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Britta slammed down her almost completely empty lunch tray – an apple, two suspicious looking sticks of celery and some ranch. There was only one other person at the group’s usual table was Abed, and he didn’t even flinch, instead choosing to look up slowly from his pathetic excuse of a taco.
Britta didn’t expect him to ask what was wrong, and she didn’t want him to. It was perfect, and she was actually thankful that it was Abed at the table rather than Jeff or Shirley. She didn’t want any of them to know that she was kind of struggling in one of her classes. No one believed in her, the last thing she needed was them once again trying to get her to pursue a career other than the one she’d finally decided on…and the one that she’d kind of grown to love.
Just as she was about to ask Abed how his day was going, and no doubt get a more exciting answer than had it been the reverse, Britta heard a faintly familiar tone.
“No worries!”
It was the last voice on earth Britta was expected…the last she knew, Vaughn had been long gone. But as she saw him appear out of thin air in front of her table, she had even more trouble believing it. It was Vaughn, but he was clean cut…totally not attractive at all.
“Britta!” His greeting was much more of a warm greeting than usual, and Britta quickly looked to Abed for back-up before realizing that he was…well, Abed. He seemed to be observing the scene.
“Vaughn! What are you doing here?”
“Oh, you know. I finished my degree, but things didn’t really work out. I mean, they did in some ways. But I decided to come back to my roots. Try something new out.”
Britta nodded. She understood that only too well. “That’s great! You seem…different.”
“Well, marriage does that to you.” At this, Britta’s eyeballs could have popped out of their head.
“Marriage?!”
“Yeah! I met a great gal while hiking Everest. It was love at first hike.”
Britta could have gagged on her carrot sticks. Instead, she smiled. “That’s…great. So cool.”
“Yeah, totally. What about you? You settled down?”
“Yeah, of course!” The words slipped out of Britta’s mouth before she could stop them, and in a panic she looked over to Abed, before smiling in what she liked to think was a convincing manner. “Abed and I have been married six months now.”
For a moment, Abed just stared back at her. And then she could see the gears whirling in his head…he was getting into character. Just as Vaughn was about to speak, Abed smiled the smile of a reminiscent lover, one she couldn’t quite recall seeing on him.
“Come on, honey. Let me tell the story. You got to tell it last time.” His voice was Abed, but that was about it. Britta couldn’t help but be a little freaked out every time he did this little routine.
“Of course!” Was all she could muster.
“Britta and I have been friends since season one, you know. And there was always that kinda click. We just cared about each other. Helped each other out. Got closer. Last year we realized we were in love, and didn’t want to waste any time.” At this, Britta was surprised to find Abed’s hand slip over hers, making her smile falter just momentarily.
“That’s so sweet, guys! So totally happy for you.” At this, Vaughn looked down at his watch, which Britta was surprised to see he had. “Oh man, sorry to cut this reunion short. Gotta get to class. Lates!”
“Lates to you too!” Britta called back, before turning her eyes hesitantly to Abed, who just looked back at her, clearly out of character.
“That’s my least favorite trope.” He finally said, to which Britta sighed.
“Which character were you back there?” Britta was sure she hadn’t seen that one before.
“Mindy Lahiri.”