Date: January 22, 2019 11:08 am Title: Shirt
Argh Roy! Get a move on, you big oaf.
But, yeah, I can see where he's coming from. And how he's not really fast keeping up.
Strange how he realises about all those things he didn't really noticed before, only he did, but they weren't important in his life.
Anyways, sorry about the rambling. Great update!
Author's Response: I mean, this is Roy, sadly. He's always out of sync with Pam in time, lagging behind her. I feel sorry for hum...but only so sorry. Thanks for reading!
Date: January 22, 2019 10:59 am Title: Shirt
Where was all this attention when you were together Roy? Oh that's right, you were to focused on yourself and just coasting to truly realize how great Pam was. Now all of a sudden that she's new and interesting but more importantly not with you, do yo finally notice.
Okay, now that's all out of the way. Roy's thought process is interesting here. Clearly he's not over her, and won't be for a long time. I like how you basically still have him in denial. All the lines that he's lying to himself that this is just a fight and she'll come back to him. I get the guy is hurting. However it looks like he's finally starting to see some of the why's of the breakup and that he had a much larger part to play than he might have first admitted. Always a pleasure reading this one.
Author's Response: As I mentioned a few updates ago, I think, I am a little worried that my Roy seems so convincing, but I'm glad the thought processes here are sufficiently believable. Thanks!
Date: January 22, 2019 08:48 am Title: Pack
Ouch! My heart! You are evil, you know? An amazing writer, though.
Author's Response: Thank you! For both, actually, since I have to admit that at this point in the narrative "being evil" really just means "sticking to the storyline." Such a sad part of the series...
Date: January 22, 2019 08:42 am Title: Casino Night: A Triptych
This is, hands down, the most perfect version I've read of "Casino Night". I love the way you manage your PoV, and how you paint the whole picture putting all three together. Really beautiful.
"like reading closed captions lagging two to three seconds behind the action, the words not quite making sense". This is perfect. Just perfect.
And of course, Pam being silent was the worst.
Thanks so much for a wonderful update.
Author's Response: Thank you so much! That means a lot to hear. I tend to try to steer away from Casino Night since for AUs I like to go happy, but I've had a lot of ideas about it bouncing around in my head ever since I started writing on this site, and this is how they came out. I'm very glad it worked well for you, because I had a lot invested in this version.
Date: January 21, 2019 08:54 am Title: Deer
I loved Jim's confusion regarding his need for attention and Pam's preference for not attracting it; that's a really subtle detail that says a lot about the two of them.
That whole string of thought after he wonders if she feels more caught then noticed.. oh, that got me good.
Author's Response: Thanks for paying that close of attention! I really appreciate your thoughtful reviews.
Date: January 21, 2019 05:28 am Title: After
Double update! Whoo! Okay now that's out of the way cause this chapter isn't really a "whoo-hoo" moment. Sometimes Pam is to nice for her own good and that's what I get here. Don't get me wrong I completely understand. The line "once you've kicked a puppy you don't feel comfortable coming at it with a 2x4," sums that up great. Given they still work in the same building it's clearly impossible that she and Roy would not see each other, but his insistence on showing up all the time would obviously make that harder, thus triggering all that we see here with Pam.
I think you're right there at the end. Roy is trying to save face, both with himself and with others. He knows he royally screwed up and he's trying to get everyone to see that so they'll pressure Pam to take him back. It might look like he's changed, but the way you have it, he's still the selfish guy he was before. Good on Pam for seeing that, even if no one else will.
Author's Response: Yeah, I figured I'd miss a day (see: yesterday) so I needed the double to tide the story over. And yeah, this is definitely the dynamic I see with both Pam (not kicking the puppy enough) and Roy (still being selfish). I'm delighted that the story I'm trying to tell is coming across so clearly for you; thanks for the consistent reviews, they really help keep me on track.
Date: January 21, 2019 05:21 am Title: Pack
Aww Jim. Yeah, that would be a weekend from Hell. Hoping she'd call or do anything. His last walk through the office triggering so many memories that now are just driving further spikes into his heart. Gotta feel for the guy at this point.
Author's Response: Definitely feel for the guy! Though hey, just a thought, maybe wait more than 72 hours before you leave? Just a thought. Thanks for the review!
Date: January 19, 2019 04:14 pm Title: Casino Night: A Triptych
For a short-ish chapter, you did all three of them justice.
