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Fic Battle Entry - FIRE AWAY

apartment303, ayadec, bottecellie, brittaforthewin, butterbadger, _carly_, colonialburn, crittab, curlydots, firthgal, fluffyfrolicker, hematitebadger, htbthomas, krilymcc, lextersdab, malo_malo, ogwriter, palgrave_golden, piesek, rosepetal9, rowboatcop, supercapo, telm_393, virtual_toast

The first shot has been fired - the Fic Battle will now begin! Full rules and guidelines here (please note the sign-up addition and the last prompt deadline edit), but the quick version is here:

1) Author A replies to this entry with their writing preferences (from here) to start their thread. Minor changes are allowed to preferences, if needed.
2) Prompter 1 replies to Author A's thread with a prompt
3) Author A fills said prompt with at least 300 words of fic and posts it in a reply to Prompter 1's comment.
4) Author A moves on to Prompter 2.
5) Prompter 1 may now give Author A another prompt if they so choose, continuing on until prompts close on Thursday, June 21st at 10am EST (7am PST).
6) Authors have until Thursday, June 21st at 12pm EST (9am PST) to post their fills.

The author with the MOST fills will be the Winner! Any author who fills EVERY prompt they receive will be a Survivor!

A few additional notes:
** The length of the battle is for two reasons: A) varying free time for writing (a work-a-day writer or a weekender), and B) varying writing speeds (a tortoise or a hare).
** As the battle goes on, try to spread your prompts among the authors. If you see an author who has completed all their prompts and there's plenty of time to the end of the battle, help them out!
** No ideas for prompts? Use resources like unfilled prompts at various comment fic memes and fests (even other fandoms which could be adapted), or random story idea generators.
** Anonymous comments are screened for the duration of the battle. Please prompt logged in.

Questions? See the first comment thread below.


CEASE FIRE! The battle is now over! No fills posted past 12:00pm EST will count toward the final totals. Masterpost with winners, survivors and breakdown will go up by tomorrow at noon.

Authors may continue to fill their prompts, just for fun, if they wish! And prompters, please continue to feedback. :)


Jun. 15th, 2012 05:15 pm (UTC)
Maximum rating I will write (G - NC-17): PG-13

I WILL write any of these genres (underline all that apply): angst, fluff, crossovers humor, gen/friendship!fic

My preferred characters/ships are: Jeff, Abed, Dean Pelton, anyone not listed below, unconventional 'ships. I said 'no' on the 'shipfic because I'm not confident in my ability to write it 'to order,' but if you've got a gen prompt that you'd be just as happy to see go in that direction, say so and we'll see what happens.

I will NOT write these topics/characters/ships: Excessive violence, infidelity, character-bashing (or anyone/anything-bashing), Chang or Pierce as the main focus, non-central characters as the main focus.

I WILL write crossovers in any of these fandoms: The Middleman, Once Upon a Time, Horrible Histories, Kim Possible, Chuck, Leverage.
Jun. 15th, 2012 05:21 pm (UTC)
Re: hematitebadger
Dean Pelton dresses as a character from any of your crossover fandoms, (except Horrible Histories, I don't know it), to give an announcement to the study group.
Jun. 16th, 2012 04:55 am (UTC)
hbthomas: Dean Pelton dresses as a character from any of your crossover fandoms, (except Horrible Hi
Wardrobe Witchcraft | G | 761 words (1 of 2)

Craig stared at the memo that had just crossed his desk, brow furrowed. The Culinary Arts club was going to be holding a combination bake sale/Iron Pastry Chef competition, and they were looking for customers and judges. This was going to be a tricky one. Oh, any lesser mind could have pulled out an apron and a chef’s hat and called it a day, but not Craig Pelton. Craig Pelton didn’t do ‘obvious,’ not for Jeff Winger’s study group. His signature was the unexpected and the elaborate, something that would inject some inspired creativity into the lives of his favorite students. They deserved better than something so simple.

