely collapsed followed by Annie and Britta’s soon after. That was when they all booked it for the car, leaving everything but their phones outside.
“You really Britta’d this one, huh?” Jeff said, wiping his hands down his wet jeans.
“How is this my fault?! I can’t control the weather, dick.” Britta scowled from the driver’s seat, immediately turning on the heat.
In the passenger’s seat, Abed seemed like he was enjoying every minute of the show. Jeff rolled his eyes.
“Guys, let’s just relax. We can sleep in here,” Annie said from the seat beside him.
Jeff sighed, “We can’t sleep with the car running.”
“Well, maybe we can turn off the heat in a little while and crack a window?” Always the problem solver.
They all murmured in agreement.
Already upset he had to go on a stupid camping trip, Jeff was pissed that he had less time to spend with Annie in private. He knew she felt the same way because every time he looked at her she gave him a sad smile. Despite the fact they were currently in a living hell, he was glad he at least got to sit next to her.
Eventually when they were all warm enough, and somewhat dry, they decided it was time to go to sleep. Abed and Britta folded themselves into awkward positions in the front seats while Jeff and Annie settled into the back. Somehow the two in front were already sleeping, Britta snoring lightly (of course). Being so tall, Jeff was having the hardest time getting comfortable and he was about two seconds away from finding a tree to sleep under instead. It wasn’t until he felt her hand settle on his knee that he stopped twisting and turning. He looked from her hand to her face and she smiled sweetly at him.
Without saying anything, she scooted closer to him until he wrapped his right arm around her, gathering her into his side. Her head rested on his shoulder and Jeff was almost unsure of what to do. But when she looked up at him, he knew he didn’t want to be anywhere else. He finally smiled back, dipping to press a kiss to her forehead.
Content, Annie snuggled deeper into his side and closed her eyes. He eventually fell asleep to the sound of rain against the windows.
“Well,” Jeff began. “This is not how I imagined us spending our first vacation together.”
“Jeff…” Annie chastised although he couldn’t see her. “Abed was nice enough to let us take use his spare bedroom. We’re saving money and we get to spend more time with him.”
“Don’t get me wrong, I love saving money and seeing the guy, but he failed to mention that his guestroom included a bunkbed and nothing else.”
“He likes to have it for when Troy is in town!”
“And how old are they?”
“You’re just grumpy because I got the top bunk,” she snickered.
“No, I’m grumpy because I don’t get to sleep next to you.”
“Awwww,” Annie melted. “And to think I thought it was because this arrangement means no sex.”
He was silent for a moment, letting her words linger in the air (and mattress) between them. “Does it have to mean no sex?”
Annie was still and silent for a few moments until she carefully peeked her head over the ledge so she could get a look at his face. She quirked an eyebrow at him, he looked at her pleadingly. “Am I going down there or are you coming up here?”
A giddy grin spread across his face as he lifted his covers to make room. “You down here, I’m not risking one of us falling off this thing.”
She giggled and climbed down the ladder, crawling on top of him. “This is a tight squeeze, how are we supposed to move?”
“Don’t underestimate our ability to get creative, Annie,” he said as he pulled her down for a long and searching kiss. She smiled into it and they made out generously as she laid directly on top of him. God, he loved the feeling of her stretched out on top of him. He wrapped his arms around her torso and kept her anchored to him. Even after a long day of traveling, Jeff felt more awake than he had in days. “You know,” he said between kisses. “This is kind of hot.”
She giggled into his mouth before pulling away and giving him a sultry look. Her hands left his chest and found the hem of her camisole, as she movied into a straddling position. “Ow!” She cried as her head made contact with the wooden frame holding the top bunk.
“Shit, are you okay?” Jeff whispered rubbing the top of her head.
“Yeah, yeah. I’m fine” she sighed. “I just…my arms!” She struggled as she tried to break free from the fabric but was unable to because of the confined space.
“Here, let me…” Jeff attempted to assist her, but she ended up just elbowing him in the nose. “Okay, ow.”
“You know what,” he said quickly. “Just leave it on.” He pulled her in for another kiss. They continued to kiss as he attempted to shimmy out of his shorts and boxer briefs, well aware that Annie was trying to so the same. They were both out of breath before they even got to the good stuff. “Still good?” He asked before she settled into the easiest position.
“Yeah, yes. Let’s just…” She moaned as she finally pulled him inside of her. Jeff let out a groan himself, grinning up at his girlfriend.
“See? This was a great idea—” she cut him off with a kiss. Well aware they couldn’t move much, they continued to kiss and touch like it was the last time they ever would. She began to nibble his neck when he let out a breathy laugh. He moved his hand up her body and went to squeeze her breast.
She moaned and soon began to establish a rhythm. “Jeff…” she moved to sit up again to give him more access under her top, only to smack her head again on the wood above her. “Ah!”
