The Megillah of Annie, Chapter 1

by Kass

Written for Purimgifts 2013.

Annie's fixing her lipstick when the PA system crackles. It startles her into smudging her mouth.

"Damn," she mutters, rummaging in her bag.

"Moist towlette?" Pierce offers, holding out a little packet of Hawthorne wipes.

"I'm good, thanks," Annie says, brandishing her packet of tissues. As she wipes the lipstick off of her cheek, the whine of feedback subsides and the Dean starts talking.

"Attention Greendale students!" The Dean sounds perky.

This is not necessarily a good sign, although Annie's new year's resolution was to try to expect the best instead of always preparing herself for the worst, so she's determined to find something good in whatever the Dean is about to say.

"Applications are invited for a prestigious new Greendale Dean's Office internship! You'll have the opportunity to work directly under me."

Pierce snorts. Jeff rolls his eyes.

"He said 'under me,'" Troy says to no one in particular, and smirks.

"You are such children," Britta grouses. Annie can see her trying not to laugh.

There's a pause. "Wait, no," the Dean says. "Not under me. But near me. Under my supervision," the Dean clarifies. "And no matter what you heard about the departure of my previous administrative assistant, the sexual harassment charges were entirely unfounded."

"That's convincing," Britta says. "...Not."

"And: the student who most adequately fulfills the requirements will receive a boost," the Dean's voice goes up, "to his GPA!"

"Or hers," Britta chimes in. "Come on, twenty-first century here."

"A-men," Shirley agrees. Britta reaches out her fist; after an instant's hesitation, Shirley reciprocates.

"Applications are available for download on the Greendale website, assuming none of you have hacked it again. Turn them in to my office by lunchtime. Dean out!"

There's a pause. Annie looks around the table.

"I don't know what he thinks he's doing," Shirley says darkly, "but I'm not sure I like the sound of it. Adjusting someone's GPA doesn't sound very nice."

"They'd be doing work," Britta points out. "It's not grade inflation if you're working for it. Then it's"

"Yeah, but working in the dean's office? That's where fun goes to die," Troy chimes in.

Abed shrugs. "I don't know. It might not be so bad."

"What? It's probably terrible," Britta says.

Annie's mind is whirring. Working in the dean's office wouldn't exactly be enjoyable, but the GPA boost wouldn't hurt. Especially after that biology test.

Abed looks right at her and nods, as though he could read her mind. "Annie, I think you should do it," he says decisively.

"What?" Jeff looks up from his phone, temporarily abandoning his texting. "Why?"

Abed smiles mysteriously. "I think this is one of those episodes where the heroine needs to volunteer for a potentially-dangerous task so she can save all of her friends."

"Dangerous?" Shirley's voice has an edge to it now. "I don't know if I want Annie doing something dangerous, that doesn't sound--"

"I'll do it," Annie says decisively.

"Just one thing," Abed cautions her. "I don't think you should remind the Dean that you're part of this study group."

"Why not?" Pierce is belligerent as usual. "What's wrong with our study group?"

"The dean might still be upset that Jeff wouldn't be his date for the Valentine's Dance."

"Oh," Pierce says. "I'd forgotten about that." He chuckles.

The Dean had crashed one of their study sessions wearing a slinky red ballgown with a rose clenched between his teeth. And when Jeff had declined the invitation, the Dean had thrown the rose at him and stormed off in a huff.

"Thanks for reminding us," Jeff says through clenched teeth.

"No sweat," Abed says, and smiles.

Annie uses one of the library terminals to download and print the application, and fills it out in purple gel pen, using her neatest handwriting, because appearances matter. When she gets to the Dean's office door, she sees Leonard shoving a paper airplane through the slot.

"Oh," she says, trying to sound friendly. Leonard has never exactly been nice to anyone who isn't one of his cronies, but it's always worth trying to be nice. "Are you applying, too?"

"Yep," Leonard says. "I'm a shoo-in. The Dean needs diversity on this little internship team, and I'll be the only applicant over 65 in the pool."

"Oh," Annie says faintly. "Well -- are you sure? One of your friends might apply too." She isn't sure why she's arguing with him. Maybe it's the way he's leering at her striped tights. She doesn't appreciate that.

"They won't." His voice is grim. "Not if they know what's good for 'em."

"O-kay," Annie sings, smiling her broadest smile, and takes a step back. "Well -- see you later!"

By the time Annie gets back to the library, her cellphone is buzzing with an incoming text.

U R on the internship team! Go you! See you at my office tomorrow, 8am #. - Dean

She can't help beaming. The semester's looking up already.


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The End