Of course, the problem with having a reputation for the unexpected was that he had to come up with something unexpected first. There was no immediate pun that he could see, no hook to hang a costume on. He would have to think about this one for a while. He stood and opened the closet, leafing through the assorted frills and sequins for inspiration. He didn’t like the idea of picking a costume first and working out the connection later – it almost always made for weaker puns and he was sure the study group could tell – but maybe he could at least find some inspiration. Words floated through his mind, looking for an outfit to connect to. Baking, chefs, ovens, sweets, treats, trick-or-treat, mixes, brews...potions. Spells. Magic. Dark purple fabric smiled down at him, as if summed by the word. Oh, yes. That would work perfectly.
Jun. 16th, 2012 04:56 am (UTC)
Re: hbthomas: Dean Pelton dresses as a character from any of your crossover fandoms, (except Horribl
(2 of 2)

The study room doors burst open. “Magic mirror on the wall, who’s the Deanest of them all?”

It was a dramatic enough entrance to stop Britta mid-rant. She stared at Craig for a long moment with her mouth open, then closed it and tilted her head quizzically. There were similar blank looks from a couple other members of the group, but Jeffrey was wearing his usual look of combined amusement and incredulity, and Annie had broken into a tiny grin of surprised delight when she’d seen him. Success. Craig took a few more steps forward, then planted his feet in their high-heeled boots. The black and purple brocade riding coat swirled around his legs as he tossed the ends of his curly black wig over his shoulder, careful not to jostle the black hat that perched atop it. “The Culinary Arts club has been whipping up a little black magic in the kitchen,” he said, brandishing the bright red apple he’d procured from the cafeteria on his way over. “You’re all invited to the cafeteria this afternoon to help judge their efforts in a combination bake sale and Iron Pastry Chef competition. The winning dessert is guaranteed to put you all under its spell!” He lowered his voice theatrically. “But just between you and me, I’d avoid the apple pie.”

Craig spun on his heel, determined to make his exit as dramatic as his entrance. He’d gotten halfway back to the door when there was a soft “Um.” behind him. Troy was raising his hand uncertainly. “I don’t get the costume. I mean, I only get half of them anyway, but...” A murmur of assent went around the table.

Annie made a little noise of surprise. “How can you not get it, Troy? You’re always watching TV over my shoulder on Sunday nights.” She looked back at Craig, her smile widening. “He’s Regina. From Once Upon a Time.”

This discovery of a kindred spirit was too much for Craig. He flew to the table, squeezing in between Britta and Abed to lean in on Annie. “Did you see last week’s episode? With Little Red Riding Hood? Oh my God!”

“I know!” Annie agreed, practically clapping her hands. “I so didn’t see that coming.”

“Neither did I!”

“Okay,” Jeffrey said with gentle firmness, interposing his Biology textbook between them. “This is both adorable and disturbing, but we have a massive test we need to be studying for.”

“Oh, of course,” Craig said, straightening up with an apologetic look. “I don’t want to keep you guys from studying. What kind of Dean would I be if I stood between my students and their education?”

“I think we can make a guess,” Jeffrey said.

The Dean opted not to respond to that. He pointed a finger at Annie. “We have got to continue this conversation later,” he said. Annie laughed slightly and gave him a nod, and he turned again to leave. As he walked away, he couldn’t suppress a grin. That was how you brightened your students’ lives.

(Specific costume reference)
Jun. 17th, 2012 02:31 am (UTC)
Re: hbthomas: Dean Pelton dresses as a character from any of your crossover fandoms, (except Horribl
Hee! I knew which outfit you meant as you as you described it! What a perfect Regina he would make. :D And I loved that he and Annie got fannish about the show together. ♥
Jun. 21st, 2012 11:10 pm (UTC)
Re: hbthomas: Dean Pelton dresses as a character from any of your crossover fandoms, (except Horribl
If I had the body and the confidence for it, I myself would wear that costume in a heartbeat. And given all the "Disney face" references, I couldn't write Annie as anything other than a fan of the show.

