neigedens: dude covering a goat's ears (escapegoat)
Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear? ([personal profile] neigedens) wrote2010-04-29 06:31 pm

COMMUNITY FIC: The High School After High School (2/3), Abed/Troy, 16,000 words

Title: The High School After High School (2/3)
Author: [personal profile] neigedens
Word Count: 5,500 this part; 16,278 total
Pairings/Characters: Abed/Troy, Annie, ensemble
Rating: Teen
Notes: See notes in Part One.

Abed and Annie trudged over the wet lawn to the football field, where they were greeted by a young woman with dark hair sitting on the lowermost bleacher with a baby.

"We're looking for Troy," Annie said immediately. Abed had already wandered off in another direction. "Have you seen him?"

Marisol readjusted the towel covering the baby's head as she shook her head. "He said he wasn't coming in today."

"He told you that?"

"Nope. Texted us."

Annie's brow furrowed. "What, he sent one to the whole team?"

Marisol nodded. "Weird, isn't it? He said he had something important to do. Here, I'll show you." Impressively, she managed to reach down into her purse on the ground and pull out her phone without disturbing the baby at all. The text itself was very short. It had been sent at 10:30 that morning and did not specify what the important thing actually was.

"I assumed it was some kind of family emergency," Marisol went on. "Anyway, George's taken over."

"Who?"

"He's the receiver. He's taking over for me while I'm out because of this guy. Didn't Troy talk about him? George Pluckenpole."

Annie snorted in laughter before she could help it. "Oh, him."

Marisol shrugged with one shoulder. "He's pretty good. The best replacement we could find on such short notice, but we, uh, tend not to do so hot if Troy himself isn't here. Look." With her free hand, Marisol pointed to the field where George seemed to be directing the practice. Annie watched for a few seconds. She had an extremely limited understanding of football, but she couldn't see that the Human Beings were that much worse than they had ever been. "I just hope he's back by Friday. Hey, what's wrong with Abed?" asked Marisol. Annie turned around and was not very surprised to see Abed standing at the top of the bleachers, watching the practice.

"We're...just a little worried. Troy wasn't in class or at study group this morning, and his parents don't know where he is either." She looked down at Marisol's phone again. "Also, this text doesn't look like something that Troy would write. It's got, you know. Punctuation and correct spelling."

Marisol was removing the towel from over the baby's head and pulling her shirt back up, but suddenly she looked alarmed. "Maybe he got into a car accident."

"He doesn't have a car. Plus, how did he send the text, then?" Annie shook her head. "It's too weird."

Marisol nodded. "It's not like Troy to be so tight-lipped about stuff like that. About anything, actually."

"Abed thinks he's been kidnapped," said Annie, trying to keep a sensible amount of doubt in her voice.

"What? By who?"

"That's what I've been wondering."

Marisol made a face at the baby and seemed to think. "Maybe it was a little bit of competitive sabotage."

Annie's eyebrows shot up. "You mean some other team...." She thought about something that Jeff had said earlier. This isn't 90210....It's not like some rival gang has had him taken care of.

It actually was an intriguing idea, if completely absurd. It made sense if you looked at it in a general sense-- one football team might try and take out another team's quarterback just before a big game, either as a joke or to help the first team's chances, because it was the type of dumb jock plan a bunch of dumb jocks would hatch--but it completely fell apart because when you looked at it specifically you had...the Greendale Human Beings, a team unlikely to be targeted by even the most spiteful a competitor, for obvious reasons.

But she only said, politely, "That's...an idea." She thanked Marisol and asked for her cell phone number. "Let us know if you hear from him again."

"You and Abed are really all twisted up about this, aren't you?" Marisol looked at her rather pityingly.

Annie was about to deny this, but then she caught sight of Abed making his way slowly down the bleachers towards them, and then looked back down at Marisol's cell phone. "Just a little, I guess," she said, feeling, not for the first time, a little ridiculous.

~

"What did the rest of the team say?" asked Annie as they walked back inside. It was almost sunset, and as they walked they had to squint to keep the sun out of their eyes.

"Nothing."

Annie glared at him, her suspicions proven. "Didn't you ask them anything?"

"Not a lot."

She nearly stomped her foot. "Abed! How do you expect to find anything out if you don't talk to people? You can't just look at people and tell what's wrong with them or what they saw or who they talked to."

"Sherlock Holmes could do that," Abed pointed out. "He could tell people's whole life stories just by looking at them. And then he would use that knowledge to punch them in the face in the most devastating way possible."