We'll start with Pam. That there could have been more to the "I can't," was inspired. Her feeling of shock and only being able to choke out those words seems very appropriate based on what we saw in canon and in all the chapters leading up to this. She's beyond deer-in-the-headlights here. You really get the feelings she's in a fog and doesn't know how to get out of it.
Moving onto Jim. Such a wide range of things we see here. From frustration, to a small glimmer of hope, to defeat. All the barriers he's had trying to carefully separate his emotions are utterly destroyed here. That last line in his section summed it all up so great. "If she couldn't even talk to him, there was no reason to stay." So easy to see how he reaches this conclusion.
Then there's Roy. No he's not the most observant guy, but after all this time at least on thing has sunk in. He finally figured out that Jim is interested in Pam in more than a friendly way. Makes sense that Roy would notice competition first. It's clear he's still thinking that Pam would never leave him. Why would he think anything else? He's been focused on himself and outside threats that the idea of a threat to his relationship from Pam isn't anywhere near to being on his radar. Looks like he's in for a rather surprising revelation in that regard.
I wish I still had some jelly beans to give to this story, because this chapter most assuredly deserves them. Great job.
Author's Response: Thanks! For me this was a longish chapter ;) though yes, since I did 3 it was on average short per character. I'm glad the treatment of this night for each worked well for you. For me this is one of those moments where choices I'd made while writing the rest came home to roost a little. Pam is sufficiently done with Roy, for instance, that I definitely wanted the "I can't" to be more than sheer intransigent disbelief. That was the biggest risk I was worried about here, so thanks for touching on it.
Date: January 18, 2019 04:08 pm Title: Angry
What do I think of this Roy? What haven't I said already? But since you insist. He still just doesn't get it. Love doesn't mean you get endless chances to be forgiven. It means you do what you can for the other person not make excuses for your own behavior.
I think the most telling line here that really gets to what Roy's thinking is this one; "she was like family to him." Like family means he's still not thinking of her AS family, even though they're supposed to be getting married. Again Roy has no clue what it means to be engaged. Now that I'm rolling I could actually probably go on about some large rant, but I'd probably end up repeating myself a bunch of times.
As usual, great chapter. Clear writing that makes it easy to get into the head of your characters.
Author's Response: Well, I wasn't sure whether this chapter got Roy away from where he'd been before, so I wanted to check in. Thanks for assuaging my concerns. I'm glad this still seems to work with their trajectories.
Date: January 17, 2019 11:25 am Title: Silence
Pam's turn to not get all the pieces. Though from how you set it up, it makes sense. That Pam can't quite get that Jim might have romantic feelings fits her considering her reaction on Casino Night. Yes there may have been hints in the past, Jim reviewing the grilled cheese on the roof for example, but I could see that in the midst of wedding planning Pam could have easily forgotten about things like that and gone back to the old habit of Jim's my best friend.
Roy is still Roy and it looks like Pam's starting to see that too. Good job with this one.
Author's Response: Thanks! It was really important for me that Pam not be ready for Jim's revelation on Casino Night, and this was my attempt to move her in that direction: aware that they're important to each other, but not really admitting to herself why or how much.
Date: January 16, 2019 03:06 pm Title: Flight
Very fitting. I look back to the heart to heart talk Jim had with Dwight in the stairwell during Season 4. How Jim said he couldn't bear Pam being with Roy, "food having no taste," and the like. I see the beginnings of that shift in this. Inside Jim's mind this growing turmoil. The fact he know's he's leaving and won't be there to watch this wedding he's been dreading seems to allow him to still try to be the fun guy who even on the day of and during Casino night can still smile and laugh with Pam. Before it all falls apart that is.
Author's Response: Yeah, I think Jim's doing a lot of segmentation here: this emotion goes here, this one goes here, all can be hunky-dory. And I think by S4 he's sort of looking back and realizing it didn't work as well as he thought it did. And we are so close to it all falling apart...Thanks for reading.
Date: January 16, 2019 09:57 am Title: Pasta
Pam is a better woman than I! Mind you, I don't cook...but if I did, it would have to be for a better audience than Roy. Great depiction of the reality of the relationship versus the visual poor Jim had when he heard Roy's promise in the office.
Author's Response: I mean, she's also more of a doormat, sadly. Thank you for the feedback, and I'm glad that Jim's visual being wrong works for you (it certainly does for me..)
Date: January 15, 2019 06:22 pm Title: Pasta
I feel for Pam here. Her frustration at dating a teenager in a man's body. That she's starting to realize he's not worth it anymore is good to see. I know there's still a lot to slog through. Sorry no really big in depth write up this time. What else really needs be said about this than what you so eloquently put down?