Thank you for the prompt; it was a lot of fun to write!
Jun. 15th, 2012 05:32 pm (UTC)
Re: hematitebadger
No-one did pay the Dean's rent while he was missing, so now he's sleeping on Jeff's couch. Shippy would be great, gen's completely fine too.
Jun. 18th, 2012 11:27 am (UTC)
doyle_sb4; the Dean living on Jeff's couch
Roommate Etiquette 101 G | 1507 words

(1 of 4)

There were rules. Piles of rules, covering every scenario Jeff could think of and a few that the Dean – Craig, he had insisted Jeff call him when they were off-campus – had accidentally planted in his head. No guests. No loud music. No singing. No tools, power or otherwise. No going anywhere near the bedroom. No touching anything in the apartment – up to and including Jeff – without permission. No telling anyone at school about this little arrangement. No arguing with the guy whose apartment this is and who is doing you a huge favor, do you get that? They were, as Jeff freely admitted, entirely designed to maximize his own comfort and help him forget that he had once again accidentally acquired a roommate.

Craig was surprisingly good at following the letter of the law. The spirit, however, wasn’t quite coming through.

“He’s just so...there,” Jeff complained to Britta after class one day. (‘Tell no one’ had naturally not included the study group; Jeff knew the futility of trying to hide anything from them.) It had been a particularly frustrating morning, with him and Craig getting in each other’s way at seemingly every turn. There had been a significant amount of yelling. “I come out of the bathroom in the morning, and he’s waiting to brush his teeth. I turn on the radio, it’s on a different station than I left it. I go to do the dishes, he’s already done them. Everything I do, there’s this little footnote of ‘Oh by the way, there’s someone else here.’ It’s driving me crazy.”

“Wow, that sounds rough,” Britta said, her voice utterly devoid of sympathy. Jeff suspected that complaining about someone else doing his dishes had lost him a few points. “It’s almost like someone invited him to live with you. Oh, wait.”

Jeff gave her a glare, which she met with a look of smug defiance. “It’s a problem,” he persisted. “I need my space.”

NASA needs less space than you,” Britta retorted. “Why’d you even agree to take him in if you’re just gonna freak out like this?”

“Because someone had to.” Jeff was surprised by his own vehemence. He exhaled and lowered his voice, leaning in towards Britta conspiratorially. “Look, the guy’s brain may be orbiting Jupiter, but his heart is in the right place. He puts everything he’s got into this school, and we’re pretty much the only people who know. We kinda owe it to him to take care of him, especially if it’s the only way he’ll be able to keep taking care of the school.”

There was a smile playing at the corners of Britta’s mouth. “You’ve finally give up and admitted that you like this place, haven’t you?”

“I like the idea of finishing my degree without having to transfer somewhere else,” Jeff returned. “And I like you guys, every last crazy one of you.”

“And I still can’t believe you didn’t try to get one of us to take this particular bullet.”

Jeff counted off the options on his fingers. “You live in a cat-hair-covered shoebox, Shirley’s pretty sure her kids would traumatize him, Pierce has that incurable condition where he’s Pierce and I wouldn’t wish him on anybody, and Annie and Abed…have their own problems to deal with.” There was an uncomfortable silence. Neither of them wanted to think about the empty space in that apartment. “Anyway, it’s not like I haven’t done it before,” Jeff mumbled, just to have something to say.

“Hey, yeah,” Britta said, jumping onto this new train of thought. “You lived through Chang, and you weren’t half as bitchy about it. This can’t possibly be as bad.”

“It’s not,” Jeff admitted. “But that was different.” It had been far dumber, for one thing; he still didn’t know what the hell he’d been thinking when he agreed to it. “That was Chang. That was riding a tidal wave of crazy and trying so hard not to drown that you don’t even notice everything else that’s getting swept up in it. This is knowing just enough about someone to think that you can ignore all their major flaws if you live with them for a while, and then finding out about all the little flaws that you can’t get away from. What’s so funny?”
Jun. 18th, 2012 11:28 am (UTC)
Re: doyle_sb4; the Dean living on Jeff's couch
(2 of 4)

Britta’s shoulders were shaking with a suppressed laugh. “I get it now,” she said. “I do. When you said you liked all of us...”

Don’t,” Jeff warned.

“You like him,” Britta pressed on. “Just enough for him to get under your skin. You’re not putting up with him for us, you’re putting up with him for him. That’s why having him around bugs you so much; it’s forcing you to admit that you’ve got a soft spot for him.”

Jeff bit back a snarl. If she was half as good at studying psychology as she was at applying it to him she’d probably have a higher GPA than Annie did. “He’s...weirdly difficult not to like, once you start to pick up on how much he cares about people,” he confessed. “Believe me. I’ve tried.”

