Roy isn't perfect, but Pam loves him, and love is about looking past the problems isn't it? Jim is too preoccupied with his feelings for his best friend to see what is really going on. Dwight sees something private and begins to suspect that one of his co-workers is in a bad situation. Don't worry. He has a plan.
Categories: Jim and Pam
, Episode Related
, Alternate Universe Characters:
February 16, 2018 Updated:
April 15, 2018
Takes place during season two, after Christmas Party but before Booze Cruise, somewhere in early January.
Trigger warning for themes of emotional and sexual abuse. Additional and more specific warnings for sexual abuse at the beginning of each chapter when applicable. I take these issues very seriously and write from a place of experience. However, if you do not feel I am treating this subject with the gravity it deserves, please contact me.
1. Chapter One: The Incident by elephantskeleton
2. Chapter Two: Suspicion by elephantskeleton
3. Chapter Three: Friendship by elephantskeleton
4. Chapter Four: The Plan by elephantskeleton
5. Chapter Five: Give and Take by elephantskeleton
6. Chapter Six: The Perfect Day by elephantskeleton
Chapter One: The Incident by elephantskeleton
This is my first fan fic, brought over from fanfiction.net, but edited. This chapter contains depictions of emotional abuse. I am trying to keep Roy in character, but draw a lot from my own experiences with abusive people when writing him.
Chapter description: Roy is jealous.
Chapter One: The Incident
"Oh my god, oh my god, you have to see this!" Kelly bounced into the vending machine filled breakroom, laptop open and in hand, crowding in at the small, round table where Jim, Pam, and Oscar were eating lunch.
Jim took advantage of the moment to scoot a little closer than needed to his crush, stealthily snaking his arm across the chair behind her. There was no real harm in it, and he did, after all, need to make room for Kelly and whatever she was so excited to show them. Anything to justify his actions. He could feel the distance, no more than a centimeter between his arm and Pam's back. There was heat, electricity. Was it more painful to watch her from a distance or be so close, so bone achingly close, but never be allowed to touch? His constant struggle. He wished that he could just let go for once and wrap his arm around her, say screw it and show her he cared. Comfortable, romantic familiarities were too easy to fall into with her and he reminded himself for the umpteenth time today that she was engaged. She wasn’t his to care for.
Kelly's pink laptop was open to an hour long youtube EPIC FAIL compilation, paused a bit over half way through. "Oh my god I can’t believe I found this! I was watching this video and Oh my god you aren’t going to believe it. I really want to tell you what it is, but I’m not going to spoil it! You have to watch it yourselves. It’s so awesome. You are going to laugh so hard," She said as she pulled a chair next to Oscar, blocking him in by the vending machines.
"What… What is this?" Oscar inched away from Kelly skeptically.
"THIS!" she pointed to the screen incessantly and pressed play.
Michael Scott stood at the top of a large hill, recording himself in full snow gear, a confident grin on his face as he explained the basics of snowboarding. He continued holding the camera in front of him as he slowly started to go down the hill, two middleschool girls pointing and laughing at him from atop the hill behind him. As he picked up some wobbly speed, he attempted to do a trick off a snowbank and wiped out hard. The middle school girls zoomed past him, laughing hard as they went. Everyone at the table cracked up.
"We've got to show Kevin," Oscar snorted as he got up, awkwardly shuffling behind Jim and Pam, trying to leave the little corner he was trapped in.
"Wow." Jim grinned, "How did we not know about this?" His joy at the video only rivaled by Pam, shaking with giggles beside him, laughing so hard her breaths came as gasps. There was no competition. Seeing Pam doubled over in laughter, leaning ever so slightly on him, would make his day. It would make his month.
"I know, right?" Kelly beamed. Jim knew he should look at Kelly while she was talking, but just couldn’t pull his eyes away from the beauty that was a laughing Pam Beesly.
"He was so confident and then-" Pam squeaked out between laughs, trying to catch her breath.
"Wow. Someone has the giggles today. You drunk, Beesly? Been stealing drinks again?" Jim hadn't seen her this giggly since the Dundies, when she had drunkenly given him a quick peck. That little innocent kiss that completely changed his world, giving him hope he hadn’t felt since they first met. Tears built up in her eyes, leaking slowly into the creases formed by her smile as she laughed. Her delirium shouldn’t have been that much of a surprise; she had been so tired this morning, saying she couldn't sleep at all last night, and had probably just reached the point of being slap-happy. Jim gazed affectionately at her leaning against him, trying to squeak out a sentence behind the laughter. If he could stay in this moment for all of time, he probably would.
