Pairing: Annie/Troy (begins Abed/Annie and Abed/Troy)
Word Count: entire fic: 26,588 words, this chapter: 1,895 words
Rating/Warnings: PG-13 for mild language, kisses for all pairings, implied sex for main pairing
Betas: wr1t3rbl0ck3d, neigedens, foxtwin
Summary: Annie wants to date Abed – if learning all she can about his favorite things will help her do that, she will. Troy wants to date Abed – he's ready to take their friendship to the next level, and no one knows Abed better than his best friend. Abed wants – well, neither Annie nor Troy know what he wants, because he up and disappears. Worried beyond belief, Annie and Troy put their rivalry aside to look for Abed. Guest starring Nathan Fillion as Professor Schloss.
Also at: Het Big Bang site | AO3
Previously: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
(art by pennnys)
Chapter 5: Those Are Only Good in Kung-Fu Movies
Annie tapped her pen impatiently on the counter at the security office. The officer sitting at the desk, the one that looked eerily like Troy, certainly seemed to be taking his time. The other one, who could double for Abed, leaned on the wall behind him, studying the same screen. She set down the pen with a louder snap than necessary. “Are you sure you can’t put out like a… an APB or something? This is important!”
Troy chimed in, “Yeah, like, he could be… I don’t know… trapped somewhere.”
The seated officer – she decided she was going to think of him as Officer Troy – turned toward them, looking annoyed. “Trapped where? In an air vent?” The two looked at each other and scoffed.
“This isn’t the police, Miss Edison,” the other one – Officer Abed – said. “Besides, I told you, we don’t have enough people on duty to look for your friend and keep up with other security matters.”
In a tired voice, Officer Troy said, “Looking at live security camera feeds is the only option right now.”
“Well, surely during summer session the campus is quieter…”
“You’d be surprised.”
“We still haven’t caught the petty thief from last year.”
It was Troy and Annie’s turn to give each other a look and scoff. “And you won’t,” Troy added. Annie’s Boobs the monkey only came out when he wanted to be seen.
Suddenly, the two officers were very interested in them. “You don’t say…?” Officer Troy said, rising from his chair. “What do you two know about it?” Both officers took a few slow, menacing steps toward them.
Annie huffed and stamped her foot for emphasis. “I told you guys, at least a month ago, it’s a monkey.”
The two stopped, no longer interested. “Oh, that story,” Officer Abed said. “Urban legend.”
“It’s n–never mind, it doesn’t matter,” Annie said. “We have to find our friend.”
“And you’ve looked in all of his usual hangouts? His classes?”
“We wouldn’t be here if we hadn’t.” They had even called all of the hospitals in town. And since he hadn’t been missing 48 hours yet, the police couldn’t help. This was just wasting time now. She tore a page from her notebook and quickly wrote down her cell phone number. “If you see him on one of the security feeds would you call me right away?”
Officer Abed stepped forward to take the page. “We’ll do what we can, Miss.”
“Thanks.” She turned on her heel and walked out the door. “C’mon, Troy.”
“So…” Troy said when they had walked several yards. “What now?”
“Not sure.” They had checked the entire library, the cafeteria, talked to every teacher they could find (and left messages for the rest), and pounded on every door in Abed’s dorm. “I guess we… go off campus next.”
Troy nodded. “Sounds good.”
“Where should we start?”
“Um…” Troy’s mouth quirked upward as he thought. “Maybe the video store? He’s there a couple times a week.”
“Is there only one he goes to?”
“Usually. Sometimes he goes to the one across town because they have a bigger selection of old movies. Especially the 50s and 60s B movies. He loves those…”
When Troy trailed off and didn’t say anything for several long moments, Annie glanced over. Troy was blinking rapidly again, trying to keep from tearing up.
Annie placed her hand on his shoulder. “We’ll find him.”
“I know,” he said, shrugging off her hand without malice. “I just wish I knew why he disappeared.”
Annie agreed, “Me too.”
Troy opened the door to the video store and brightened immediately upon seeing his favorite clerk, Hays. The guy always had the best recommendations. “Hey, man!”
“Hey, T-Bone,” Hays said with a smile. Troy wouldn’t lie – using his nickname earned anyone points in his book. “Who’s your friend?”
“My name’s Annie.” She held out her hand to shake. “Annie Edison.”
“Let’s see…” Hays said, sizing her up quickly. “I bet you’re here to rent a cerebral French drama with subtitles.”
Annie frowned apologetically. “No, actually. We’re here for another reason.” Then she reconsidered. “But that sounds like a great idea for another time.”
Subtitles? Those were only good in kung-fu movies, and that was because they were so bad. Troy made a face, and Hays pretended not to notice. Troy got to the point. “You seen Abed today?”
Hays thought for a minute. “Today? No, I don’t think so.”
Annie jumped in. “Has he come in this week – without Troy?”
“Not that I can remember… but maybe he came when I wasn’t working. Let me check the database.” Hays turned to the computer monitor on the desk and started typing. “Nothing this week… oh, wait.” He clicked a couple of times. “He rented The Mighty Ducks.” Hays frowned. “Not his usual fare.”
Annie turned to Troy. “Do you think it means anything?”
