Warnings: my first Community fic (finally my icon is appropriate!)
Pairing: Abed/Jeff
Summary: Abed worries he may have made Jeff uncomfortable in their Dungeons and Dragons game. They confront the issue with more roleplay.
For: Concurcubine

(Also, embarrassingly, I have already exhausted the fics I had pre-written. I have been unspeakably rubbish this year, creatively speaking. I promise I am trying very hard to get at least one posted a day. I have started all the prompts. It's just a case of reining them in to be shorter stories than they want to be.)



Jeff was sitting on the sofa lifting a small weight in his left hand when someone knocked at the door. He turned off the TV, which was no big deal as he didn’t have the least idea what he had been watching. It was either news coverage of a social rights movement or a lengthy advert about the Christmas shopping rush and the merits of ordering online. He wasn’t sure, as he had been deep in thought.

He opened the door with his free hand to find Abed standing there with a shopping bag and his usual wide-eyed, appraising stare.

“You need to knock in a more unique way so that people know what they’re opening the door to,” Jeff said. “Like that guy in The Big Bang Theory.” It sounded harsher out loud than it had in his head, but as usual the words slid off of Abed like he was laminated.

“Sheldon Cooper,” Abed clarified. “I could do that, but I suspect it would wear as thin on you as it does on the audience after five seasons. Can I come in?”

“Sure.” Jeff stepped back and let Abed in, pushing the door shut as his friend wandered through into his apartment.

“Working on the guns?” Abed nodded towards the weight in Jeff’s hand.

“Yep.”

“Bang-bang,” Abed said cheerfully, making a fake gun with his free hand. When Jeff just nodded politely, the smile fell from his face. “Okay, so I feel like I might have made you uncomfortable today.”

“A lot of things made me uncomfortable today,” Jeff said, putting the weight down on his table. Dungeons and Dragons had been a bizarre experience. “Your pseudo-flirtation fell onto the scale somewhere between Pierce becoming the megalomaniacal tyrant of a fictional world and finding out I ruined Fat Neil’s life.”

Abed looked thoughtful for a moment then suggested, “I think the first step of repentance might be to stop calling him Fat Neil.”

“One thing at a time, Abed! I’m stressed out here.”

“Would you like a salad wrap?” Abed offered, lifting one out of the bag. “It’s Caesar dressing. Low-fat parmesan.”

Begrudgingly, Jeff took the salad wrap. He did like low-fat parmesan. Abed pulled out his own salad wrap and sat down at the table with it. Jeff mirrored him and realised he had automatically sat down with Abed across from him, slightly to his right. “Jesus, I’m in a seating rut. That damn study room.”

It didn’t seem that Abed had anything to say about that, though he did give Jeff a curious look. They ate about half of their food before Abed spoke up again.

“I’m sorry I toyed with your sexual identity in front of the group for the sake of a tabletop roleplay. It was completely inappropriate for the first session.”

“My… my what?” Jeff spluttered, almost choking on tortilla wrap. “What do you mean ‘toyed with my sexual identity’?”

“I thought it was a neat parallel,” Abed went on. “You know, from a storyteller perspective. In reality you play with women while reserving your strongest sexual and romantic attractions for men. I thought it would make sense for me, a man, to provide you with a fictional woman to play with. Sort of cross-gender experimentation through the medium of roleplay. But it was wrong to do that in the first session. You were still in the introductory stage and I made you feel awkward.”

“Not as awkward as you’re making me right now,” Jeff said slowly, staring at the younger man. “I’m straight, Abed.”

Abed stared at him for a very long time. Long enough that Jeff began to fidget in his seat. Then he went back to his wrap.

When he had finished and had tucked away all the stray bits of packaging into the bigger bit of packaging and tucked it all away in the grocery bag, he spoke again. “Sometimes me and Troy pretend to be secret agents. Or buddy cops. Or Sam and Dean Winchester.”

“O…kay…” said Jeff uncertainly. “Am I supposed to have an obvious response to that?”

“We tend to sit across the road in the car and scope out the place like you’re an evil genius. Or a drug lord. Or a demon.”

“That’s not creepy at all. Wait, in what car?”

“Your car.”

“What?!”

“The point is, to be coy about it, we’ve seen the company you keep.”

Jeff wasn’t sure if he had spontaneously developed tinnitus, if the shock had caused a white noise effect, or if he was just hearing his world crumble around his head. “But… you… you never said anything.”

Abed shrugged. “What is there to say? It doesn’t matter.”

“Troy knows too? He never said anything!” God, the kid could have won any argument about women just by pulling out that ultimate trump card.

“It doesn’t matter to him either. Why would it?”

“Because… because…”

“None of the study group would have anything to say about it. Well, except Pierce but he thinks you’re gay already.”