"You're not Sherlock Holmes! And Sherlock Holmes did not just go about punching people all...all willy-nilly! Look, are you telling me that we've gone through all this trouble and we didn't find out anything?"

Abed was silent for a moment, then went on. "Did you notice the new guy?"

Annie was momentarily distracted from her anger. "Him? Yeah, Marisol was talking about him. His name is Pluckenpole." She giggled because it seemed she was constitutionally unable to say the name without doing so. "Sorry. Anyway, yeah, Marisol said he's all right. He's their best player, she said. Now that Troy's gone, I guess."

Abed was silent and his expression was stern. "Annie, did you ever see Rudy?"

"I don't think so."

"What about Varsity Blues?"

"No?"

"What about Remember the Titans?"

"Yeah, I think so. Why--"

"This is just like the part towards the end, when the star quarterback gets in a car accident and can't play in the game so the plucky underdog has to take his place. Except the roles are reversed and Greendale has obviously already been racially integrated for a long time. Do you see what I mean?"

"No," said Annie, shaking her head. "Not even a little bit."

Abed shrugged. "We should go see if Britta is still inside."

"Abed, why...? Wait up!"

~

They found Britta in the library with Jeff, who was tearing up the couch cushions and shouting. "It's a code red," she told Abed and Annie.

"Where the hell could it be?" said Jeff, his hair now less than artfully mussed. "I had it yesterday. I've turned my apartment inside out and it's not there, and I know that I had it yesterday in study group. I'm positive. I use it to shut out all the things that bother me."

"Like what?" asked Abed as Annie asked, "What did you lose?"

Britta was reading and sitting on the table, because Jeff had thrown the chairs all around the room during his search. "His cell phone. He hasn't seen it since yesterday, and I think he's getting separation anxiety."

Jeff rounded on Britta. "You shut it unless you're going to help."

"Got it." When his back was turned, she mouthed he's mental at them.

"Britta," began Annie, rather primly, "we're still looking for Troy. Now, Abed is going sit down here," -- she gave him a significant look, which he returned blankly before sitting down next to Britta -- "and ask you a few questions while I go help Jeff find his phone."

"Why don't you stay here and ask Britta questions?"

"Because I am very good at finding lost things," said Annie brightly. "I have a natural talent. I can draw up timetables, if necessary. Just find out whatever it is you want to know about George Pluckenpole." She giggled. "Gosh, I'm sorry. It's that name."

"It is pretty comical," said Abed. Once she had walked away to the other end of the library, where Jeff was having an argument with a receptionist, he turned to Britta. "So, Britta."

"So, Abed."

"Please tell me everything you know about George Pluckenpole."

Britta threw back her head. "God, why is it still so funny?"

Abed looked stern. "Britta, I'm going to have to ask you to confine yourself to the facts, please."

She only giggled again. "Shirley said that you and Annie were playing detective. I almost didn't believe her."

"Nobody's playing anything. Troy's been kidnapped."

Little of the laughter went out of her face, but she sounded more concerned. "That's totally absurd, Abed. What could possibly make you think that?"

The corner of his lips twitched. "Inquiries are proceeding."

"Oh, for--"

"George Pluckenpole. What do you know about him?"

She shrugged. "Well, what do you want to know? He's friends with Vaughn, I met him when we were dating. Why don't you ask Annie?"

Abed ignored that. "How well did you know him?"

"Barely at all. I mean, I dated Vaughn for, like, what, a week?"

"Actually, it was less than that, if you count that we, as a group, didn't find out until Friday and by the following Wednesday you had--"

"Thanks, Abed. I don't know. I guess I'm pretty sure George was Vaughn's dealer before he went straight. George went straight, I mean, not Vaughn, obviously. And I think--Abed, are you writing down what I'm saying?"

Abed looked up from the notepad he had just produced from his pocket. "This is very interesting. Please go on."

Britta eyed him suspiciously. "Are you making fun of me?"

"No. Please go on. You suspected he might have once dealt drugs. Why?"

She shrugged. "Just an impression I got from the way he talked to Vaughn." She paused. "Well, and also because I talked to him about hooking me up once. But that didn't work out, and anyway, I don't think he deals anymore. He sort of made it sound like he had a stash up at his family's cabin or something, but Vaughn's the only person I know around here who sells anything worth--" She stopped when it seemed to occur to her that Abed didn't need to know about her procurement problems following her breakup with Vaughn. "Anyway. George always struck me as that annoying straight-edge dude who still hangs out with the hippies for no reason except so he can feel holier-than-thou."