“So stop trying,” Britta said. “Just let it happen. I’m not saying be his new best friend, I’m not saying let him try to make a move on you...” She paused, suddenly looking vaguely horrified. “He hasn’t, has he? More than usual, I mean?”

“In my apartment, where I could kick him out in a heartbeat? He’s crazy, Britta, not stupid.”

“Well, there you go, then,” she said, as if that summed up everything. She gave him a fond smile. “Come on. Aren’t you just a little tired of pretending you don’t care about anyone, especially when everyone here has already seen that it’s an act?”

“Not caring is a valuable skill I’ve cultivated over the years.”

“Yeah, and look where it’s gotten you.” Britta folded her arms. “You’re a real boy now, Pinocchio. Get used to having actual feelings. I promise I won’t let the group judge you for having them about the Dean.” A pause. “Well. Not too much, anyway.”

Jun. 18th, 2012 11:29 am (UTC)
Re: doyle_sb4; the Dean living on Jeff's couch
(3 of 4)

Craig returned to the apartment fairly late, as he usually did. He had thrown himself wholeheartedly into the damage control necessitated by Chang’s reign, and he was doing easily twice the work that was expected from him during the normal school year. He and Jeff exchanged cautious, cordial nods as he walked in, and then Jeff buried himself back in his mountain of biology homework. He knew he should say something, but what the hell could he actually say?

Their careful silence lasted for most of the evening. Finally, after Britta popped up on his Twitter feed for the third time that evening (she hadn’t said anything to or about him, but just being reminded of their earlier conversation was enough to kindle a little spark of guilt), Jeff gave in. He stood up and positioned himself behind the couch, where Craig was sitting and watching television at a roommate-respecting volume. “Hey.”

Craig jumped slightly, clearly startled. He turned to look at Jeff and smiled faintly. “Hello.”

Well, it was a start. Jeff leaned forward, resting his arms on the back of the couch. “You know, I’m not really used to living with someone else,” he confessed.

Craig raised an eyebrow for a moment before nodding. “Neither am I. It’s an adjustment.”

Jeff felt a flutter of relief. At least Craig seemed to recognize that this was an attempt at an apology. “I think...that this morning might have been a textbook example of that. I hope I didn’t say anything unforgivable.”
Jun. 18th, 2012 11:30 am (UTC)
Re: doyle_sb4; the Dean living on Jeff's couch
(4 of 4 oh god how did this get this long)

Now Craig turned his whole upper body back around to face him. “Well, of course you didn’t, Jeffrey! There may have been a bit of drama, but it’s not the end of the world.” He gave a little half-smile. “I wasn’t exactly at my best, either. I’m sorry.”

“Yeah,” Jeff said, grateful that someone else had said the actual words first. “Me too.”

“Apology accepted,” Craig said with a gracious nod. He sat back down, returning his attention to the television. Jeff hesitated, not certain if they were done, and then Craig spoke again, very softly. “Thank you. For letting me stay here.”

“You don’t have to keep saying that.”

“It bears repeating.”

Jeff let out a little sigh of exasperation, but it was accompanied by a smile. “You’re welcome.” Giving in, he rounded the couch and sat down next to Craig. “So what are we watching?”

There were several moments of silence before Craig recovered from the shock of this gesture. “Late-night Law and Order reruns,” he finally managed. “But if that’s offensive...”

Jeff snorted. “You think that just because I was a lawyer I’m any less addicted to late-night Law and Order reruns than every other insomniac in the country? Turn it up.”