Author's Response: Hey, I appreciate the short feedback just as much as the long! I wish Pam had woken up a little faster...but I think both in canon and in this story she's aware of the problems with Roy and her appreciation of Jim a lot before she puts two and two actually together. Right now I'd say she's at a good 3.5 out of 4...
Date: January 14, 2019 11:12 am Title: Union
Wow, Roy actually got a few more of the pieces put together here. Not all of them mind you, but more. Of course he's still an insensitive jerk. I mean if he's noticed since high school that Pam's been interested in art, and now wants to pursue that it shows that he's only in the relationship for what he can get out of it, not what he can do for Pam.
Again he thinks he's noticing things, but he's not really. Pam's still his girlfriend, not fiance. He's more worried about how he is perceived and that he's getting a raw deal than what Pam thinks or wants. That the fact that he can't even fathom that Pam might leave him shows just how unobservant he truly is. Well done for again being able to get all that out.
Author's Response: Thank you! It's interesting (though disturbing) to occupy that Roy headspace each time: trying to weigh exactly what he'd notice versus what deeper subtleties he can't even realize he's not realizing. Thanks for reading!
Date: January 13, 2019 12:19 pm Title: Break
Was that another shout-out I spotted there? This time to AG's "Wake Me Up?" The "Roy left the toilet clogged and Jim came over to fix it," deal? If so nicely put in there.
Jim's thought process here is interesting. First he's thinking about his lot, and how much he misses his normal interactions with Pam. Completely believable here that that's where his mind would go first. Then the fact seeing that Roy won't talk to Pam. Knowing what we do about how canon-Jim reacted after Casino Night, it makes a lot of sense. I mean that in the fact that he's been having all these thoughts and feelings. He sees Roy not paying close attention to Pam. He DOES pay close attention to Pam, as you've been showing here. He's seeing Pam act a lot more friendly and flirty with him that her own fiance. Then to be told all those feelings were wrong, twice, no wonder the guy leaves for Stamford.
Maybe I'm getting ahead of things here, but the way you've got things going it's almost as though I can see the train of events unfolding and more importantly, why they unfolded as they did. Even with that, still great writing to convey all those thoughts and feelings to make it possible. Looking forward to the next update as always.
Author's Response: Thank you very much for the detailed feedback! Nice catch--yes, that is a Wake Me Up shout-out. And I am trying to get the train of events flowing towards Casino Night (and beyond); it's important to me that this be at least vaguely canon-compliant, and I appreciate you keeping me honest on that track.
Date: January 12, 2019 05:29 pm Title: Arcade
He knows her and yet he doesn't. Again your ability to have Roy see the surface issue but have no idea about what a level or two down is great here. And then when he does try to do something, his first instinct is to get something HE'D like before he thinks of things she might like. That he doesn't even stop to seriously consider changing his plans to be there for her shows he's still just an overgrown teenager. As much as I don't like Roy, you write him very well.
Author's Response: Thank you! I feel the same, which means it worries me that I have an easy time dipping into the ethos of "eh" that I see in him. Hoping it's not reflective of my own life! Your feedback is always well-thought-out, thank you.
Date: January 12, 2019 05:03 pm Title: Arcade
Ah, Roy. So clueless, but not in a bad way. I really hate when fanfics portrait him as mean or violent to Pam. I think there is more subtlety in their relationship. Thanks for the update
Author's Response: My pleasure! And yeah, I do think later Roy is more mean and violent (see: Cocktails) but pre-first-breakup I think they're really not there...otherwise it's a lot darker and I don't think actually supported by the footage. Thanks for reading!
Date: January 12, 2019 04:56 pm Title: Arcade
It's funny that he realizes that getting the groceries is a way to get on her good side...but if she needed them last week it's probably way too late. That whole part made me laugh a bit because it's so typical. Very realistic.
Author's Response: Yeah, I'm a little afraid of what it means that it's so easy to tap into the Roy vibe of "almost but definitely not quite." Thanks for reading!
Date: January 11, 2019 11:22 am Title: Sleep
I can definitely see this going on in Pam's head after they got home from the Booze Cruise. Once all the excitement of Roy setting the date wears off, she realizes that Roy yes did something big here, but after that, he's still the same boorish guy he's always been.
