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No Strings Attached - An Homage

no strings attached – an homage
four times jeff and britta had sex, one time they fucked, and one time they didn’t

For trucherrygirl's prompt during Britta week:
Jeff/Britta, 5 Times They Slept Together Before "Paradigms of Human Memory" and the 1 Time They Didn't




She doesn’t snark about how tiny his apartment is.

Granted, she doesn’t have much time to take it in when she first sees it. There’s a lot of throwing of clothing once the door is shut behind them, and the way she tugs harshly on his earlobe with her teeth tells him that she’s not thinking about square footage.

They aren’t even in the front room that long and he finds himself glad that Shirley (somehow) found out that he didn’t exactly have a bed and helped him remedy that problem. They certainly put it to good use.

Still, though, he’s kind of disappointed by the lack of comment. Even afterwards, when she’s washing her hands in the bathroom sink, standing in her surprisingly feminine underwear, not so much as a knowing smirk crosses her face when she sees the all-too-familiar taps. He’s beginning to wonder what happened to the real Britta when he hears her exclaiming from the kitchen about how he doesn’t use fair-trade coffee.

For some reason, her ranting makes him smile.



She’s still mad at him for showing the entire group the string of condoms that were in her purse. Actually, she’s still mad at him for insisting on pretending he had a date with “Gwynnifer” or whatever the name was. (And, really? What kind of bitch-ass name was “Gwynnifer”?)

He offers to drive her home and, like an idiot, she accepts. She knows exactly what he’s doing, but she does nothing to stop him. She doesn’t stop him when he gets out of the car to walk her to her door. She doesn’t stop him when he comes inside to “make sure she settles in okay.” She doesn’t stop him when he kisses her, and kisses her like he means it.

He’s becoming a real habit, she thinks. Habits are things she doesn’t like to form. Too constricting, especially with her lifestyle. (Of course, the habit of never making habits is one that she’s still trying to break.)

She wonders, between being kissed like the sun’s about to implode and screaming the names of every deity she’s never believed in, if this is one habit she doesn’t want to prevent from forming.

As they lay curled around one another, her back to his stomach, his arm thrown carelessly around her and her cold feet pressed into his warm legs, she makes a decision.

Tomorrow. I’ll decide what to do tomorrow.



She rips one of his blazers.

He doesn’t notice at the time, since he’s too busy licking her neck like she was made in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, but it happens. Maybe, if he strains his memory, he remembers a slight ripping sound that he promised himself he’d investigate later, but most of what happened last night is lost in a haze of alcohol anyway.

It’s one of those nights that he promised himself would never happen. Or maybe it’s a string of things he promised himself he’d never do, all happening in one night. He can’t really decide which, but it feels like a bad thing, so he regrets it.

Troy drives his car. He gets drunk in front of the study group. He kisses Britta like she’s air and he’s drowning—in front of Abed. It turns out that the bar he likes to go to is actually the hipster hangout that Britta frequents. It’s just been a bad night.

He should really say no when she offers to let him crash at her place, but he’s drunk and Troy’s still in the driver’s seat of his car and he really doesn’t want to face the hangover alone.

He stays. They have sex. It’s hot and sweaty and he leans on her hair and she knees him accidentally and they almost roll onto the floor at one point.

He can’t quite bring himself to care when he finds the rip.



She’s gotten better at noticing things after spending time with Abed and Troy. Not that they’re especially good at noticing—well, Abed is—but the things they do and say kind of require that she look a little deeper than she used to.

She notices that Troy, who is in charge of dressing everyone, insists on putting her in a Mia Wallace costume when Jeff refuses to wear anything but a nice suit (thereby casting him as Vincent Vega). She notices that Troy suggests (several times) that she give Jeff “private dance lessons” so they can accurately reenact the famous dance number. She notices that Jeff is snarkier than usual and suggests she wear a fake syringe sticking out of her chest.

When the party is over, she can’t help but notice that he seems a little off balance. Almost—dare she say it—vulnerable. He’d never admit to it, she knows, but when they walk out of the restaurant, she hangs back until she’s walking next to him, and places a careful hand on his back. He looks down at her and almost smiles in that genuine way that lets her know he means it.

Her car’s in the impound from being towed last week and she still hasn’t come up with the money to get it back, so she’s relied mostly on Annie to get to school every day. When Annie offers to drive her home (in that polite way with her eyes flicking between Abed and Troy like she’d really rather not so the three of them can continue the Pulp Fiction party back at Abed’s dorm), she declines and points at Jeff.

They don’t even make it out of the parking lot.