As they both settled in, it occurred to Jeff that Craig was gradually shifting his weight until the two of them were sitting closer together than was strictly necessary. It also occurred to him that he didn’t really mind.
Jun. 18th, 2012 12:00 pm (UTC)
Re: doyle_sb4; the Dean living on Jeff's couch
I am making tiny flappy hand gestures of pure glee. This is so great and beautifully in-character.
Jun. 23rd, 2012 11:38 pm (UTC)
Re: doyle_sb4; the Dean living on Jeff's couch
I loved every prompt I got (even the ones I haven't finished yet), but this one was the one that grabbed my brain the hardest and sent it spinning into high gear, as the relative word count probably indicates. I'm glad you liked reading it, because I liked writing it. Thanks for the feedback, and thanks for the prompt!
Jun. 18th, 2012 02:13 pm (UTC)
Re: doyle_sb4; the Dean living on Jeff's couch
I enjoyed this, you mixed humor and heart just as well as the show does.
Jun. 18th, 2012 05:49 pm (UTC)
Re: doyle_sb4; the Dean living on Jeff's couch
I really loved this! I have a real soft-spot for the Dean and Jeff. ♥
Jun. 15th, 2012 05:38 pm (UTC)
Re: hematitebadger
Abed wants to do a short film and asks Jeff and Dean to star in it as a gay couple.
Jun. 20th, 2012 11:10 am (UTC)
FILL: Prompted by fluffyfrolicker
Casting Call | G | 662 words

“You and the Dean would be perfect to play the gay couple in the short film I’m writing.”

Jeff doesn’t actually do a spit-take, but it’s a near thing. He coughs and lets out a little hiss as hot coffee slops over his hand, and then takes longer than he really needs to mop it up and shake off the burn. When he looks up again, he’s expecting (okay, maybe just hoping) to see the subtle look that will tell him Abed is screwing with him. But his face is perfectly sincere as he watches Jeff, waiting for him to recover. “Say that again?” Jeff finally chokes out. “No, don’t,” he corrects himself. “I don’t think I can handle hearing it twice. I just... what?”

“The two of you have a combination of traits that I’m looking for,” Abed says, having taken that ‘what’ to mean ‘Please expand on your thesis’ instead of ‘Are you high right now?’ “I need someone attractive and charismatic who can believably combine self-confidence and insecurity, and another person who’s less physically impressive but still likeable, and who can pull off both flamboyant and histrionic depending on the scene. You two are just what I’m looking for. And I already know you have killer chemistry.”

Every word that he has ever know leaves Jeff’s head. He gapes at Abed, not even able to process that sentence enough to feel offended by it. This must be one of those alternate timelines Abed is always going on about, because Jeff is sure that the Abed he knows would never say something so cruel.

Possibly-Evil Abed is still talking. “You bring things out in each other that nobody else does,” he continues. “You make each other both volatile and vulnerable. It’s an exciting combination, and I really think it would complement the script in my film.”

Well, when he puts it that way. Jeff’s brain is starting to come back into focus again, and it occurs to him that Abed probably didn’t mean his previous statement to be quite as horrifying as it came out. Which is good, because Jeff really likes Abed and would hate to have to kill him to preserve this timeline. He’s still not totally out of his terror yet, though. “Please tell me that’s not how you phrased it to the Dean.”

“Oh, he doesn’t know I was thinking about casting you,” Abed says. “I didn’t want to prejudice him one way or another. He came on board on the merits of the script alone. And because I told him he could provide his own superhero costume.”

What?” This time, Jeff’s ‘what’ really does mean ‘Please expand your thesis.’

“His character is a superpowered crime fighter,” Abed explains. “Your character doesn’t know. And he’s afraid to tell you, but he knows he has to because he loves you and doesn’t want to lie to you, and he also feels guilty because he’s been pressuring you to stop lying to your family about your sexuality while lying to you.”

Jeff is silent for a minute. He’s spending a lot of this conversation silent, mostly because he doesn’t totally believe that this conversation is happening. As far as he’s concerned, that plot summary is proof that somewhere along the line the world decided to stop making sense today, and the next words out of his mouth just convince him further. “Okay, you at least have me curious. Let me see the script. I didn’t say I’ll do it,” he adds firmly as Abed jumps out of his chair and begins rummaging through his bag with unmistakable eagerness. “I just said I’d look at it. And I’ll think about it.”

Abed hands him a thick stack of paper, neatly typed and clipped together at the corner. “Thanks, Jeff. It means a lot to me that you’d consider this.”

“I know,” Jeff says, leafing through the papers and feeling a pang of regret already. “That’s why I’m doing it.”
Jun. 15th, 2012 08:33 pm (UTC)
Re: hematitebadger
Jeff/Dean friendship fic: Jeff spots a weird/cool dalmation related thingamabob and is surprised when his first reaction is to pick it up for the Dean. Any rating is fine.
Jun. 21st, 2012 04:10 am (UTC)
FILL: Prompted by crittab
Impulse | G | 649 words

The salesgirl who had been ringing up Jeff’s latest wardrobe acquisitions gave a sudden grunt of effort and cursed under her breath, interrupting his absentminded examination of his nails. “Sorry,” she said, gesturing to the device in her hand. “New security tag system. They don’t always come off so easily.”