"Maybe you're just projecting," Abed pointed out.

She glared at him. "You asked me what I thought of him, Abed. And look, just because he's a person that I didn't particularly like doesn't mean that he's...." She paused. "What is it you suspect him of having done, anyway? And don't say kidnapping, because that's--"

"Inquiries are proceeding," he repeated, closing his notebook with a snap. "Thank you for your help."

"You know, it's like you think you're Jerry Orbach all of a sudden, or something," said Britta, shaking her head. "It's completely gone to your head. See you around, Abed." She turned back to her homework.

~

In fact, at about that moment, Troy was awakening with a throbbing headache reminiscent of a bad hangover. Which was odd, because he had no recollection of going to sleep at all, much less drinking. More pressing, however, was the fact that his eyes were open, but all he could see was black.

"Oh my god, I've gone bl--oh." A second later he realized that he was wearing a blindfold. "What the hell?" he said, out loud, just because he could. A second after that, he realized that someone had tied his hands behind his back. "That's not funny, guys," he shouted, not exactly sure who he was talking to. He kicked his legs out and encountered two objects: one was hard, and upon further examination with the sole of his sneaker he thought it might be his bike; and the other was soft and made a small bleating noise when he kicked it. He shot up so quickly his head collided with the ceiling, and it was then that he realized that he was in a van or truck of some sort. In his panic to get away from the source of the noise, he knocked something over and heard a loud crashing noise to his left. "You're kidding me. You've got to be fucking kidding me." Troy had grown up in the suburbs, and his parents had only rarely been what you would call outdoorsy types, but he was pretty sure that he was blindfolded and locked in the back of a van with a sheep.

Troy sank back down and leaned back against the side of the car or van or whatever it was. There was a noise like a panel or a window sliding back, and a man's voice shushed him.

"Man, fuck you," said Troy, then paused. "Who are you? Why is there a sheep here? I swear to God, I will kick your ass if that sheep bites me."

"It's not a--look, he's not going to bite you. You really need to be quiet."

"I don't like sheep!"

"Quit kicking him!"

Troy did, but only because it suddenly occurred to him that he might be missing the larger problem here. "Just what the hell do you think you're doing?"

"He just needed a ride to the stable," said the voice, trying to sound soothing, of all things. "We're almost there. Would you calm down?"

"Calm down? Do you have any idea what you just said? Did you just kidnap me?"

"Just...look, be quiet. Or I'll kick you in the head. Uh, again."

Troy was startled. "You kicked me in the head?"

"Uh, yeah. So be quiet." He said he had kicked Troy in the head, and Troy had to believe him because one side of his head was throbbing like he'd never felt it throb even after prom night, but the voice's tone was not one that inspired much fear. It didn't say "please," but it sounded like it would have liked to. Suddenly, there was a fainter noise of someone else talking. Troy only heard the panel slide shut again. He considered shouting and thrashing around a bit just to piss them off, but then he remembered the sheep and decided against it. Not because he was afraid of a sheep, he told himself, but because everyone who had ever seen any sort of action movie knew that now was the time when you conserved your energy in order to fight at a later time. With this in mind, he maneuvered himself so he could sit upright more comfortably, and then carefully pushed himself away from where he knew the sheep to be.

"Jesus Christ," he said, leaning his head against the van's side. He heard the sheep bleat again, as if in agreement.

~

"Well," said Jeff. "You look like you were having a good time."

Annie winced. The receptionist had directed them to the lost-and-found box, which they were digging through without any real hope. It only took until they reached the pile of unclaimed jock straps that Annie gave in and recounted to Jeff what she was only very reluctantly calling the investigation.

"Wow," said Jeff. "I can't believe you actually used the words 'willy-nilly' in a real conversation. What are you, a kindergarten teacher?"

"It might be funny to you, Jeff Winger, but--" She bit her lip. "Look, I know he doesn't show it that much, but Abed is really worried, and so am I. Nobody's seen Troy since last night, not any of us, not the football team, not even his parents."

Jeff sighed and carefully set down the pile of jock straps. "Annie, let me tell you this. As a man who was also 18, handsome, and academically uninspired once: drop it. Troy probably got invited to a kegger in Boulder and is getting wasted out of his mind as we speak. What is it, Tuesday? He'll recover from his hangover sometime on Wednesday and come back here by Friday to scrape out a respectable loss for the football team, and nobody'll be the wiser."