“Jesus,” Jeff sighed. “Just…come back down here.”
“No, no. I’m fine.” She braced herself against his chest and swiveled her hips. She smiled above him when the action caused him to moan. “Shhh…Abed is sleeping,” she whispered.
Two could play at that game…Jeff reached for her breasts again, causing Annie to whine softly. Soon enough, she began to move faster on top of him, repeatedly hitting her head as she gained leverage.
“Okay, no. This isn’t working,” Jeff said, breathless. “What if we flip over so I’m on top?” He wrapped an arm around her and attempted to twist their bodies on the narrow bed, but gravity was not on his side because he then proceeded to tumble out of the bunk, taking Annie with him.
Annie shrieked, and Jeff groaned as he hit the floor. They laid there, processing the painful turn of events while mangled in each other’s limbs and the Inspector Spacetime bedsheets.
“You think Abed heard that?” She whispered.
“I wouldn’t put it past him,” he grumbled. He sighed defeatedly as he lay on the floor with Annie half on top of him. “Let’s just go to bed…”
Annie pulled herself up and looked down at him, her camisole pushed up to her breasts. “Well…let’s not be hasty. We do have more room down here…”
“You’re insatiable,” he grinned.
“You love it,” she said before leaning in to give him a long kiss.
He did. He really did.
They never made it back into the bunk bed that night.
They didn’t get to visit Shirley often, so when they did, they would always spend a few nights over the weekend. The first time though, they hadn’t anticipated the fact that Shirley didn’t have a guest bedroom…or an air mattress… so they spent the night huddled in a sleeping bag on her living room floor.
“Ugh,” Jeff groaned as he laid back on the barely-cushioned hardwood. “This is going to be one hell of a weekend.” He looked over at Annie who was fluffing her pillow beside him, as if it would make their sleeping arrangement any more comfortable.
“Jeff...” she sighed as she turned on her side to face him. “I know this isn’t ideal but it was really nice of Shirley to let us stay here regardless.”
“I know, I know.” he scooted closer and wrapped an arm around her. “But if my back is killing me tomorrow,” he pressed his forehead against hers, “I have every right to complain.” He smirked at her before leaning in to give her a kiss.
Annie giggled in response but couldn’t help but lean in for another kiss after he pulled away. “Maybe I could help make it better,” she said before kissing him again.
“Hmmm,” he said against her mouth. “If there’s one thing that can make his floor bearable, it’s my girlfriend laying on top of me.”
Just as Annie flung her leg over his, they heard someone clearing their throat from the doorway.
“I hope my guests aren’t canoodling on the floor of my lovely Christian home.” Shirley was using her sing-song voice.
Jeff gently but firmly pushed Annie off of him, which resulted in an “oomf!”
“No Shirley! Nothing going on here! Just some good old fashioned sleeping on the floor.” He said with as much cheerfulness he could muster.
Annie glared at him in the dark. “He’s right, Shirley. We were just saying goodnight.” She shoved his shoulder.
“Mhm,” she said suspiciously. “Well I just came in to say goodnight myself. Sorry again about the floor situation, I wish I had a better set up! Elijah and Jordan have to share a room as it is…”
“Aw, Shirley! Don’t worry about it. We’re so grateful that you’ll have us. Seriously, we’re fine! We’re great, even!” Annie called from the sleeping bag. They could barely see Shirley over the arm chair. “Right, Jeff?”
“Right. Shirley, we’re fine. We really appreciate everything.” Jeff answered sincerely.
“Okay, well, goodnight then.” They could hear the smile in her voice. “Love you both!”
“Love you!” Jeff and Annie said in unison. The situation was almost laughable, like Shirley was their mother and they were her kids.
After Shirley left though, Annie snuggled into Jeff’s side. “Thanks for pushing me to the floor, you jerk.”
“Didn’t you hear? This is a Christian, family household. Jesus is watching!” He threw his hands up at the ceiling.
“Oh, shut up, you’re just afraid of Shirley,” Annie snickered.
“Fine, yes. I’m afraid of Shirley. I’d rather not have her castrate me this weekend, thank you very much.”
Annie laughed a bit more. “Well, fine. We should sleep before she comes out here again.”
Jeff sighed. “We can try. Goodnight,” he blindly leaned in to give her a kiss in the dark.
Instead of saying it back Annie just snorted. “Jeff…you just kissed my eye.”
He quietly chuckled himself. “Sorry. It’s so damn dark in here!” He whisper-shouted.
They heard someone clear their throat from down the hall.
“Dammit. I feel like we’re at summer camp,” Jeff whispered.
“Awww, you went to summer camp?”
“Once. And I hated it. My mom came to get me after two days.”