"It's just - " she started again, trying to talk through the laughter she can't seem to get over, before being suddenly interrupted by the break room door swinging open with a bang.
"What the Hell, Pam?" Roy knocked over a chair as he marched across the room towards his fiance. The laughing stopped immediately. Jim was going to get punched. Maybe worse. He had never seen such a look of anger directed at him before. Jim scooted violently back away from the table and distancing himself away from Pam as much and quickly as possible, letting Pam almost fall from her chair. As much as he might know they were doing nothing wrong, in the moment, he had felt caught in the act, another man’s girlfriend in his arms.
Kelly, aside in the break room: “I was just surfing the internet, looking for something to watch, like a cute wedding video or something, and I found this and thought, it’s only an hour, you need something to do, might as well. And so I just had it on, like in the background, you know, and suddenly I saw Michael! Can you believe it? It’s like the internet reaches the whole world and there’s Michael, wiping out on a snowboard. I just could not stop laughing. Ask Toby. And I just had to show someone! But OH MY GOD. Did you see Roy? I totally thought Jim was in for it. Roy was like bang! Keep your hands off my woman! It was crazy sexy.”
Dwight was hanging out behind the building, waiting on Angela to show up. It hadn't been a particular snowy January that year in Scranton. Not fantastic for his winter onions, but not really terrible either. There was probably an inch or two of snow from previous snow falls still accumulated in areas of low traffic or low sunlight, particularly back behind the building.
He looked at the beige building and the relatively grimy surroundings, wondering why Angela wasn't here yet. She was never late. Something probably came up that she couldn't avoid without blowing their secret. That could be the only reason for her absence. She was never late. That was a mark of a good partner, Dwight grinned to himself, pleased with his personal life for the first time in a long time. Angela was so great. Always courteous not to waste another's time. He checked the time again on his new programmable watch when he heard voices just around the corner.
Doing what any sensible man of the law would do, Dwight hid, hoping to uncover any information that could be useful in his quest to keep this office park a crime free zone. After all, who but criminals would be meeting behind the building like that? Or secret lovers. If it was the former, he would do his duty to protect the name of Dunder Mifflin Scranton from criminals. If it was the later, he would have something interesting to tell Angela at dinner.
Roy pulled Pam just within the edge of Dwight's field of vision, over behind the dumpster. Not secret lovers, just the eternally engaged. Crouching, to guarantee that he was not seen, Dwight decided to spy on their conversation. He was always suspicious of Roy. He seemed the type to get involved with illegal activities. He'd probably pull Pam down with him.
"What the Hell, Pam?" Roy dragged Pam behind him, his hand tight around her forearm. He checked the area around them before pulling her by the arm close to him and shoving her own arm back at her. She stumbled back a bit, fear and frustration mixing in her expression. This rather violent beginning did not bode well, Dwight thought as he grabbed for the pepper spray on his keychain just in case.
"Roy, plea-" Pam reached out for Roy's hand, but he snatched it away.
"Why the Hell were you letting Halpert feel you up like that?" Roy began pacing back and for in front of her, like a wolf closing in on its prey, not giving her any change to explain.
"We were jus-"
"Just what? Embarrassing me in front of the whole office? Letting everyone
know I'm dating the office slut?" With each of Roy's words Pam shrank from her defensive stance further into herself.
"We…" she sighed. The fight seemed to leave her.
"What Pam?" He paused for a moment, staring at her as if daring her to answer. She remained silent. "Dammit! I can't fucking believe you'd do this to me." He slammed his hands against the dumpster in a thundering thunk.
"No, Roy, it wasn't like that, really," she started to move.
"Yeah? What was it like? I can't believe you! Throwing yourself at him like that!" Roy spun at her, fists clenched in anger. "Fucking Hell, Pam."
"Kelly-" Pam started, standing perfectly still and staring at the ground.
"What? Does Kelly force you to throw yourself at other men?"
"We were just watching a video, Roy." Pam sounded so meek, so unlike herself. Dwight could see tears in her eyes, even from this distance.
"Then why were you in his lap? Huh?" Roy finally stopped moving and stood in front of Pam, his back to Dwight, blocking his view.