"But--"

"And now I suggest," Jeff went on, "that instead of using these supposed powers of detection to track down your wayward former crushes, you put them to better use answering a much more pressing and important question, namely, where the hell is my goddamn phone?"

Annie sighed. "Oh, all right. I'll help you, but only for a little bit."

"Because it's not in this mess." He kicked the box as he stood up. "It's all willy-nilly, wouldn't you say?"

"I'm not going to help you if you make fun of me," she said, but her mouth was twitching a little.

"A big higgledy-piggledy mess if I ever saw one. What's that for?" Annie had gotten a piece of paper and pen out of her bag.

"We're going to make a timetable, Jeff. When you lose something, usually the best idea is to make a definitive chronological list of times and places you did have it. Does that make sense?"

"It seems needlessly complicated to me."

"Do you want to find it or not?"

"Assuming someone hasn't stolen it already." Jeff sighed. "You know, Britta said earlier that she thinks I've traded in meaningful relationships with other people for my cell phone." Annie raised her eyebrows at him. "I won't deny it, but I will say that it's really hard to find a cell phone that combines functionality and user-friendliness with such a pleasingly sleek color scheme." He sighed again. "The last place I definitively saw my phone was in the student center last night at 6 o'clock...."

~

The van stopped. Troy stayed frozen where he was until he heard the door shut after the slow clip-clop sound of the sheep's hooves.

Fucking sheep, he thought. After that, he was able to drift off to a slightly more restful sleep. Abed had shown him a movie from New Zealand that was all about sheep going mad and rising up to kill their owners. It had terrified him, and only supplemented his perfectly rational existing fear of petting zoos.

When he woke again, they were still moving, and Troy briefly panicked as he wondered how long he had been asleep. His head still throbbed, but he had begun to doubt the claim that he had been kicked in the head. In fact, he suspected that he had knocked it against the road, as he now had a vague memory of being surprised by headlights out of nowhere and then falling off his bike. At any rate, he decided that this was the part of the action movie where the hero had recuperated enough to kick some ass. All he had to do, he reflected, was get his hands free and kick some dudes in the face. Simple.

Troy was not a naturally inquisitive person, so his mind was preoccupied less with why he was tied up in the back of a car, or how he was going to escape from the car, and more with the last action movie he had seen in a movie theater, which had been with Abed, of course. They'd gone to see Sherlock Holmes together on Christmas Day. It had been a blast because nobody else had been there, so they had thrown popcorn and shouted at the screen. The movie itself had been surprisingly exciting, given Troy's admittedly limited knowledge of the franchise. He had never known, he had told Abed, that Sherlock Holmes was so into kicking dudes in the face.

He was lost in thought when the van finally stopped. Troy froze and listened to the muffled voices of the two men. He heard one's footsteps coming around the side of the van, and then the door opened.

"Uh, you can come out." It was the man who had supposedly kicked him in the head.

Troy had seen enough action movies to know what you did here. Exaggeratedly slowly, he made his way towards the head kicker's voice. "I'm going to be sick," he said.

"No, you won't," said the supposed head kicker uncertainly. "Here, let me help you up."

"I'm going to puke," said Troy as the head kicker grabbed his upper arm and gently helped him stand up, "if you don't take off this blindfold." After a second's thought, he tottered a little on his feet. The head kicker grabbed his other arm and attempted to steady him. "I'm serious. It's like I've been kicked in the head forty times." He honestly did feel a little dizzy, so when he tried faking it he almost threw himself off balance for real.

"You won't puke." The voice hesitated. "Look, I didn't kick you in the head on purpose, exactly. I mean, you surprised us. We weren't expecting you to leave your house. Where were you going, anyway?"

"Why don't you mind your own fucking business?" Troy snapped.

"Right...but we saw you and we turned on the headlights--"

"And I fell off my bike," Troy finished for him, temporarily forgetting his anger as he remembered.

"Yeah. And I might have kicked you. Accidentally. You don't have a concussion, though."

That piqued his anger again. "I'm gonna hurl right in your goddamn face if you don't take off this blindfold. I swear, I'll die just to spite you and you'll get sent to prison for killing me--"

"Oh, all right. I'm taking it off." As he did so, Troy blinked and then nearly did fall down for real in the sudden light. He looked around and was dismayed to discover that he had no idea where he was, and that it was almost evening time again. "What day is it? Where are we?"