“Take your time,” Jeff told her. Truth be told he was eager to be on his way, but he’d rather wait a little longer than fluster her into rushing and possibly tearing one of the shirts he’d just picked out. Having determined that there was nothing wrong with his nails, he turned his attention to the impulse buys on the counter. It was the usual assortment of gift cards and compacted reusable shopping bags, and behind those a basket of assorted charity wristbands for the fashionably socially-aware. Those caught his eye; he had slipped a few relating to Britta’s favorite causes into her bag on her last birthday, and seeing her torn between anger at the corporate appropriation of altruism and pleased surprise at any expression of altruism from him had been so entertaining that he was thinking about making it a tradition. It looked like they had a handful from local charities now, too, which would be especially appropriate considering all the times that he’d accused her of only caring about causes that were too far away for her to do anything other than shout about them.

One of the local ones stood out, a familiar pattern of black-on-white among the more brightly colored ones. Small, irregular spots, the same kind that covered virtually everything in the Dean’s office. Jeff picked the wristband out of the mess in the basket, studying the card attached to it: All proceeds from the sale of this wristband will be donated to Greendale Dalmatian Rescue.

The salesgirl had finally dealt with the security tags with the assistance of one of her coworkers, and now she turned a cheerful smile on Jeff. “Something catch you eye?” she asked in the bright tones of someone who’d been trained not to sound like she was trying to add a few more dollars to her sales totals.

“I think so,” Jeff said, handing the spotted wristband across the counter to her. “Go ahead and add that in.”


The impact of what he’d done didn’t hit Jeff until he was on campus the next day. He’d bought a ‘just because it made me think of you’ gift. For the Dean. Sure, it was something little and insignificant, but still. What. The hell. Had he been thinking.

The simplest, most reassuring answer was that he hadn’t been. Temporary insanity. It was an occupational hazard for Greendale students, after all. Hell, it was practically an admission requirement. And Jeff had convinced enough juries to go along with the insanity defense that convincing himself should be effortless.

And yet he remained unconvinced.

There was, he knew from experience, one surefire way to deal with his emotions when they started screwing with him. And so while he knew the Dean was out in the courtyard, Jeff slipped into his office, left the wristband on his desk (praying that the Dean wouldn’t recognize his handwriting on the sticky note that simply said “from a friend”), and promptly forced himself to stop thinking about it.


As always, the Dean found some flimsy excuse to make a visit to the study room that afternoon. And as always, he ended his visit with a hand on Jeff’s shoulder. But this time, Jeff couldn’t help smiling faintly as he looked at that hand and the little circle of spots that peeked out from under the Dean’s watchband. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see the Dean tilting his head quizzically, asking him a silent question.

Jeff pretended not to notice. Forcing himself not to think about it was already hard enough.
Jun. 16th, 2012 12:22 am (UTC)
Re: hematitebadger
Jeff and Abed tackle a homework assignment for their Cooking 101 class.
Jun. 21st, 2012 10:18 am (UTC)
FILL: Prompted by colonialburn
Introduction to Teamwork | G | 847 words

(1 of 2)

“This is the cleanest kitchen I’ve ever seen.” There was a note of awe in Abed’s voice.

Jeff, who had listened to plenty of Annie’s laments about her roommates’ idea of housekeeping, wasn’t too surprised. “And I’d like to keep it that way as much as possible,” he said.
“My dad taught me how to keep a kitchen clean,” Abed said, as if his commercial cooking experience wasn’t the sole reason Jeff had partnered with him. “It just doesn’t seem worth all the effort when there’s not a risk of a surprise health inspection. Or a lawsuit.”

“Well, for our purposes let’s pretend there is a risk of a surprise health inspection.” Jeff replied. “Just because I’m not legally required to have a clean kitchen doesn’t mean that I don’t like to have one.”