"I just leaned on him a little…" Her voice was small.
"I can't believe you're still trying to explain it away! Jesus! I saw you. How could you fucking do this to me?” silence fell as Roy, and secretly Dwight waited for Pam’s answer. Pam didn’t seem like the cheating type to Dwight, but Angela was always complaining about how much attention she gives Jim. Maybe she was seeing something he couldn’t.
"I'm so sorry, Roy." a small shaky voice broke the silence.
"I can't believe you. You owe me. Big time."
"I'm so sorry." the broken voice of Pam Beesly repeated, strained from crying.
"Alright, Pammy. Fine. Just…" He rubbed his head in frustration, "Just don't let it happen again." He stayed there, right in front of Pam, staring at her for a few moments before speaking again. "Look, I've got to get back to work, but I just wanted to tell you, I'm going out with they guys tonight, so uh, catch a ride with Angela or someone? And don't wait up."
Pam just nodded and watched him leave before leaning against the building and sliding to the ground in tears.
Dwight was torn. He liked Pam. Sure she had grated on him at first and she was always hanging around Jim, but she was nice. Friendly. Pleasant to work with. To approach her now or during their fight would be embarrassing for her, but to leave and say nothing seemed wrong. After a few moments contemplation, watching his not quite friend cry, wanting but unable to do anything about it, he decided to give her space. A part of him, larger than he wanted to admit, wanted to find Roy and punch him in the face. Yes, Pam was in pain, and he was sworn as Assistant Regional Manager to protect the weaker in the office, but maybe she had brought this on herself. He heard them fight, and Roy was being more than a jerk, but he'd be mad, too, if his girlfriend cheated on him. Luckily Angela wasn't that type of person.
Dwight, aside, out by the dumpsters: "I decided to give her some space. Yes, I saw their fight, I like Pam well enough. Roy was being an ass, but I'd be mad too if my girlfriend cheated on me. But I don’t have to worry. She's not that type of person."
Hi, everyone. Thanks for reading! This is my first fan fic and I am having so much fun with it and I love being a part of the community here on MTT. Much thanks to BecauseOfYou for beta-ing for me and being so supportive of my writing.
Chapter Two: Suspicion by elephantskeleton
In this universe Dwight is a little closer to his sister Fannie and listens to her ideas more often. However Dwight is still a product of his upbringing channeling Fannie's feminist sentiments through a thick layer of misogyny and paternalism.
Chapter description: Fallout from chapter 1.
Chapter Two: Suspicion
Her skirt was getting damp, and not just from the constant drizzle of tears down her face. The last remnants of snow clinging to the building's edge in the shadow behind the building were melting beneath her. She had been sitting against the wall, crying, for several minutes and was beginning to worry that someone would find her. She knew her pale pink coat would be dirty and soaked through, but she couldn't bring herself to get off the ground. Not just yet. If someone found her out here, they'd probably just leave her alone. NO one in the office would insert themselves in her business. Unless it was Jim. Or maybe Michael. But Michael wouldn’t come down here without a reason.
Jim really might find her. That'd be just like him, to go look for her, make sure she was okay. Smile and tease her into telling him what happened. And then he'd look at her with those big worried eyes and his eyebrows all scrunched up in concern and she just couldn't take that. Pity. Poor Pammy. She hated that look. He didn't know her life enough to judge. Didn't know Roy enough. Didn't understand how much good there was in Roy. How good to her he could be. Maybe that was her own fault, never showing Jim all the good in Roy. A small, traitorous part of her wanted him, Jim, to find her crying, wanted his pity and sympathy and concern. To hug her and comfort her and tell her how much Roy sucked. But that wasn't fair to Roy. Roy was a good man and she really truly loved him.
Roy really was a good man, Pam repeated to herself as she cried out in the cold. Roy was a good man, but he'd been so mad. And at work too. In public. It was beyond frustrating. But Roy was a good man, so he must have had a good reason. She didn't think it was that big a deal, leaning a bit against a friend, but it clearly was. She knew Roy was jealous and had a bit of a temper, but he wasn't irrational. Maybe she could show him the video. He might get a kick out of it. Just a kick. It wasn't that funny. She was just feeling so giddy after half a gallon of coffee and a morning of struggling to keep her head off her desk. She almost regretted staying up to finish reading that book the night before. Almost. The complete and utter exhaustion had her acting a bit out of character.
If she really thought about it, she saw how she was acting inappropriately. She liked how Jim's arm felt behind her. How their legs had bumped under the table as he moved closer to make room for Kelly. How he had teased her, bringing up the last Dundies. She chose to lean on him, to give him attention. Roy had thought she had been cheating on him, he was almost right. But Jim was her friend, her best friend, and she should be able to interact with him without having to watch her every action. She'd just have to be more careful for Roy. So he didn't get the wrong idea. It was lucky, really, that he had blamed her and not Jim. He wouldn't have a problem hitting Jim, but Roy never hit her. He could be jealous and grumpy, but he was never abusive, she reminded herself. He was a good man. He'd forgiven her too. Or nearly anyway.
Pam leaned her head back against the stone and dried her eyes. She was dreading facing the office, facing Jim. And she knew what tonight meant. Roy coming home, drunk and handsy and her owing him and all. She breathed deep, let the coldness of the air surround her and stopped feeling. It was easier in the cold. Red eyes cleared faster with cold air and no one, she hoped, especially Jim, would know she'd been crying.
Oscar, aside: "Roy is definitely the jealous type. I couldn't put up with someone like that, but if it works for Pam… You know what, it's her business. I don’t want to get involved."
Kelly, aside: "It was so romantic. I wish someone would get jealous over me like that. It's just like Edward in Twilight. I bet Roy is SUPER protective. Like he’s always nearby just in case she needs him, or like he’s always watching her to make sure creeps don’t try anything. Not that Jim is a creep. He’s really cool. We’re like bffs. Roy’s just really protective. It's so sweet. You can really tell that he cares about their relationship, you know? OH MY GOD HAVE YOU NEVER READ TWILIGHT?!?!"
When Pam entered the office the room fell silent, all but for the crunch of potato chips back in Kevin's corner. She knew everyone was talking about the whole thing with Roy and Jim. That Roy had stormed in and caused a scene, again. She put her head down and got right back to work. A few minutes passed and everything seemed to be calming down, so she stole a few glances over at Jim, hoping to make eye contact, hoping he'd brush it off with that 'Woah- Things just got crazy' look he has. She loves that look.
But Jim didn't make eye contact. Instead he seemed to be looking everywhere but at her. An intentional lack of eye contact. Around 2:00, Michael got back from his "very important secret lunch meeting," which Pam expected was nothing more than an excuse to treat himself to lunch and a nap back at his condo, and checked in with everyone around the office, seeing what he'd missed. Pam almost groaned when he left the Annex and made a beeline straight to her desk.
"Pamalamadingdong!" he greeted her, drumming his fingers on her desk. "I heard that someone had a lover's spat!"
"Oh, no. I mean, it was nothing."
"I heard he was pretty jealous when he saw you sitting close with Jim." Michael leaned closer, taking immense pleasure in Pam’s pain.
Her first instinct was to be upset or angry with Michael, but she stayed a placid ocean. Calm. If Michael wanted to play this game, she could play. Embarrass me and I’ll embarrass you.
"Yeah, I mean, we were watching that video of you, on the snowboard," Pam grinned as the blood drained from Michael's face. "But yeah, I was just laughing so hard at you wiping out and making a fool of yourself and Jim stopped me from falling out of my chair. Roy saw and just misunderstood. Everything's fine now." She smiled sweetly at Michael, knowing he would drop the subject now that the video had been brought up.
"Yes. Well. Very Good, Pam." Michael drummed on her desk a bit more, awkward as ever. "Carry on."
With that Michael exited swiftly to his office, Dwight following swiftly behind.
Kevin, red-faced from laughter, aside: "Oscar showed me that video (he he) the one where Michael (Ha!) falls off his snowboard, (ha ha ha) and down a hill, (heh) where a bunch of girls (snort) make fun of him!"
Dwight listened intently when Pam described the events from earlier that day, ‘Roy misunderstood; everything is fine.’ just as he had listened to the gossip around the office about the event itself. Pam was lying to Michael, clearly trying to save face not just for herself, but for Roy, too. But why? Cheating was one thing, but this was nothing. t seemed like nothing at least. The conversation, the berating, he heard earlier bothered him even more. Roy was clearly out of hand, being mean to Pam like that. A red flag. It reminded him of what his sister had been talking about over Christmas. The Epidemic of Intimate Partner Abuse. Fannie had said it just like that. Intimate Partner Abuse. Domestic Abuse. Wife beating. He had to talk this out with Michael.
Tight on his Michael’s heals, Dwight followed him into his office and drew the blinds before peeking out to make sure no one was looking. Michael just stared at him suspiciously as Dwight fiddled with the blinds and door, trying to insure complete privacy. As Dwight checked all the blinds again, double checking that Pam in particular was not acting suspiciously and no one was listening at the door, Michael interrupted, "Dwight! What are you-"
"We can't be overheard," Dwight whispered loudly, pulling up close to Michael's desk. "I saw something today. Something big." That got Michael interested. He, of course, being the Regional Manager of Dunder Mifflin Scranton, deserved to know all the goings on in the office. It was their duty, as Regional Manager and Assistant Regional Manager, to insure the safety and health of all those in their protection, especially the weaker women folk.
"What was it?" Michael leaned forward, definitely interested. "This is gonna be so good! Let me guess! Angela's secretly dating… Oscar! No, no! Pam and Ryan! No wait, she's engaged. Tell me!"
"This is not frivolous gossip, Michael. It is serious." Dwight hissed, trying to convey the importance of such a subject. "I think," he whispered with wide eyes, "one of our members may be the victim of … domestic violence." He looked around again, making sure he was not heard, especially not by Pam.
"Wow, wow." Michael leaned back in is chair bringing his hand over his mouth and down to his chin. His serious thinking pose, Dwight noted to himself. "This is serious." Michael sat up in his chair after a moment. "Well…"
"I know." Dwight nodded wide eyed. Another long moment of heavy eye contact passed.
"Who is it?" Michael asked, interrupting their eye contact and wordless communication of shock, exasperated for some reason. "Is it Meredith? I bet it's Meredith. Or Toby. But he probably deserves it."
"It's not Toby." Dwight leaned in and whispered, wide eyed, "Pam."
"Pam?" Michael dismisses. "Roy and Pam? Do you have any proof Dwight? Have you seen Roy hit Pam?"
Dwight hated it when Michael said his name like that. Like it had two syllables. It just has one. Dwight. "No," he explained carefully, seeing that Michael was losing interest by the second, "but I did see their fight. Just words, but it was… upsetting. Unreasonable."
"So what? Couples fight. But you'd have to be in a relationship to know about that. Women don't have to do what men say anymore Dwight. Women can fight back. Ugh."
"I know Michael. I told you, I do have a girlfriend." Dwight ignored Michael's skeptical looks and moved on. "But that's not what was wrong. Pam didn't fight back, at all, and Roy was way out of line. Fact: 1 in 4 women are abused. Fact: there are 5 women in this office. 6 if you count Jan. The statistics are against us, Michael."
"Yeah, but Pam?"
"Think about it. She's kind of quiet, easy to manipulate. A follower. And plain, so she probably doesn't feel like she had other options."
"She's kinda hot." Michael offered in a weak counterargument.
"Hmm..." Dwight considered peaking out at her from behinds the blinds. "I don't see it. But think about it, Michael. He never comes with her to work events, despite her loyalty to the office and him being a warehouse worker. And he's always jealous of Jim, I mean, who could be less attractive to women than Jim? He’s lazy, he has no skill in combat, I doubt he even brushes his hair in the morning."
"I don't know… Shouldn't HR… " Michael was coming around, but he just needed that final push
"Do you really want to leave this to Toby. TOBY, Michael." Dwight slammed his hands on the desk in frustration.
"Ecch. No, no, you're right. Toby is the worst. We need to at least look into it."
The Dwight/Angela stuff will start around chapter 8, but for those who may have read this story on FFnet, I am planning on incorporating a bit more Angela into the existing story, likely adding some sections from Angela's perspective as I want to use her point of view later on.
Thanks for reading. :)
Chapter Three: Friendship by elephantskeleton
Chapter description: Jam fluff
Chapter Three: Friendship
Pam glanced over at Jim for what had to be the thirtieth time since she had come back inside. He sat motionless at his desk, staring intently at his screen, still avoiding her. The few times she thought she had caught him looking at her, he had snapped his head back to his screen. Had she really been throwing herself at him? Was he as disgusted at her as Roy was? The thought that Jim would agree with what Roy said made her stomach turn. Roy was always upset at her about something it seemed, but if Jim was, too… she couldn't deal with that: a validation of all Roy's criticisms. It would just be too much.
Another half an hour of self-destructive thoughts passed before she felt eyes on her again and raised her eyes to finally meet his. He stared at her now, openly. Sad eyes and a furrowed brow told her that things were not back to normal. They probably wouldn't be for a while. She tried a tentative smile to feel him out, see if she ruined their friendship permanently. Relief flooded into her as he returned a smile that was sweet but more reserved than normal. Jim wasn't mad. Maybe he knew she was in trouble with Roy and blamed himself. He was so selfless like that, but it had been her fault. She was practically sitting in his lap. She'd have to let him know it was all her fault later, that he didn't have to worry. Maybe, she'd head to the kitchen soon for some tea.
Tea in her fancy new teapot always brought a smile to her face, at least since the Christmas Party a few weeks ago. She still had that high school photo of Jim taped up right behind her monitor, with the hot sauce and everything. Roy was so mad when she traded away the IPod, but she claimed it was because Michael had taken it back. She knew it was wrong to lie, but it just saved them both so much grief. It was a white lie. She got up and went to the kitchen, stopping by Jim's desk to see if he wanted anything. As she hoped, he got up to join her.
"That was crazy, earlier." Jim starts out, obviously put out by what happened earlier.
"I'm sorry about that"
"No, no. No need to be…" Jim cut in, looking down at his hands rather than making eye contact."It's just Roy, you know. I told him there's no reason to be jealous… I mean, we're just friends."
"Yeah, yeah. Friends. Nothing more than... friends"
"Exactly. And don't worry. I told him it was all me." Pam smiled cheerfully at Jim, completely missing the downtrodden look on his face as he stared at his shoes. She considered herself highly skilled at reassuring people she was fine. Reassuring her family was simple. A smile and a shrug combined with a little white lie and they thought her relationship with Roy was back to being great. The only person who didn't always buy it was Jim. His furrowed eyebrows and sad eyes told her it wasn't working. More lies were needed. Lies. But white lies. "He's not mad. Everything's fine. Really."
"Yeah." Jim took a long drink of coffee and looked Pam over carefully, like he was building up to say something. "He just-"
Before the words came, the women's bathroom door opened, interrupting their solitude. Creed, with headphones and a book in hand, confidently marched out, giving Pam and Jim a funny look. As he marched out the door Jim's eyes widened and his eyebrows shot up, but his mouth maintained a straight line, as though his eyes didn't give away his amusement. Pam grinned ear to ear and mouthed 'Oh My God,' unable to hide her joy. As the door to the break room closed they dissolved in to shock and giggles. With that, the events of the day were all but forgotten.
Creed, aside "What was I doing in the women's bathroom? Chill out, man. It's the 90s."
After sharing some laughter and horror over Creed using the women's room, Jim and Pam got back to work, hot drinks in hand. Not even half an hour had passed when Jim started feeling the urge to go hang out at her desk, see what she was up to, just be around her. She had looked so upset when she came back. And she had been gone such a long time. Her eyes were red. He hated that Roy made her cry. But it was her choice. She chose to be with Roy and that was that. As much as he hated it, he'd respect her choice.
For the most part, he tried to stay out of it. It's not his business, he's just a friend. Another half an hour passed and he noticed Pam walk over to accounting, talking to Angela. He couldn't catch much of the conversation and knew that he shouldn't be listening, but he listened anyway.
"Again?" Angela was talking loudly and looked annoyed. More angry really, there's not much middle ground with her. Pam said something to her in a low voice that he can't make out. The words "Roy" and "Sorry" made it through the office cacophony to his ears, but that was about it. Angela was clearly pissed off. "Well I have a life, too, you know." then, after a few more low words from Pam, "I'll consider it."
When Pam made it back to her desk, he hopped up from his seat to do a little digging. "Propositioning Angela again, I see."
"Yeah, turns out she's not into girls." Pam brushed him off and dug around her desk, as though to make herself look busy. That stuff didn’t work on Jim.
"I'm sure she'll make an exception for you." he leaned against her desk popping a couple jelly beans in his mouth, giving her his most charming smile. She continued moving around papers for a moment, hiding a smile, before completely giving in to banter, just like he knew she would.
"Oh, yeah?" She raised an eyebrow, finally giving Jim her full attention.
"I know you were so upset not to get the hottest in the office dundie this year,”
“So upset,” Pam played along.
“But from what I observed, Angela clearly did not agree with that decision." He continued as though uninterrupted, taking a glance over at Angela, who, luck would have it, was glaring at them over the cubicle wall. "Look, she's pining after you already."
"She did said she'd consider, that's a pretty big deal coming from her. I wonder if she's expecting dinner and a movie first." Pam joined in on the joking, her eyes warm again and a smile hidden in the corners of her mouth.
"I'd definitely go with dinner and a movie, but that's just what it takes to get me into bed." Jim winked. He knew he was being a little too flirtatious considering this morning, but he just couldn't help himself.
"I doubt she'd be as easy as you."
"Ouch. Low blow." He placed his hands dramatically over his heart and rocked back on his heels. "So, is that a new pastime of yours? Seducing unsuspecting women?"
"I'm trying it out." Pam's smile was fully back in place. "You think I'll make any progress with Angela?"
"How many times do I have to tell you, Beesly, She's clearly in love with Kevin. Though I think Meredith might give you a go."
Pam snorted in an attempt to not laugh. Making her happy like that was Jim's entire reason to get out of bed. She was just so damn cute when she laughed. Or smiled. Or breathed. "Oh, God, no!" Pam chuckled, "I was just asking for a ride home," She clarified. Jim's frown returned. "It's just that Roy has to work late is all."
"Well, I could give you a ride home?" Jim drummed his fingers on the side of the jelly bean dispenser, anxious to hear her answer. To have some alone time, just talking and laughing side by side in his car would be so amazing. Maybe today could lead to something that might lead to them hanging out more outside of the office. It was all wishful hypotheticals, but those little scraps of hope kept him going.
"It's pretty far out of the way." She frowned, looking uncomfortable with the offer, like it was too much or something.
"No, it's fine. You'd do the same for me," he shrugged. And she would, he knew that. He also knew that framing his offer that way would take any flirtation out of it, make it easier for her to agree. He knew her.
"Thanks, Jim." She said it so sincerely that he thought his heart was going to break. He maintained dreamy eye contact, both smiling from the deepest parts of their souls, for a few long moments before grabbing a few more jelly beans and heading back to his desk.
Angela, aside: “I’m not responsible for someone else's sin. I was unable to take Pam home today. She shouldn’t spring things like this on people. I don’t care if she and Roy fought. As far as I’m concerned that’s her fault as well. Roy is clearly a man of integrity, and he has reason to be upset when his fiance is so clearly throwing herself at other men. I think Roy seems rather strong,” Angela hid a smile and a blush before continuing in a stern, judgmental manner. “It is inappropriate for a practically married woman to be fraternizing so much with an unmarried man, especially a man like Jim Halpert.”
The work day ended just as any other, and Jim hung around Pam's desk until she was ready to go, drawing the usual glares intermixed with eye rolls from Angela.
"Thanks, so much Jim."
"It's seriously nothing." He grinned, leaning against her desk as she worked.
"I just gotta type this up for Michael real quick. Oh my god, I didn't tell you. He's having me type up his daily schedules and print them off for him because he doesn't like the way they look in the the new calendar program. I'm using lots of hard to read fonts and horribly bright colors. It's giving me a headache just looking at it." Pam rambled a bit, excited with her little prank.
"That's hilarious." Eager to see her project, Jim joined her behind her desk, leaning against the back of her chair as she worked, obliviously drawing even more venomous looks from Angela as she made her way to the door.
"Okay, okay, like three more seconds, change this to chiller and… perfect."
Jim looked down at the schedule of neon days and events in a wide array of comically bad fonts and smiled. "I hate to tell you this, but I think Michael might actually love this."
"No. It's way too hard to read."
"He's gonna love it."
"He'll get a headache. It'll make him sick."
"He's going to ask for this everyday now y'know?"
"No, no! That's part of the beauty. He's not going to be able to read it and I'll apologize, get Dwight to show him how to use the calendar software again, and I will have one less thing I have to do everyday. And it's such a stupid task, I can't even get in trouble!" She pulled on her keds as Jim grabbed her coat from the coat rack.
"He's gonna love it."
"Shut up!" She elbowed him lightly as she grabbed her coat and bag and skipped out the door. "You coming?"