His backseat is actually quite roomy—at least, roomy enough for what they’ve got in mind. Her wig comes off quickly and he tries to laugh at the hairnet she wore to keep her real hair from showing, but she shuts him up rather effectively, she thinks. Somehow her foot ends up stuck between the seat back and the seat cushion and the rear air conditioning vent is, like, right next to her ear, but she doesn’t really care because the things he’s doing are somehow more effective than usual. If she were a different sort of person, she wouldn’t consider getting him this emotionally unstable just for the sex. Thankfully, she’s the sort of person who only thinks about it for a second.

When they’re done, she presses her cold ear into his warm chest and tells him to shut up when he complains. It makes her feel better somehow when he laughs.



Exactly twenty minutes transpire after their agreement to stop before he realizes that he can’t do this. He sends her a text message and takes the longest route he can find to the storage room where they hold their “secret meetings.” She’s there when he arrives and then he’s on her like the animal he is.

They’re never gentle or sweet when they do this, but this time is somehow different. He’s rougher, she’s angrier, it’s like there’s a physical pain inside of each of them and they’re taking it out on each other. He crushes her mouth against his and she grips his shoulders hard enough to bruise.

They’ve had angry sex before. Rough, hateful, wild. This is worse. They’re almost trying to leave scars. Her nails dig deep into his back and he growls when their bones crack as they come together. He doesn’t know how, doesn’t know why, but he can’t not do this and it scares him and infuriates him and confuses him and he just wants her to understand what she does to him.

The thing is, she does understand. That confuses him, too. That she’s in the same boat he is and neither of them know why. Between the two of them, you’d think they’d have some answers by now. But all they have is sweat and muttered oaths and God do that again and maybe if you’d stop squirming I’d be able to.

Neither say a word when it’s over, but there’s a silent agreement in the air to never make a stupid agreement like that again.



She’s dying. Well, not really, but it feels like it. She’s hormonal and mean and when she catches Abed studying “the” chart, she just about bites his head off. She takes the chocolate, though, because she needs it. No, really.

After classes she goes straight home, unwilling to deal with Greendale’s shit for any longer than she has to. She pops about six of those generic Advil knockoffs, fishes the heating pad out of her closet, and falls into a restless sleep.

When she wakes up, her room doesn’t look like it’s been hit by a hurricane anymore, and she can smell something frying in the kitchen. Her stomach growls, long and low, to remind her that she hasn’t eaten anything since breakfast due to her monster cramps. She slides out of bed and into a pair of drawstring sweatpants to investigate.

It’s Jeff. Cooking. In an apron. She shouldn’t be shocked (she’s seen him cook before), but she is. Also, she didn’t know she had a wok.

“Finally awake?” he says. Too out of it to think of a snarky retort, she nods. He sends her a smile (a real one, as if she isn’t confused enough already), and motions for her to sit at the tiny table across the kitchen. It’s been cleared of her usual debris. “I’ll be done in a minute.”

It’s a vegetable stir-fry and it’s not exactly the best thing she’s ever eaten in her life, but it’s pretty darn close. She eats as though she hasn’t in nearly a week and he strangely refrains from comment. He keeps looking at her funny, and she’d really like for him to say something tactless so she can go back to passively hating him.

Her karma must finally be coming around, because in the next moment he says, “You know, you’d be able to eat faster if you gave up the chopsticks and just went with the fork I gave you.”

She throws a bit of carrot at him and continues to use the chopsticks.

He follows her to the bedroom when she’s done and goes over to the recently unearthed stereo system sitting atop her dresser. Whatever CD he wants must already be in, because he only needs to press a couple buttons before the music starts playing.

Her throat closes up, even as she lets loose an involuntary laugh. We Suck Young Blood by Radiohead. Of course he would.

He climbs in the bed next to her when she lays down and wraps his arms around her. She’s tired enough and full enough that she doesn’t really mind. His hand is up under her shirt so that his thumb can rub circles on her stomach. She’s almost asleep when he whispers in her ear.

“I think I know why this is getting so hard,” he says. She murmurs in response, laying her hand on his arm. More time passes in silence and she’s again on the brink when he finally says, “I love you.”

“Shut up,” she grumbles, twisting around to face him. She burrows into him and sighs contentedly, ignoring his chuckle, though it’s difficult when her ear is right up against his chest. After a moment, her eyes fly open and she yells, “What?



( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 3rd, 2011 12:27 am (UTC)
What a wonderful in-character look inside their heads--and beds. You did a great job showing them grappling with their confusion about not knowing why they get so wrapped up in each other, especially in the aftermath of Paradigms of Human Memory. It's neat that we both wrote for the same prompt and got two stories that are so different.