“Poor baby…” Annie pouted in the dark and reached out to rub his hand.
They heard Shirley clear her throat even louder.
“Shit…” Jeff whispered.
Annie tried to conceal her laugh, and said quietly, “Okay, okay. Goodnight for real this time.”
He sighed. “Goodnight. Love you.”
“Love you too.”
They ended up getting a decent night’s sleep, but were woken up from the sound of Shirley making pancakes early in the morning. Jeff had to admit, the floor may have killed his back but the weekend made it well worth it.
It had been just about 40 years that Jeff’s mother lived in his childhood home, but the time came when she finally decided to move into a much smaller place. Doreen felt as though the small and friendly apartment complex was perfect enough for a woman of her age. Of course, she no longer had a spare bedroom for Jeff and Annie to stay in during their visits, but they would make do. It was nothing they hadn’t experienced before.
Jeff agreed with his mother that it was bittersweet saying goodbye to his childhood home, both choosing to reflect on the good memories they shared rather than the ones tarnished by his father. Annie was also present, helping to move Doreen into her new place. And to provide emotional support to her boyfriend who she knew was sadder about the whole thing than he let on.
However, by the time they brought in all the boxes from the moving truck, they were exhausted and hungry, so they settled in the tiny kitchen and ordered pizza. It was fun, Annie reflected, and it reminded her of when she had finally moved in with Jeff. Doreen was a sweet woman and she deserved a home that was new and just for her. She seemed lighter, like she didn’t have years of history lingering within the walls.
After dinner, Jeff began to empty boxes while Annie helped Doreen fill up her bookshelves and kitchen cabinets. They laughed together and reminisced about some of the items she had forgotten about until Jeff pulled them from the boxes. Annie felt closer to both Doreen and Jeff, because not only was she a part of their lives, but now she was a part of this home too.
It was late when they called it a night and Doreen didn’t want them driving back from Denver at such a late hour, so she insisted that they spend the night. Jeff pretended to be hesitant at first, but soon agreed, not admitting it was because he wanted to make sure his mother’s first night went smoothly.
“I’m so sorry this is all I can offer you, dears,” Doreen said apologetically, gesturing towards the love seat and arm chair she brought from the old house.
“Mom, don’t worry about it. We’ll be fine,” Jeff reassured her. He took the blankets that his mother retrieved from some boxes in the hallway.
“Absolutely, Doreen. I’ve always thought your furniture was so comfy anyway,” Annie added.
Doreen smiled gratefully at the two. “Alright. Thank you so much for all your help today.” She went to hug Annie and then Jeff, giving him a kiss on the cheek. “I love you both.”
“We love you too,” Jeff said pulling out of the embrace.
“Maybe tomorrow morning we can go out to breakfast? I saw a lovely little place around the corner.” She winked as she turned towards her bedroom.
Jeff shook his head and chuckled, turning to the small couch and chair. “Alright,” he said to Annie with hands on his hips. “You take the couch, I’ll take the chair.”
“What! No, you should take the couch, the chair might mess up your back,” Annie insisted.
He paused, looking at her. “I can’t tell if that was a jab at my age or if you think this chair is the better end of the deal,” he smirked.
She laughed and nudged his arm. “It was neither, I just think you’ll be more comfortable lying down.”
“Nah, I’ll be fine. There is no way my legs can comfortably fit on that thing.”
“Okay.” Annie kissed his cheek, “Thank you.” Jeff handed her a blanket as she settled down. “I think your mom is going to like this place.” She wrapped the blanket around herself and snuggled into the cushions.
“Yeah. She will,” he agreed, switching off the light. He groaned as he fell back into the arm chair which luckily came with a footrest. “I’m exhausted. It’s a good thing we didn’t drive back tonight.”
Annie smiled to herself against the couch pillow. “Definitely. Although,” she peeked her head over the arm of the couch. “I’m going to miss sleeping next to you tonight,” she pouted.
Jeff smiled and reached his hand out and waited for her to do the same. They were close enough to just graze each other’s fingertips. “How about we spend the rest of tomorrow in bed after we get home? To make up for tonight?”
“Hmmmm,” she mused. “As long as you make it worth my while.”
“I will definitely make that happen,” he said in a low voice.
“Good. Now get some sleep. We’re gonna need our energy.”
He hummed in agreement. “Night. I love you.”
“Love you,” she said back before they both went quiet.
Annie wasn’t lying, the couch really was comfortable, but after thirty minutes of tossing and turning, she gave up on the idea that she would be falling asleep by herself that night. She looked over to Jeff, who was snoring lightly, the poor guy was slouched with his head dipped at an awkward angle. He already looked so uncomfortable, she figured he wouldn’t mind if she squeezed herself next to (on top of) him.