However seeing as she's been engaged for 3 years at this point and with Roy for longer the fact you have her clinging to that relationship also makes total sense. Regardless of how she feels for Jim, which in this chapter she clearly has some albeit confused feelings for him, she's still not ready to ditch on such a long relationship.
However she's still thinking about it. So very good job on getting all of Pam's confused thoughts and feelings out with this chapter. It's a good peak into how her mind is at this point in her journey.
Author's Response: Thanks! It is good to know that this is still hanging together with the arcs of the characters in-canon since that is my goal here.
Date: January 10, 2019 06:08 pm Title: Do
Roy makes me think about my ex, and your take on him is as if you knew him on the flesh
Author's Response: Well, I hope those thoughts aren't too unpleasant, because I hope you're enjoying the story, but I really appreciate hearing that I'm doing a good job of conjuring out a Roy-like feel from these chapters. Thank you.
Date: January 10, 2019 05:58 pm Title: List
That last line almost hurts, because I can see how it can be true for Jim.
Author's Response: Yeah, there have been times in my life I could relate to that feeling, and it just seemed...appropriate for Jim there. Thanks for reading!
Date: January 10, 2019 05:44 pm Title: Un
I love pre documentary Jim/Pam. And this chapter was perfectly done. I sounds real, the way you start noticing things after something triggers you to.
Author's Response: Thank you! I really enjoy trying to figure out what they'd have been like before we see them, so I'm glad this worked for you!
Date: January 10, 2019 03:03 pm Title: Hockey
Pam talking to a scrawny kid at the end of the hockey game? Interesting...perhaps a scrawny kid who grew up to be a lanky adult paper salesman? If so, I liked how that was tossed in there.
Ah Roy, even after 10 years he's still clueless. Yes! Even after 10 years she still gets upset about the hockey game. Why? Because it set the tone that while you may like her by your side, you don't truly notice her since you're so willing to ditch her for other things.
That you're writing Roy as having all the facts, but unable to piece them together is nice work. Also I'd keep giving jellybeans, but I've already given my limit for this story. If I could I'd give more, just so you know.
It is! A hat tip to Forgotten by Muppet, which I highly recommend.
And I'm glad this Roy is making sense for you, since it's basically the only way I can make sense of him myself. Thanks for the feedback as always!
Date: January 10, 2019 02:56 pm Title: Deer
That one took attention to get through. With Jim trying to think about how Pam might be thinking given the context of their day and all. I don't blame him for having to go through all those mental gymnastics to try and figure out what happened at the dojo. I also liked how you brought his list back into his line of thinking. And it's just there as an offhand remark. He's grown so used to it by now that thinking about that list comes quickly and leaves almost as fleetingly since it's so ingrained by now. However Jim is also trying to find the deeper meanings to what Pam says and does, which is why he's better for her ultimately. Well done with this one.
That is fair. I think Jim's thoughts are a bit windy here, so that probably showed up in the writing. Thanks for working through it!
Date: January 09, 2019 05:00 pm Title: Deer
So as I read most of this, I kept thinking, "But is it just that?" Don't get me wrong, I felt like you were right, that just wasn't ALL of it with Pam (especially in the context of Jim - all the time, not just at the dojo). Then you wrote that freaking "caught" paragraph and I literally groaned out loud because THAT was the cherry on the sundae of breaking down her insecurity.
And I love that he referenced that outline. Good follow through.
I also really love how in the previous chapter, Roy acknowledges he and Pam are different and it's fine; they can coexist through it. (BTW, not an endorsement of that philosophy, esp for someone like Pam; she's far too intuitively driven to live like that.) But here, Jim recognizes their differences and, I don't know, I just feel like it is an "early days" understanding that Jim has that those differences can be blended rather than just standing side by side. Maybe I'm off base from where you're intending to take it, but I think it's a nice insight into Jim later saying, "I think I always knew I was waiting for my wife." If I'm wrong I'll just throw a towel over my head and this review. :D
Yeah, I think that's 100% fair...but I also think that Jim at this point has a slightly less than full view of Pam in that he's kind of built her up a bit inside. Not that she's not awesome (I am firmly pro-Pam in all facets and on all points) but I'm not quite sure Jim in early S2 understands and values her weaknesses as well as her strengths. So I was trying to get that sense there (without making him unworthy of her of course).
And yes! I think that Jim (despite what I said above) has the right understanding of how two people can work together, compared to Roy at least, and that this is an important reason why his and Pam's relationship works better than hers and Roy's. Thank you for the detailed commentary!