Thanks for sharing this story with us!
Jun. 3rd, 2011 10:47 am (UTC)
Thanks so much! :D I actually really, really, really loved your story. I saw that someone else posted for the same prompt and I had to see what yours was like. I actually liked it more than mine, but my beta says I'm not allowed to judge which is better. XD

But thank you, from the very bottom of my pencil case. :)
Jun. 3rd, 2011 08:07 pm (UTC)
Your beta is a smart person!

I love your Community stories so I'm so happy to hear that you liked mine. Group hug!
Jun. 3rd, 2011 09:35 am (UTC)
This was seriously so great—I could picture every moment easily because the way you write them is just spot-on. Loved it.
Jun. 3rd, 2011 10:51 am (UTC)
Thank you so incredibly much! I love writing for these two. They're so beautifully flawed and I want to accentuate each flaw for the story. It's hard not to jam-pack everything with bad decisions, snark-a-thons, and smirks.

Thanks for your comment. It really means a lot to me. :D
Jun. 3rd, 2011 01:00 pm (UTC)
Great fic! I love how completely in character it is, and what an emotional punch it has. ♥
Jun. 3rd, 2011 01:04 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! :D I loved writing it--Britta and Jeff are so interesting to write for! They're all flaws and mistakes and denial. I'm planning a couple more things for them for when J/B week comes around.

Thanks again! ♥
Jun. 3rd, 2011 01:24 pm (UTC)
They're so beautifully flawed

That's what I love about them, individually and as a couple. Loved loved loved this. :)
Jun. 3rd, 2011 01:29 pm (UTC)
What makes these characters so special to me is that they're so incredibly unperfect that it becomes almost a strength rather than a weakness. I love characters who break the mirror instead of look into it, and that's what Jeff and Britta are to me.

Thanks so much for your comment! :D I'm glad to see someone else loves these characters for their shortcomings rather than their redeeming qualities like me.
Jun. 3rd, 2011 04:41 pm (UTC)
Aaah this is super awesome! <333
Jun. 3rd, 2011 07:36 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! ♥
Jun. 3rd, 2011 08:20 pm (UTC)
Adorable! <3
You capture them so well, too. Excellent job.
Jun. 3rd, 2011 08:22 pm (UTC)
Icon love! <3

Thanks so much for your comment. I really loved writing this, so I'm glad you enjoyed it! :)
Jun. 3rd, 2011 09:15 pm (UTC)
I really liked this -- nobody does Jeff/Britta anymore since they've broken up. Quite sad, really.
Jun. 4th, 2011 01:31 am (UTC)
OMG, I got 2 people to do the same prompt! YES!! I love how they are both SO different, yet each story manages to catch something about Jeff and Britta that is so uniquely them. You've captured every unseen moment in such perfect Jeff/Britta fashion and I LOVE your style so much!

I do think they would have sex and then they would also have angry sex, so I'm REALLY glad you wrote that! A lot of people seem them as similar, which I do as well, but I also see them as complete opposites. I think you showcased that well in the angry sex sequence. But seriously, every part of this was like reading gold.

I especially love your +1. So perfect and so totally them being cuddly without being super committed, letting themselves be in the moment without losing track of who they are. Or maybe it's just cuz I'm a sucker for cuddle moments with my favorite ships!

I also left you a tweet! But if you want a prompt done during J/B week in return, let me know! I also write Jeff/Britta, but it's all posted to Fanfiction.Net. I feel like I owe you now.

Jun. 4th, 2011 02:09 am (UTC)
Thanks so much! :D I really enjoyed writing this--getting a chance to catch Jeff and Britta at their best and worst. I wrote it, like the title says, as an homage to No Strings Attached, which had a scene very much like this in it. The cuddling and period-related songs, anyway.

I love writing for these two. They're so perfectly unperfect.

You really don't owe me anything, I promise! I try to leave a prompt every week so that there's a variety for roving fanfiction authors to chose from. If you want to fill a prompt, fill it because the prompt speaks to you, not because you feel it's owed. :)

Thanks so much for your wonderful prompt, and thanks for your wonderful comment! <3
Jun. 5th, 2011 07:30 pm (UTC)
ahhhh I loved this! : )
though I'm wondering if you meant fair trade coffee?
Jun. 5th, 2011 07:57 pm (UTC)
Yes I did, sorry. I rewrote the beginning about eight times before I was satisfied with it, so that part was very last minute and I didn't have time to find out what the correct phrase was before I posted. I was trying to make sure I made it under the cut for the roundup at the end of Britta week.

Thanks so much for commenting and so much for pointing that out! :)
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )