Date: January 20, 2022 03:53 am Title: Chapter 10
Nice to get a little different POVs here and I really enjoyed what you did with Oscar and his wine. Screw tops (ha ha, yes, that is the vintage of Michael) - I did lol when Holly asked for the straw -glad she was only kidding, partly. It was also very telling she didn't really like the wine.
Now it was a clever way to give us the take on what went down in all the sessions (even if they shouldn't be discussing their clients, lol) and the whole bit about 'what if love isn't enough' was so, so well put and expressed.
I enjoyed how all along you've also got Holly thinking of her own situation.
Once again we see Kelly's genius in that she was able to figure out from her topographical expertise that Ryan was nowhere near the waterfall and actually near the singles side. Now I don't feel all that bad. yeah not at all really for the Howard-Kapoors. I do feel a little bad for Mizzy and the Schrutes and I'll tell you after the way Pam gave it to Jim I honestly feel bad for him the most. Glad she finally was able to speak her truth, good for you Pam, always like it when Pam finds her voice and communicates, but it does seems like Jim is really trying to juggle a lot to make a better life for the whole family. It's tough he seems to be falling a little too much on the work side, and Pam is left to make up the shortfall on the home side. I hope together they can figure out a balance.
Again I love the way Holly equates Pam's bravery with being able to find some of her own.
It's unfortunate that all of the issues to be worked out and Holly's own bravery will have to be put on hold because of whatever TOBY has done here. What a cliffhanger. You really have me on the edge of my seat wondering what is happening. Great chapter!!! Update soon please.
Date: January 17, 2022 03:30 pm Title: Chapter 10
Always love how well you capture the voices of each character here, and this is really well done Oscar and Holly. Oscar indulging in his wine snobbery is both very in character and very funny and give us a good backstage look at how this all works. And I love Holly - someone who is very Michael, but with enough social graces to not be Michael when it counts.
Love the glances of Kelly here as someone who is paying closer attention than she lets on.
Jim and Pam seem remarkably close to a real breakthrough here. They're starting to say some things that need to be said, even if they're hard to hear and hard to know what to do with. Feels like it's going to get worse before it gets better though.
TOBY. Can't wait to see where you're going with THAT twist.
Date: January 17, 2022 12:46 am Title: Chapter 10
First off, loved Oscar’s finer things club for one. And Holly’s reaction to his wine. So sweet to find our more about her wanting to be more with Michael. Loved getting their take on all the couples. My heart is still breaking for Jim and Pam though! Can’t wait to see what Toby brings!!
Date: January 16, 2022 04:12 pm Title: Chapter 10
I liked this bit of a break. Getting the outside opinion after some fairly heavy chapters was a good way for us the reader to take a breath. I don't think Oscar was over the top at all. Felt fairly in character actually. Him wanting his Finer Things Club wine and cheese fits well. Also nice job on all the wine verbage.
Holly trying to like the fancy wine but her style being more along the lines of Michael fits really well for her. Felt like she was starting to have her own breakthrough moment there too.
Really glad to hear Pam saying all that to Jim. That's she's tired of being second to his job. And pointing out all the ways he's made his job the priority rather than her. Great way to gain some courage there Pam.
So now Toby is here and all the guests are gone. Really curious to see what all that entails. Nice work as always.
Date: January 15, 2022 07:49 am Title: Chapter 9
It really hurt my heart when Pam turned away from his kiss. Really hit me hard but I liked the note about Izzy's snoring, but I can't understand ever loving this about someone - but that is my own personal issue. It is such a interesting gracenote here.
Still also invested in the Mizzy troubles, not a lot about them here but enough to make me hurt for them too.
The ideas in Andy's head as he catches them are fun too - wait until he shares them with Kevin (I can't remember if he's shown up in this story yet).