"Look, why don't you sit down--" It was then that Troy finally thought to spare a glance for his captor, who was a very short, pasty white guy, probably in his early thirties, with a scraggly red-brown goatee that reminded Troy of a toilet brush. The other man, the one who must have been driving the van, was just in Troy's periphery. He was standing near the front of the small cabin, talking on the phone. From what Troy could make out, he was another white guy, but unlike the other one, he was kind of distressingly huge.

"I have to pee," said Troy, seized with sudden inspiration.

"Uh, yeah, about that--"

"What are you going to do?" asked Troy. "You not gonna let me go? That's disgusting, man."

The man looked embarrassed and angry. He looked towards his accomplice, but the other man was engrossed in his phone call. He was yelling at someone about a key and a cell phone. "All right, fine."

"Cool. Untie me."

The man wasn't that trusting, anyway. He grabbed Troy's arm and led him around behind the cabin where there was a wooden outhouse.

"Oh, gross," said Troy, not faking anything this time.

"You've never been camping before?"

"Hell no." This was not strictly true; there had been a few trips with his parents when he was a kid and bonfires and shit like that during senior year parties, but he had successfully repressed most of these times.

The man shrugged and opened the outhouse door. He untied Troy's hands, but before he could push him inside the outhouse, Troy had turned around and punched him in the face. The man stumbled and Troy kicked him in the stomach, which knocked the breath out of him and successfully kept him from making any noise but a surprised oof!

Troy was ecstatic. He had been in fights before, but nothing about those had ever been as exciting as this. He wondered what would be an appropriate thing say. "Next time," he said breathlessly, tightening his fists, "I'll kick you in your face."

It was then that Troy made one of the poorly-considered life decisions for which he had been so famous back at Riverside High School. He looked around, his excitement slowly being replaced by more and more terror by the minute, and saw the house, another building that could have been a shed or a garage, and a whole lot of fucking trees. The van was on the other side of the house, along with the other man whose frame, from what Troy had been able to see of it, was considerably larger than Troy's own. Just then, the first man found his voice.

"Bill!" he called out. "Bill, come get him!"

Troy didn't even think. He ran as if someone were already chasing him.

~

After leaving Britta, Abed found Annie and Jeff just outside the library, arguing over a piece of paper.

"It's ridiculous, Annie."

"It's on the timetable! Look, it's the last place you remember having it. We plotted it out meticulously."

"I'm just going to cancel the service, Annie. This is ridiculous. Someone's probably stolen it and is using--hey, Abed. Trail gone cold?"

Abed shook his head. "Where're you going?"

"The student union," said Annie.

"It's either there, or it's been stolen," said Jeff. "I'll leave you to guess what the more likely option is."

"You never know," said Annie, who, Abed knew, possessed great faith not only in the accuracy of her timetables, but also in the goodness of her fellow human beings. "It's there if it's anywhere."

The student union was mostly deserted this late in the evening. Annie helped Jeff search over by the couches and beneath the armchairs, but Abed stopped when he saw George Pluckenpole over in a corner by the soda machines on his cell phone. Abed made his way over to him, and took a long time fishing the change from his pockets and then considering what he wanted.

"--stolen. Throw it away. I don't want it back, that's for sure. What? I told you, the front door key's under--well, I don't know. Which rock looks the fakest? No. No, it's a good two hours up there and I don't have--I've got my hands full," said George, as Abed looked intently at the coins in his hand and appeared to give great consideration over whether he wanted to give up the Ohio or the Minnesota state quarters. George went on. "Yeah, sure, but that doesn't mean the rest of the team should get cocky just because they're even more horrible than normal--." George suddenly stopped. While he didn't say anything, Abed knew that George was looking at him. "Hey, Abed, buddy, did you need something?"

Abed held up the two quarters for George's inspection. He had thought that what he had been doing would be immediately obvious to an observer. "The Minnesota one's got a boat and some trees, but on Ohio's there's an astronaut."

George look nonplussed for a second, then understood. "Get rid of the boat, for sure." Abed nodded. It was hard to believe someone so obviously nefarious was such a good judge of state quarters. George gave him a friendly smile, but did not resume his conversation until Abed had inserted all his coins, painstakingly selected a Sprite, and started walking away. "Anyway, it's only until Friday..."

Annie, meanwhile, was consoling Jeff on one of the couches. "I'm sorry. I really thought the timetables would work."