“He’s joining a hockey club in California?” Troy shrugged. “Or he could have just needed a laugh. But…”
“He hasn’t returned it yet,” Hays said. “If that helps.”
“Well, maybe he’s still around then.” Annie brightened considerably. “We should search his room for it.”
“For clues!” Troy rubbed his hands together. “Like Mystery Incorporated or something.”
“Is Abed missing?” Hays asked, full of concern.
“We don’t know,” Annie said. “We hope not.” In a smaller voice, she added, “He may just be avoiding us.”
The bell at the door rang as another customer came in. “Hope you find him soon!” He turned his attention to the new person.
“We’d better find him,” Troy said, and pushed out of the store. He didn’t want to think about the alternative.
As soon as they entered the dorm room, Annie made a beeline for the video shelf. “Wait!” Troy called out, stopping her.
“Let me just…” Troy held out his hands in front of him, trying to focus on how the room usually looked, and how it might be different from the last time he was here. His fingers wiggled just like he remembered some detective doing on TV. He went on to bend over and peer around his surroundings, and then finally placed a knowing hand on his chin. “Hmm.”
“Well, do you notice any clues?” Annie asked. “Anything out of place?”
“Ah… no.” He dropped onto the sofa, defeated. “I don’t see anything.”
Annie started sorting through the shelf again. “I’m going to see if I can find the movie he rented.” She pulled out each movie and check it over. “Ugh. I don’t see it anywhere. Maybe he was watching it?” She popped open the DVD tray as well, which was empty. Undeterred, she started to search the table.
Troy didn’t know what to do next. Should he look through Abed’s closet to see if his favorite shirts were missing? Should he check the mini-fridge to see how low his milk was running? He got up – he might as well.
The closet didn’t look that different. The shirt Troy had given him wasn’t there… but maybe he was wearing it today. He couldn’t remember if any shirts were missing, no matter how hard he tried. Shouldn’t he be able to remember Abed’s clothes? They saw each other practically every day…
Frustrated, he turned to the refrigerator. “Aha!” he said, and Annie raced over to look.
“There’s no milk.” He looked at Annie excitedly.
“And he always has a bowl of cereal each day – maybe two!”
“This must prove that–”
“Hang on,” Annie said. She picked up the wastebasket a few feet away. “The carton is here.” Annie reached in and lifted it out carefully. “The due date…” Her face fell. “Was yesterday.”
“So maybe he just dumped it out because it was going bad.”
Annie sighed. “Yeah.” She took a turn to flop onto the sofa. “I wish we could have been little flies on the wall when he left. Did he take anything with him? Did he leave last night or early this morning…?”
“That would be so awesome to be a fly… you could go anywhere, listen to anyone…or like, be able to turn into one at will. The Human Fly! or… something…” Annie was looking at him sideways, a small grin on her face. He stopped his flight of fancy, embarrassed.
“No, you’re right. It would be awesome. But since we aren’t flies, we’d better keep looking. I’ll check his desk.”
Troy suddenly wondered if getting a fly’s-eye-view might help him see something. He climbed up on the arm of the sofa, lifting himself up on his tiptoes. Not good enough. He jumped down and climbed up on the top bunk. Standing awkwardly on the mattress, trying to avoid bumping his head, Troy looked across the dorm room, hoping that something would catch his eye… “It worked!” he shouted, hopping off the bed.
“Did you find something?”
He pointed to the corner of the ceiling. “Abed’s security camera!”
“He has a security camera?” she asked, then shook her head with a laugh. “Of course he does.”
“We can check the feed to see what he took with him! Just like when we caught Britta stealing the DVD to frame Lukka!” Troy lifted the cable from the wall. “Now all we have to do is hook it up… to… Abed’s laptop…” Troy flopped back onto the sofa. “What was I thinking? Of course there’s no way to check the security camera. Abed, you evil genius!”
Annie stood there, considering the camera for a moment. Then she slowly walked toward it, placing herself at the closest angle. “Abed. Are you watching us? We’re worried sick about you. Whatever we did, we’re sorry.”
Troy sat up quickly. “Totally sorry!” He came to stand beside her.
“Please call,” Annie said. “I don’t care whom. Or better yet, come home.”
“Don’t you mean ‘back’?” Troy murmured. “‘Home’ is with his dad…”
All of a sudden, Annie’s eyes got wide. “Oh, well, I’m sure he’s not watching us. Not live, anyway. Troy, we should check somewhere else. Now.” In a rush, she grabbed Troy’s arm and swept him into the hallway before he could react with more than a “Whoooooooaaa!”
“I didn’t want Abed to hear this, just in case he is watching live… but what you said back there – maybe Abed is at home!” Annie’s voice was a low, excited whisper. “We should call his dad.”
“His dad screens all their calls.” Troy had learned this the hard way. After Abed had to explain why he needed to meet Troy with ten pounds of halal meat and rubber gloves – it was just easier not to leave a message. “We should just go to FaGood’s in person.”
“The Nadirs’ restaurant. You haven’t been there?”
Annie blushed. “No. Is it good?”
It was Troy’s turn to sweep Annie out of the way. “Girl,” he said, locking the door. “If you haven’t had the Chicken Shawerma, you haven’t lived.”
Next: Chapter 6: Hey, We're on the Same Team in This One