Abed was still poking at the appliances, examining the immaculate stovetop and the perfect chrome on all the sink fittings. “This is too clean.” He turned to look at Jeff, faint suspicion in his features. “Do you actually cook in here?”

“Of course I do. Sometimes.” Jeff was grateful for the fit of vanity that had made him hide the file folder full of takeout menus that was his primary source of sustenance before Abed had arrived. “Okay, not much,” he finally confessed. “But that doesn’t prove that I can’t.”

“No,” Abed agreed. “Your grade in the class proves that you can’t.”
Jeff gave him a look that could have burned through steel. “Are you going to help me or not? What are we making, anyway?”

“Bread,” Abed said returning to the counter and pulling boxes out of the bag he’d dropped there. The agreement had been that he would provide the ingredients, with Jeff paying for half of anything he had to make a special trip to pick up, if Jeff would provide the kitchen space.

Jeff made a slight sound of surprise. “Kinda simple, isn’t it?”

“No offense, Jeff, but I had a pretty good guess about your skill level already. Bread is pretty basic, but it also takes a lot of finesse and a little bit of luck. It’s something simple enough that you shouldn’t have too much trouble with it, but even if we mess it up we’ll get credit for trying something challenging. We’re pretty much guaranteed a passing grade, and it’s not likely that we’ll give the class food poisoning. Do you at least have measuring cups?”

“I’ve got all the basics. Just because I don’t cook doesn’t mean that I don’t occasionally have female guests who do, if you get my drift.” Jeff leaned back against the counter, reaching for his phone. “You should be able to find everything you need.”
With silent, unexpected swiftness, Abed’s hand closed around Jeff’s wrist. “I keep saying ‘we’ for a reason,” he said, a firm coldness in his voice. “I like you, Jeff, but I’m not going to carry you. We bake together, or we fail alone. Now find me a mixing bowl.”
Jun. 21st, 2012 10:20 am (UTC)
Re: FILL: Prompted by colonialburn
(2 of 2)


About twenty minutes of shoulder-straining work later, Jeff stared at the dark mass in the bowl with distaste. “Is it really supposed to smell like that?”

“More or less,” Abed said, his head tilted as he studied the dough. “The smell should settle as it rises.”

“And how long is that supposed to take?”

The DVD case that Abed pulled out of his bag gave him the answer. “Almost exactly the length of an episode of Inspector Spacetime.”


It was still a weird-smelling mess after the first rise. And after the second rise in the pan, during which Jeff insisted that they watch something else and possibly order some takeout that didn’t smell horrifying. And when it came out of the oven.

There was a long silence when they shook the loaf out of the pan onto a cutting board. It was only a couple inches tall, the approximate color and density of a pan of brownies, and it smelled like skunked beer. And the taste alone, when Jeff lost the rock-paper-scissors throw and had to sample a corner of it, might have been bad enough to give someone food poisoning.

“I think the yeast might have been bad,” Abed said.

“ I asked you if it was supposed to smell like that.”

“It’s been a long time since I made bread. I thought I might just be remembering it wrong.”

“I think you’d remember if you’d ended up with something like this before,” Jeff said. He folded his arms, reluctant to chuck the thing in the garbage but even more reluctant to go into class with it on Monday and admit that he’d had a hand in making it. “I guess this is the ‘fail alone’ part, huh?”

“It doesn’t have to be,” Abed said. “Want to know the other reason I went with bread?”


“There’s a bakery two blocks from here that uses this same recipe. Nobody but us has to know.”

Jeff laughed and slapped Abed’s shoulder lightly. “I knew there was a reason I picked you as my partner.”
Jun. 25th, 2012 03:46 am (UTC)
Re: FILL: Prompted by colonialburn
Thank you!
Re: FILL: Prompted by colonialburn - hematitebadger - Jun. 28th, 2012 01:02 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 19th, 2012 11:24 am (UTC)
Re: hematitebadger
Jeff asks Britta to help him find a pet to adopt, since therapy is going well and he might be just about emotionally ready for a long-term relationship with a dog or cat. (Or maybe he ends up with a goldfish.) Shippy or friendship/gen is equally fine here.
Jun. 19th, 2012 03:57 pm (UTC)
Re: hematitebadger
The Dean tries to convince Jeff to come to another karaoke session with him.

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