Of course Dwight has brought his own fins and wetsuit, of course and of course they would cause an issue later - even if it's more Jim and Mark to blame, Dwight kinda brings it on himself sometimes with his ridiculousness and his overbearing personality. But that Jim pulled the prank with Mark instead of Pam, who would usually be his biggest prank fan also was bumming me out.
Oh and the confusion that he's having an affair with Athleach or Ashley by Dwight and Michel is classic.
But she seemed too busy thinking about all the missed opportunities and his phone calls to be with him here. Sorry she's got to be going through that when she could be having fun pranking with Jim.
Always love independent Pam - likewise the Pam/Dwight friendship which is alluded to here and her saving him was pretty badass.
Looking forward to seeing them all come up on the other side of all this - hoping that's where it is going for all of them.
Date: January 14, 2022 09:40 am Title: Chapter 9
(He must still do. Surely. You don’t just stop loving that about someone. Do you?) - okay. Devastating. Thank you for that.
I love the mix of despair here, the deeply-hidden notion that things might not work out coming to the surface, with Andy comically stumbling into the moment. This is... very Nard Dog, all the way through.
(Not his bed, really, without Pam in it). Okay, the parentheticals are killing me here. And you've painted a couple of truly lovely pictures of their life together, as lovers and as co-parents and as friends, very effectively heightens the sense of loss.
Ah jeez. The waterfall and then the snorkeling - lot of big moments where they easily could connect slipping by the wayside here.
Ooof at the very well-intentioned and protective Dwight somehow managing to cause problems for himself and irritate everyone else. He's darn funny here though. And Pam *is* badass. Not altogether sure why Jim and Mark thought this prank would be well received. There's such a thing as timing, guess, and it's important for comedy.
*Sigh* Darkness before dawn? Hopefully? Maybe? Please?
Date: January 11, 2022 05:04 am Title: Chapter 9
Still lots of big feelings here. I will say this much, Dwight is right in one regard. Jim is 100% having an affair. With his job. It's clear what he really values at this moment and clearly it's not Pam. Hard as that is to say. Otherwise, Dwight is really laying it on thick. I mean, it's almost past the normal Dwight oafishness into he's just plain being mean. Personally I think Dwight needs more of that sharp Jim statement where Jim tells Dwight to work on his own marriage rather than being pranked.
Speaking of that, time and place Jim. Getting back at Dwight right then? Probably not the best idea. But then again he doens't have his normal partner. There were times Pam would pull Jim back from going after Dwight. Without that guiding influance it all backfires.
And right when Pam was finally starting to really feel good about herself too. Feels like a really hard hit for everyone involved.
Date: January 10, 2022 11:57 pm Title: Chapter 1
Oh I am just totally in love with this story. So happy to see an update. Keep up the good work.
Also, totally in love with the fact that Dwight still thinks “Athleap” is another woman (the “Athleak whore” line broke me). Brilliant.
Date: January 10, 2022 04:03 pm Title: Chapter 9
So much to love in this chapter! Pam's willingness to help Dwight is all you need to know about who she is. Pam's sadness that once again Jim was choosing something over her (I've lost count how many times it has been) by sharing a float with Mark was heartbreaking. He's aware she's upset but hey my phone is wrecked, getting Dwight back is at the top of the list. Isabel & Pam should make Andy's dream come true, kick their husband's to the curb and ride off into the sunset.
I kid, I am only able to deal with all of the angst because I have faith in a happy JAM ending but Jim is digging that hole mighty deep. Pam's justified if she just can't anymore. Adore Dwight here as he continues to defend Pam's honor. Always a fan of the Dwight/Pam friendship. He respects her.
The fact that I'm getting so worked up is a testament to how great this story is!
Date: January 10, 2022 03:08 pm Title: Chapter 9
Arghhh!! My heart is actually aching for Pam right now. You’ve written this chapter so well, it really captures all the anguish that Pam is going through. Loved the line about Michel wanting to spend time with Ryan on the boat. Jim you’re killing me though! I need more!!
Date: January 04, 2022 02:47 pm Title: Chapter 8
Oh Basscop, this is once again absolutely gripping and I loved every word. Is it wrong that I was cheering on Dwight when he broke Jim's phone? Je ne regrette rien.
Author's Response: Ah, thank you so much! I'm thrilled you're enjoying it :) And haha, I may have also enjoyed the smashing of the phone. Sorry Jim. Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!
Date: January 01, 2022 02:27 pm Title: Chapter 8
Ok I'll admit, I'm a little confused how this scavenger hunt works. Maybe because I've seen only bits of the movie.
It doesn't matter anyway becasue it didn't take away from my interest and enjoyment of the read.
Dwight and Pam - the way he is trying to be helpful but fueling her little breakdown while confusing his work for a tramp he's having or thinking of having a fling with. Classic.
But how she also has advice for him to take it easy on Angela and triggers his own shortcomings as it pertains to their fertility issues also was well portrayed.
The part with the keys, I really just loved that, very sweet.
But ughh, the losing Bridgeport and then losing the phone (thanks Dwight) and how it might lead to losing her - noooooo.
Not as much Mizzy her but the little bit you gave was enough to make me sad for everyone now.
Thanks very much! And ha, sorry - I think I slightly confused myself in the writing of it, lol. I was sort of hoping I could just put it down to Michael designing a confusing exercise and get away with it. (Tbf it's not actually in the movie either). Really glad you enjoyed the rest of it though! And yeah, I did want Dwight to also sort of start to learn something from Pam too, even if he's a bit slow in getting there.
Sorry for all the relationship angst :D We are getting there with the couples though, I promise...
Thank you so much for your review!
Date: January 01, 2022 05:53 am Title: Chapter 8
Ahhh so happy there’s an update but oh my god. Jim what are you playing at?! Loved the Pam/Dwight interaction, felt very canon like. Oh that Valentine’s scavenger hunt. Go back to being that guy Jim!!
Can’t wait for your next update! Happy new year!
Author's Response: Thanks so much! And haha yes, sorry for the Jim. He will get there. Eventually. Really glad you enjoyed the Pam/Dwight interaction too, I really love them as a pair. Thanks very much for reading and reviewing!
Date: December 31, 2021 10:05 pm Title: Chapter 8
Okay. Not going to pretend I'm not finding all of this *extremely* hurtful... but it does feel like we're maybe still a ways and a classic Jim prank or two from wrapping up, and that's good news.
"As he squints along a row of palm trees, Dwight has never felt closer to Sun Tzu." This is just an amazing Dwight line. There is just a little of killer Dwight inner monologue in this chapter. (Seriously. Why are you letting us exploit your talent for free instead of off being a bestselling novelist somewhere?) I particularly enjoy Dwight accidentally triggering Pam's breakdown because he hadn't all thought that it might upset her to be told that her husband had gone to a singles resort and then promptly taking up Pam's cause against the "Athleak" whore. Dwight/Pam duo for life. (You've also got a very clear sense of how their fertility issues might impact the psyche of a together-with-Angela Dwight. Spot on.)
I will freely confess I never saw the "business goes into freefall and Dwight destroys Jim's phone" twist coming, in spite of the fact that you laid plenty of groundwork for it. And what a perfect storm - Pam being delayed from going to the spot she knows he *should* be by her lack of confidence in new Jim, Jim feeling let down by Pam, the business disaster, all combining at once. Ouch. Just ouch.
And MORE ouch. "Although he does know that whoever thought cream and Bacardi was a good combination is a sadist. They’d had pina coladas on their honeymoon, and she’d tasted so good that he hadn’t stopped to think about it. Maybe they only taste good with her." My poor Misabel shipper heart.
VERY impatiently awaiting your next update. And a very happy new year to you.
Thank you so much! And lol yes sorry, I'm not sure if the next chapter will help on the hurtful front...or that Jim's prank will necessarily be a classic. But, um, all part of the journey?
I'm really glad you enjoyed the Dwight, haha - I think I actually find him the hardest to write. He ended up feeling a bit like Angela in a few parts, which I suppose could be a sign of their compatibility, but...I think he's still that *slight* bit more insane. Cf. the cat killing. But I am fully for the Dwight/Pam duo for life. And Dwight sort of accidentally helping her but triggering her when he's actually trying to help. (My goggling of how to spell Sun Tzu has also led me to believe that he probably sleeps with a copy of that book under his pillow).
And I'm very, very sorry for the continued Misabel angst. It will get better. Promise. :D
Thanks so much for reading, and for your kind words!
Date: December 31, 2021 10:23 am Title: Chapter 8
Yeah, so that's a big kind of an update. Interesting to see this interpretation of the Dwight and Pam friendship. That she can worm her way past his defenses like that and actually bring out the kind of caring guy Dwight can be. Nice way to bring that out.
Otherwise Dwight feels in classic early season form here. Plunging forward with all the macho self confidnce and I don't care about anything else we'd expect. Yeah he really needs to be taken down several pegs. Granted this Dwight hasn't had years of pranks being thrown at him to round off his edges so that's probably where it's coming from. At the same time he's still a condesending the rules must be followed for the sake of the rules slightly chauvanist jerk.
Oh Jim, just when we were starting to see some progress. Finally the Blackberry breaks, but then he goes and does the last thing he should. Oof. I can just about feel Pam's heart break when he demands her phone like that.
And now Jim and Mark are in the drinks. Not sure how that will turn out.
Still feels like everyone still has a long way to go.
Thanks so much! Yeah, I always love that side to Dwight that Pam brings out (although I wasn't sure how quickly she'd be able to do it here without the background of having known him for several years...so I hope it still sort of worked!) But yeah, classic Dwight otherwise.
And haha, Jim will get there. I promise. Drinks with Mark may not be the best way to do that, though.
Thanks very much, as ever, for your review! :)
Date: December 23, 2021 05:00 pm Title: Chapter 7
Ok, so now I know why I was waiting for you to complete this before I read it. Because I love it SO MUCH. Everything about it is just so great. And now I need more!!!
- Major Miner: just BRILLIANT. You’ve captured him so so well
- Michel: I actually laughed out at his full name. And the sweetness between him and Holly, I can’t even. It’s too cute
- I love when you bring Isabel and Mark into your stories and now they’re married? Well. I hope the island sorts them out
- Jam: everything about them is so perfectly written. Their backstory was so cute, and I love what you did with the card and teapot. I’m desperate for more of them. Is Pam going to find him?? God I hope so
Please don’t leave us hanging too long, I need more of this!!
Ah, thank you so much! I’m so thrilled to hear you’re enjoying it :) And I’m glad you’re enjoying Major Miner haha, he is one of my faves from the show so I was keen to work him into a fic. Also really glad you’re enjoying the non-Jam couples, they’re the ones I was most worried about as I find them a bit trickier to write. (I am becoming a bit of a fan of Mark and Isabel as a couple. though). Thanks so much for reading, and for your kind words!
Date: December 23, 2021 04:25 pm Title: Chapter 7
YAY. Very glad to see this and you back among us. (I actually saw Couples Retreat pop up on cable a week or two ago and nearly watched it. That's how desperate I was for an update to this fic.)
Okay, first, ow? Was that really necessary? #SaveMisabel dammit. Although I felt like this added a lot of depth to the way that Isabel's grief and the legacy of her father is creating/complicating/exacerbating their problems... even as it made that mountain look a heck of a lot harder to climb.
This exercise seems pretty well-founded considering who designed it... although I guess some of that is probably Holly's influence. I don't know if it's necessarily accomplishing its goals, but you can see Isabel and Jim and Pam trying to put themselves in their partners heads in a way that seems helpful... and Ryan refusing to in a way that's classically Ryan ("He’s left two fiancĂ©e’s for her now, and that’s without even mentioning the baby." Good lorde, man).
This was a very good Angela voice. Poor Mark. Glad he got through to her a little. And "Some men look hot when they think they’re explaining things she doesn’t know, ok, and she shouldn’t be judged for that" is SUPER Kelly.
Interesting seeing Jim and Pam mostly through other people's eyes in this chapter... very worried about how Jim's waterfall gambit is going to go...
Thanks very much! And haha, you should have done it (although I did rewatch it recently and had that depressing oh-it’s-actually-another-vaguely-problematic-early-2000s-romcom realisation. Sad times).
I can only apologise for the Misabel, lol - if it helps, they’re further along in their journey than the other couples, rather than necessarily in a worse place…?
I like to think Michael occasionally gets things right, even if it is accidental genius - but yeah, I would probably put this one more down to Holly. I was mainly thinking of that episode where she manages to track him down when I wrote it. Glad you enjoyed the Ryan and Kelly, hehe, I think they’re becoming some of my favourites to write.
Thank you so much for the review!
Date: December 23, 2021 03:44 pm Title: Chapter 7
First off - welcome back! Good to get an update on this one.
So I thought things had been going somewhat better for our Jam, but seems as if getting out of the envelope exercise because of the mix up was maybe not for the best.
They still do have those fears to discuss. Feels like Pam is letting hers get to her and make her think their connection isn't what it once was.
And Jim and that phone - oh but I love how Kelly still had two of hers and the whole bit with Kelly was lots of perfect fun.
And Izzy paired with Ryan - love the look into what she thinks of him (and she's not wrong)
I too am really into the Izzy and Mark stuff - this is where you have created a whole new couple to care about and with it comes a dearth of fresh and unique backstory - the issues with her dad and his voice like a third uninvited guest in their relationship. I do hope somehow they get through this.
Looking forward to part 2 of the treasure hunt.
Thanks so much! And yeah, Jam are not quite there yet…I always thought the discussing their fears was a big thing for them on the show too. I’m really glad you enjoyed the Kelly haha, I’m having a lot of fun with her. And the Isabel and Ryan pairing was one I really wanted to write lol, mainly because I couldn’t see Isabel putting up with any of his crap. Thank you so much for reading and reviewing!
Date: December 23, 2021 08:36 am Title: Chapter 1
It's taken me a while to get round to reading this, but I'm really enjoying it! It's colourful, the characters are spot on and it's a really interesting premise for the discussion of each couple's relationship issues.
I was touched by the notion of Mark and Izzy losing each other through the fear of losing each other; it explains so much. Not just about them, but about other relationships on the show too. (And I suppose, in general).
I'm liking that, even though Pam and Jim have issues to deal with, they seem to be working from a pretty solid base.
Ah, thank you so much! I’m so pleased to hear you’re enjoying it - and the Mark and Izzy too, they were the couple I was most worried about making believable as I’ve not got the show to steal from, lol. Thanks so much for reading, and for taking the time to leave feedback - I really appreciate it!
Date: December 22, 2021 07:17 pm Title: Chapter 7
Really good chapter here. Despite the craziness, it does appear that this exersise is bringing some things to light. Mark and Isabel are in deeper trouble than they though. Though just when Isable seems to have made a bit of a minor breakthrough that it's not just Mark's issues, he sees her with Charles. Never did like that guy. It really feels like it might be the end for them. I also really liked Mark taking Angela down a peg or two. She needs it being the uptight judgmental prick she is in this story.
I did not in any way expect the "one person who makes it all worthwile" line to come from Kelly of all people. Though I think she is saying it more out of a shallow minded (Sorry Kelly) obession with the looks of what a relationship should be rather than the deeper currents that a statement like that really means. However it also feels like Jim has something up his sleeve. Can't wait to find out what it is.
Don't worry about the lag in posting a chapter. It happens to all of us. Makes it all the more exciting when a new chapter does drop.
Thanks very much! And haha yes - I like to think there is occasionally (even if it’s accidental) genius in some of Michael’s craziness. Glad you enjoyed the Mark taking Angela down a peg too haha, I had fun writing the different pairings. And yeah, I’m going to say that when Jim spoke about ‘forgetting all the other stuff’ he was not thinking of things like Ryan’s baby, lol. Thanks so much for the review!
Date: December 22, 2021 03:58 pm Title: Chapter 7
Brilliant. And now I just want more, damnit! Poor Isabel and Mark though, I really hope this has a happy ending.
Haha, thanks so much! More on Mark and Isabel is coming…thanks for the review :)
Date: December 22, 2021 02:31 pm Title: Chapter 1
Very happy to see an update! Merry Christmas to me!
Every relationship seems to be on the cusp of imploding which will hopefully open their eyes to what they have and what's gone wrong. To bad Jim didn't trip instead of Ryan and smash his cell phone in the process!
Still providing humor to accompany the angst is appreciated.
Ha, thanks very much! I’m really glad you’re still enjoying it - and lol yes, I think the imploding is an important part of the journey…more to come on Jim’s phone, too :D Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!
Date: October 30, 2021 05:10 pm Title: Chapter 6
This was another great chapter, mixing laughs and heavy issues to keep me invested in the progress (or lack there of) of each couple.
Each chapter fleshes out the relationships and the strengths and weaknesses of each pair are becoming more in focus.
Mark & Isabel may seem the furthest apart or to have the most serious issues but it feels that they are the closest to a breakthrough because they are allowing their emotions to surface.
Jam, on the other hand, is still not addressing their actual issues which will continue to grow until they're too heavy for the relationship to bear. I have every confidence that won't happen. I mean I'm pretty sure. Jim! Lose the freaking phone.
Cannot wait for the next installment! I need more Jam, Mizzy, and Dwangela!
Author's Response: Thank you so much! And sorry for the delay in responding to this - I really appreciate you taking the time to leave feedback :) I'm so glad you're enjoying the different couples, that's so great to hear - and yeah, Mark and Isabel are definitely a bit further ahead than Jam at this point (Jim does also definitely need to lose the phone, lol). Thanks so much for reading!
Date: October 20, 2021 06:11 pm Title: Chapter 6
Sorry you had such a busy time last few weeks but glad to see you back!
Lots of fun with what's known on this side of the pond as "The Newlywed Game"...Michael is pretty funny with his frustration no one gets his Carson routine but Holly. And i'm just loving those two - hoping they have as much of a happy ending as I hope is in store for our other couples (or at least Jam and Mizzy).
Speaking of Mizzy - wow, you really got me with their biggest fears -each one scared to lose the other. But as much as they are still fighting, at least it means they still care enough to fight. I'm really hoping they can see that, with Oscar's help and maybe even Michel's.
I'm finding myself strangely more invested in them that even Pam and Jim who seem to be doing a little better in these scenes (now if he would just stop with the the damn blackberry).
Clever bit with the swapping of the envelopes - but hope they don't miss out on being able to discuss their biggest fears. Seems like they should. (Angela and Dwight too).
Looking forward to what is next.
Thank you so much! And sorry for the slow reply (and the lack of my own reviews...I've seen that I've got several chapters of 360 turns to catch up on, which I am greatly excited about).
Ha, I didn't realise the game had a different name over there! I can see Michael thinking it's an excellent couples therapy exercise though. (Although yeah, I've seen the game cause enough tension between couples that I slightly think the opposite...) Really glad you're enjoying the Michael and Holly too, I'm finding them really fun to write.
And glad you're still liking the Mizzy! I may also have discovered I like writing them at least as much as Jam, so they are at slight risk of taking over this story if I'm not careful...but there will be more Jam to come. And don't worry - the envelopes will be making a reappearance too.
Thanks so much as ever for taking the time to review!