"Someone probably stole it, Annie, don't beat yourself up. I'll cancel the service when I get home tonight."

"Annie," said Abed, "are you sure this is the last place Jeff had his phone?"

She nodded. "I'm positive."

"OK, we are not positive--"

"Jeff," said Abed, "what was going on in here when you came in here last night?"

Jeff ruffled his hair a bit and thought. "Well, I've been at Greendale long enough that I can tune most of these things out, but I'm pretty sure the hippies were drum circling. Why?"

"Look around the room and tell me if anyone here now was here last night when the hippies were drum circling."

"Well, there must be a bunch of them--"

"There's not many people here. You probably can pick a few people out."

"I doubt it," said Jeff, but he stood up and surveyed the room slowly. "Well, Annie was here, obviously. And so was that guy. Him. And I think that woman with the baby was, too." Jeff turned finally to the corner where George was still talking on his cell phone. "That guy. I think that's it."

Abed nodded. "All right, then. Jeff, I wouldn't cancel your phone subscription just yet."

"Really?"

"I think I know who stole it."

"Who?"

"It's only a suspicion." Abed considered for a second, then turned to Annie. "Can you borrow your mom's car again tomorrow?"

She shook her head. "I don't think so. Sorry, Abed."

"It's all right." Abed turned to Jeff. "Then, no, we can't tell you where your phone is."

"What? Abed, I swear--"

"It's for leverage. In case we need your car," explained Abed. "We've a got a little more investigating to do before you leave, Annie. Do you mind?"

"Oh, no," said Annie, faintly. "I don't have to return the car until nine." As she stood up to follow Abed to the dorm, she turned around and gave Jeff a slightly apologetic look. "See you tomorrow, Jeff. Don't forget the Spanish homework!"

They left Jeff very annoyed. Usually when something Annie or Abed did made him so peevish, he would send Britta a sarcastic text message, but of course he couldn't right then. He drove home grumbling, and was still more annoyed when he realized that he had his Spanish homework to finish or else risk getting the boot from Señor Chang.

~

Troy didn't have to run for long before he realized that he was fucked, of course, but he didn't stop because he imagined that he was still being chased. Not just by the mysterious men, but by everything he had ever imagined living in a forest. Lions and tiger and bears...his mind even went back to that stupid sheep that had been in the van with him. He shuddered and kept running, even though he knew it was pretty hopeless. He didn't know which way led back to the cabin, and he had kept away from the road so they wouldn't see him. His cell phone was gone, and at first he had been enraged when he thought they had taken his watch as well, before he realized that he had forgotten to grab it during the rage he had been in when he had left his parents' house to go to Abed's dorm room. Perhaps most importantly of all, he didn't have his jacket and was probably going to freeze to death.

He rubbed his arms and kept moving. Adrenaline was keeping him going, but he could tell it was going to fail him. Just then, however, as night was falling, he found the cabin.

At first he panicked and assumed he had unwittingly run in a circle and right back to the people he had escaped from, but this was a building that could not be called a house or even a shed. The first cabin that Troy had been taken to, while rustic and apparently without niceties like indoor plumbing, had probably been inhabitable, at the very least. This place looked like it had been abandoned and forgotten for a decade. The only word to describe it was "shack." One that was lucky to still have a roof.

Troy stared at it, panting. His face was very hot, but the rest of his body was rapidly cooling the longer he stood there, which was how he reached the conclusion that no matter what kinds of rats and bugs and other animals were undoubtedly nesting inside the shack, they couldn't compare to the imminent frosty death laying in wait for him outside. Nothing skittered out of the way too obviously when he pushed the door open, anyway, and if he heard any pitter-patter of tiny feet from the corners, he managed to ignore it sufficiently to keep himself from freaking out more than he was already.

The shack contained nothing but a small fire grate and a bed with, miraculously, a dirty, moth-eaten quilt. He picked it up, shook it out, and wrapped it around himself. He tried to fall asleep without thinking too much, because none of his thoughts were very helpful or encouraging: he was hungry, cold, and thirsty; his head still hurt; and the last thing he had told his parents was that he was never coming home again, which meant that they probably wouldn't come looking for him for several days. He supposed that people at Greendale would wonder where he had gone, but he knew none of them were going to assume that he had been abducted by sheep-loving white supremacists. (Troy had decided that, in the absence of any other evidence, he had been kidnapped by a fringe KKK group.) Not even Abed's imagination, he thought as he drifted to sleep, was that unlikely.

Part Three

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