If it were a cartoon, Jeff would have been hitting himself on the head with a tiny mallet while burbling nonsense. Instead he just sat with his jaw dropped, wondering what he was supposed to say. He’d never exactly imagined saying anything to his friends about it. His occasional ‘coming out’ scenarios involved them catching him, then Pierce laughing until he keeled over while Annie sobbed her little heart out.

“I’m not fully… I mean, women are great. I like boobs.”

“Who doesn’t?” Abed said with a shrug. Then he frowned. “Well, I guess there’s probably a sizeable amount of people. I don’t have the data. But I believe they’re a minority so my flippancy still feels valid.” He reached out and put a hand on Jeff’s. “I’m not here to define you. I’m here to apologise for putting you in a situation where you had to flirt with me. It must have made you uncomfortable. Sometimes I get too involved in telling stories and I forget that you guys aren’t characters. You’re people. And you get to choose what stories you’re in. I shouldn’t have presumed you would want to roleplay an erotic scene with me.”

“Well, not in front of everyone,” Jeff said with a nervous chuckle.

Then he noticed Abed’s wide eyes and realised how that sounded.

“Uh, wow. Okay.” He checked the watch he wasn’t wearing. “It’s getting late. I should probably go.” He got up and grabbed his jacket, heading for the door.

“It’s your apartment.”

“Keep it!” Jeff called as he shut himself out in the hallway and walked off.

He wondered what horrific dungeon of terrors Abed and Troy would convert his apartment into now.

*

Jeff actually got to Anthropology a little early. Admittedly that was because he had slept in his car on-campus that night to avoid bumping into Abed. It wouldn’t do to have people thinking he was eager for class though, so he went and grabbed a coffee and came back at the same time as the latecomers.

“You look tired,” Annie said when he took the seat next to her.

He put on his best concerned face. “So do you. Everything okay?”

Worried, she dove into her bag for a compact mirror to check the non-existent bags under her eyes and forgot all about Jeff for a few blissful minutes.

Abed and Troy filed in with the last few stragglers. Troy nodded casually towards them. Sort of like, ‘hey dude’, rather than ‘hey dude who likes other dudes’. It was only mildly reassuring, but Jeff was happy to grasp at straws. Then Abed slid a sheet of paper onto the desk in front of him. It was encased in a transparent plastic wallet. Abed continued past him up the steps as if nothing had transpired. Jeff glanced at Annie quickly and was relieved to see she was still frowning into her mirror, thoroughly examining her skin for any signs of stress-induced acne.

Jeff stealthily slid the sheet into his folder with all the other notes that he had scavenged off people for his other classes. He could inspect it there without anyone thinking anything was amiss.

Lifting the lid of his folder to peer suspiciously at the paper, Jeff immediately noticed the letters ‘D&D’ at the top. Oh god.

His phone buzzed. He had a text from Abed.

I revised your character sheet.

Jeff looked over it. Sure enough, his character was now called ‘Jeph Wingurr’. He was a half-elf, which presumably meant his mother was screwed by an elf. Hopefully the Lord of the Rings kind rather than the Christmas imp kind. His character’s Charisma stat was twenty and his Dexterity was eighteen, while the other scores were significantly lower. He sent a message back to Abed.

Thanks, but why?

His phone buzzed again as Ian started rambling on about a subject he knew nothing about. Which, honestly, didn’t limit his topics.

Thought we could practise some one-on-one RP.

That left Jeff thinking for some time. He engaged in some deep, serious introspection. Probably overkill, considering he’d only been invited to do some solo roleplay.

But Abed always meant more than he let on.

Slowly, Jeff tapped his thumb against the keypad of his phone. He was going to do this. Whatever ‘this’ turned out to be.

When?

It was at least five minutes before the next message arrived, Annie tutting angrily at the buzz of his phone.

Do you trust my phone app to roll your dice?

Jeff smirked. I trust you, Abed.

With nowhere else to turn in this strange land, you found yourself in the tavern. There are a lot of boisterous soldier stereotypes due to the army travelling South – setting available on request – and you feel ill at ease in their company. What do you do?

Didn’t take long to figure that one out. I drink.

You fail your Constitution roll. Their stuff’s pretty strong. You start to feel tipsy after the first mug. They probably use Elven herbs.

Naturally. Ok I guess I keep drinking.

I’m afraid you get very drunk. One of the soldiers notices this and slides into the seat beside yours, a lewd look on his face. He tells you you’re pretty. He likes your slightly-pointed ears.

Turning his head, Jeff looked up to where Abed was sitting. The younger man raised his eyebrows at him. Jeff looked back at his phone.

I’m going to attempt to seduce him. What’s his name?

Ebad Nidar. You roll a critical success on your Charisma and Diplomacy check. He wants to take this to the bedroom.

Again, Jeff glanced up at Abed. Abed stared back at him. Jeff smirked and typed:

Sure. Let’s do this.

It was only Jeff’s second roleplay, but he liked the pace of this one a lot better.

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