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But They Had Good Times (Community, gen, PG-13) for picfor1000!
the arch of the eyebrows gives it away
innie_darling
Hi, everybody! Here's my story for picfor1000, which is one of my favorite challenges. I decided this year to write a story for Community, which is one of the three shows I refuse to miss this season (the other two are Supernatural and Chuck - Better Off Ted would be on the list, but it looks like it's circling the drain even as we speak [boo, ABC!]). Picture and story under the cut, title from one of my favorite Jeff lines. Gen the way the show is gen, and very vague spoilers for 1x13, "Investigative Journalism." I cannot get my photo assignment to appear in this entry for some reason, so here is a link.






It wasn't like she'd used a brochure to quit smoking, so she didn't have to listen to any of the ones plastered all over the Student Health Center now, when they were warning ex-smokers not to let food replace cigarettes as part of their routine. Which she wasn't. She was just craving the uncomplicated taste of potato chips. Period.

Britta stood, tapping her foot impatiently as the line at the Student Rec Center dragged on in its Greendale way. It couldn't hurt to open the bag now; she was still going to pay for it, of course. She was just being efficient.

She ripped open the bag, breathing in the scent, and found a perfect chip on her first try. Man, that was good. Her eyes might have fluttered shut when the salt hit her tongue. They popped open when she heard a voice roughly two millimeters from her ear.

"Are you doing a blind taste test?" It was Abed, who was apparently a part-time stealth ninja, his head cocked curiously to the side as he studied her. "How are you recording your experience?" He whipped out his videocamera and turned it on. "Would you like me to document it?"

"What? No, Abed. I'm not doing a taste test. I'm enjoying a snack while I wait to pay for it." The line advanced about a foot while he peered at her some more, still recording.

"Cool," he finally said. "Cool cool cool."

"Want one?" she offered, and he smiled and took exactly one.

"Wait, can I take one for Troy, too?"

"Sure," she said, wondering if he was just planning to hold it until his partner in bromance showed up, but Troy entered with a resounding woof, punctuating it by catching the chip Abed had tossed in the air in his mouth.

She was impressed; chips were not particularly aerodynamic. Then again, he'd probably had a lot of people lobbing food his way when he'd dislocated both shoulders. She was kind of surprised Annie hadn't seized the opportunity to feed him, lovingly, by hand.

"Troy!" Speak of the pixie-ish devil, and she doth appear. Annie strode over, eyes wide with horror. "Are you eating potato chips?" Like the bag Britta was holding said Delicious Newborn-Baby Flavor!

Troy shrugged his confusion, so Annie elaborated. "They have trans fats in them!"

"WHAT?!?" Troy shrieked. "They make you fat and they could make me have . . . girl parts?"

Before Britta could do more than roll her eyes and open her mouth to begin the much-delayed education of Troy Barnes on nutrition and gender politics, Jeff strolled up, smirk already in place. "Yes, Troy, you'll develop breasts, and you won't be T-Bone, you'll be . . . T&A."

"Nice," Britta said, making sure the appropriate amount of disgust was in her voice, even if she couldn't keep the corners of her mouth from curling up in a traitorous smile. Still, it wasn't fair to leave Troy in suspense, or to let him stick a finger down his throat. "He's kidding. Trans fats are -"

"The subject of my next big front-page article!" Annie cut in. "New York City has already banned the sale of foods containing trans fats; does Greendale want us to be less healthy than the winos lying in gutters on Broadway?"

Jeff, at whom this was all clearly aimed, was busy texting with one hand and reaching into the bag of chips with the other. "Sounds great, Ace," he muttered, and Britta cringed to see Annie blossom under dubious affirmation from such an ersatz authority figure.

He got his, though, and Britta smiled, seeing that karma was on its toes around Jeff; Shirley's hand smacked him none too gently upside the head and he spat up a mouthful of chips. Shirley had gotten good at pasting a smiling face and bubbly cheer over her seething wells of rage, though, and her voice was so sweet that even Britta half-believed that the slap had been accidental. "You look hungry," Shirley cooed at Jeff, who had potato chip flakes still clinging to his lower lip. She reached into her voluminous bag and pulled out a plastic container of goodies. "Would you like to try one of my new caramel brownies that I offered you earlier?"

Jeff nodded warily and reached out his hand like a lion tamer on his very first day. Abed and Troy dug in without being asked, and after one bite Troy let out a moan of pleasure that made Annie's cheeks turn pink. "Britta?" Shirley prompted. "Would you like a brownie or -"

"Put me down for some of your whatnot," Pierce said, strolling up and smirking like he'd just pulled off a masterful double entendre. Shirley took a small step back but valiantly held the container out to him. Britta realized a second later that she and Annie had stepped up to flank Shirley protectively. "Brittles," he continued with his mouth full, "stay away from these if you want to keep your girlish figure."

She decided to let that one go even though her hands had automatically balled into fists.

"Well, look at you!" a voice rang out, and they swiveled as one to face the newcomer. It was Dean Pelton, smiling benevolently at them. "Greendale's newest diversity poster!" His hands sketched vague gestures around them, but lingered for some time on Troy's cheeks (both sets) and Jeff's chest. "You're always congregating! Photogenically!"

"Congress?" Pierce asked, and his pocket phone squawked dialing Congress and connected; an automated recording asked if they wanted to hear a list of AARP discounts.

Pierce fumbled to shut off the phone, Jeff tried to evade the dean's wandering hands, and Britta realized the cashier for her line had closed his register. "Let's go," she said.

She looked for the nearest person to take the chips off her hands. A flash of white caught her eye. She pulled a five from her wallet and handed it and the bag of chips over, saying, "Enjoy."

The Human Being seemed to smile.


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As always, I'd love to hear what you think.
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This was perfect. You got the humor of Community down exactly. So much love!

Hee, icon love! And thank you so much - I really admire how each character on the show has a distinctive voice, and I didn't think I could get close.

There's so much I adore about this--the title, your Britta POV, how everyone keeps showing up, Troy's reaction to trans fats, the dean and the Human Being, and above all just how adorable and in-character it is. I say heartily, with Shirley: oh, that's nice!

They do seem . . . oddly drawn to each other, don't they? I'm so pleased you liked the way everyone joined in, and thank you for saying it felt in character. Plus bonus Shirley in your feedback!

Troy shrugged his confusion, so Annie elaborated. "They have trans fats in them!"

"WHAT?!?" Troy shrieked. "They make you fat and they could make me have . . . girl parts?"


Ahahahahaha. I burst out laughing, nearly sprayed juice all over my screen. So spot on.

Hee, oh Troy, you do seem to be pretty obsessed with what you've got! Glad the line worked for you!

If you added Leverage, your list of don't miss tv would look suspiciously like mine! ;)

This was great! I love your Britta voice; you've really caught her blend of cynicism and affection for others.

"You're always congregating! Photogenically!" HEE. And may they continue to do so evermore.

I really like Leverage (and Psych and White Collar), but I don't LOVE them the way I love those four other shows - to the point where I'm unhappy if I miss an episode.

I'm so pleased that the Britta voice here worked for you - for some reason, it was always very clear that she would be driving this story, even though Shirley's my faaaaavorite. Thank you so much!

YAY! This is the utterly hilarious group fic I love. I adore Britta being aware of how awkwardly Annie likes Jeff, but unable to do anything about it. Plus, TROY AND ABED FOR THE WIN.

I so need a Troy and Abed (in the morning!) icon! I'm so glad you liked this, honey!

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