She quietly and carefully got up from her snug space and climbed into Jeff’s chair, placing the blanket around the both of them. She tucked herself into his right side and placed her head on his chest, her legs draped carefully over his lap.
Jeff stirred awake, “Mmm…Annie?” He squinted down at her.
She tilted her head towards him, “Hi.”
“Hi,” he said sleepily.
“I couldn’t sleep,” she whispered. “I missed you.”
He only smiled and wrapped his arms securely around her. “I’m glad you came to join me then.”
She smiled and snuggled deeper into him.
Sometimes they did this. They would just lay in bed together on top of the sheets. They wouldn’t have sex, they barely fooled around. They just stayed on their sides and talked about everything and nothing. This usually happened in the morning when they both woke up from sleep but didn’t have the energy to get up and start their days. Sometimes it was late at night when they were exhausted but not ready to say goodnight. Often times, it was in the late afternoon when Jeff got home and reclined over the sheets to take a nap, or when he flipped through the channels as he waited for Annie to get home from work.
Like this particular evening when Annie found him sprawled out with his hair a mess and his sweater wrinkled and set askew. She playfully bounced on the bed which promptly woke him up from his nap. She lightly kissed his lips and dropped to her side which is how they ended up in their current state. Just talking and joking and wasting away the hour.
“I love you,” he pushed her hair behind her ear and briefly caressed her face.
“I love you,” she scooted closer to him so her body was pressed against his.
The smile hadn’t left his face when he leaned in to kiss her. He couldn’t remember the last time he felt so happy, so full. Throughout his entire relationship with Annie, he never felt better. Sure, he had his fears of screwing everything up and Annie leaving him for someone who was younger and more successful and an overall better person. But every time he had those thoughts and fears, she reassured him that her love was unconditional.
So when he pulled away and they just stared at each other, inches apart, he knew it was the moment.
“Annie,” his voice remained a whisper.
“Hmm?” She continued to smile at him like he was her world.
“I love you so much…” She giggled at his second declaration. “You make me so happy.”
“You make me happy too.”
He swallowed thickly and his heart rate picked up, but he’d never been so sure of anything in his entire life. He wanted Annie Edison in his life forever, even though he had a pretty good idea she wasn’t going anywhere. His hand traced a gentle path over her shoulder and down her arm, where his thumb created a soothing pattern of her skin. He took a deep breath.
“Will you marry me?”
Her smile slowly fell from her face and her eyes became glossy with unshed tears. “Wha- you…you want to marry me?” Her voice tapered off into a whisper as a tear finally made its way down her cheek. She quickly wiped it away and continued to search Jeff’s eyes, which were filled with the utmost adoration.
“Annie, of course I do,” he pulled her closer.
She laughed as more tears fell, she tried to wipe them away but Jeff beat her to it. “Don’t cry, please don’t cry.” He pressed a lingering kiss to her cheek.
“These are happy tears, Jeff. I promise,” she let out a small laugh. “I just… I didn’t know you ever wanted to get married.”
He searched her eyes for another moment before he briefly pulled away to reach into his bedside table where he pulled out an old cigar box. Inside was a little black velvet box. He turned back onto his side and rested on one elbow as he gently took the ring out of the box. Annie mirrored his position and watched every movement, afraid if she looked away it would be only a day dream.
“Annie…” he gently held onto her hand as she held onto his every word. “You make me feel like…like the best version of myself,” he shook his head in awe. “I never felt like I could be proud of myself and I never thought I ever would. But you make me feel that way every day.” He chuckled, “I’ve never met anyone like you. You’re amazing and intelligent and kind and stubborn and everything that I love. You are the best person I know. And I can’t tell you how much it means to me that you choose to be with me every day.”
“I mean it,” he squeezed her hand. He looked down at the ring and smiled. “So…what do you say?” When he looked back at her she was beaming, his favorite smile across her face.
“Yes, of course, yes,” she pushed forward and claimed his lips. They laughed through the kiss, both giddy with this new development in their relationship. In their lives. After a few long moments of properly kissing, he pulled away.
“Okay, okay. Let me put the ring on,” he attempted to steady is hands as he took hers in his own.
Annie gasped as he gently slid the silver band over her finger. “It’s beautiful,” she breathed. “Jeff, I love it. I love you,” she reached over and wrapped her arms around his body. They hugged each other, neither one wanting to break the embrace. But soon Jeff pulled back and pressed his forehead against hers.
“It took me three months to find the perfect ring,” he smirked.
She gasped, “You’ve been planning this for three months?”
“I’ve known I wanted to marry you since the day you stepped off that plane. The rest kind of just…happened.”
As if she hadn’t already multiple times that evening, Annie melted at his words. “I love you, I love you, I love you,” she repeated the words until he kissed them away.
“I love you,” he said after they pulled apart.
And he did. He really did.