They joke around about Michael's questionable taste in everything as they donned their coats and walked out to his car. For a moment Jim almost allowed himself to imagine being like this everyday. Going to work together, heading home together. To the same home. To have dinner and relax and talk and just be together. A larger part of him than he wanted to admit wanted to stay in this dream of easy comradery, domesticity, and love. Let him pretend that he loved and was loved in return. But it would be a lie. As he drove Pam back to her life with Roy, he couldn't help but steal glances over at the girls of his dreams. Her curls looked so soft; he wanted to touch. But that would be crossing a line. Her green eyes glittered in the red-gold of twilight; he want to tell her. But that would be crossing a line. Her hand rested elegantly on the arm rest so perilously close to his own; he wanted to hold it, hold her. But that would be crossing a line. She was so perfect with the sun setting just over her shoulder with a smile so sweet and genuine. Jim could do little more than smile and enjoy the moment.
Thanks for reading!
Chapter Four: The Plan by elephantskeleton
Chapter description: Dwight tells Michael his plan.
Chapter Four: The Plan
Dwight arrived very early in the morning, ready a with folder of printable pamphlets and educational materials to share with Michael. He was well armed and prepared for anything. Knowledge, was, of course, the best weapon. Hence the research. Guns were the second best weapon, followed by nunchucks, but due to the company's anti-firearm policy he was more or less limited to melee weapons. This was a very serious mission, with the well being of a respected co-worker. More than Respected. While he certainly wouldn't call them friends, he liked her. And she’s friendly with Angela. If not for her inexplicable friendship with Jim Halpert, he would have considered her friendly enough to share his and Angela's relationship with. If Angela hadn't sworn him to secrecy. But that was neither here nor there.
While he waited for Michael to arrive, he did as much work as he could, preparing spreadsheets, sending emails, and setting aside points in the day to call specific clients, planning to spend the majority of the day on office security.
Dwight, aside in the conference room in front of the window, showing only the dark of very early morning: "If one person in this office is under threat, the entire office itself is under threat. As Assistant Regional Manager it is my job to protect this office from harm. That is why I do not leave this office unprotected. I have bear mace hidden in four locations no intruder would think to look. I have throwing stars in my wallet. I never leave the house without the deadliest weapon of all. My mind."
Angela, aside, in the conference room: “I don’t know why you’re asking me. Why would I know what Dwight is up to? I barely know Dwight. We are nothing more than work colleagues and I find it highly inconsiderate of you to drag me away from my work so early in the morning to talk to me about a man I hardly even know.” Angela stormed off, the camera focusing on her as she paused briefly at Dwight’s desk to stealthily drop off a piece of paper.
Michael, aside, in his office, the brightness of the mid-morning sun shining through the window behind him, "What? How did you know about that?” He looked at the camera suspiciously, “The boss, the head of the office is just like a dad, the head of a family. And just like a did It is my job to take care of each of my children. And sometimes that means getting involved in their personal lives. A good father stays involved in his kids personal lives. He doesn't just leave and then your mom marries some guy who doesn't even take you to the zoo once!" Michael's voice cracked. "I want to be a good boss."
Dwight waited patiently for Michael to come in, hoping that he would make it in well before the receptionist, unfortunately the morning dragged before Michael came in around 9:15. It was imperative that they talk and Dwight deposit his research to the safety of Michael's office before Jim goes riffling around in his stuff like he always does. He must make it clear that Jim must not be involved in the subject, he is clearly too close to the situation, or worse, an enabler.
His eyes scanned the office. Angela, Phyllis, and Pam were already here. Angela, his own girlfriend, was not in danger. Schrute men were historically raised to maintain dominance over their wives and lessers, but as the men who clung to old ways began to slowly die off due mainly to asphyxiation, strong women had raised the later generations of Schrute men to be respectful leaders, cognizant both of a woman's duties as well as her needs. Women were, in general, weaker than men, but that only meant that they deserved extra care, not forceful domination. Some of the old ways were better dead.
Dwight focused back on his list. Angela was safe. Phyllis was seeing Bob Vance, owner of Vance Refrigeration, but he knew little of their relationship. He'd have to do some reconnaissance. As for Pam, he looked at her in pity, he had his suspicions. He wanted to look out for her, she deserved that much, poor thing. That only left two: Kelly and Meredith, neither he knew much about as far as personal life was concerned. Kelly was attractive at least, so she probably had a boyfriend or something. Meredith was not. She was divorced and had flashed Michael at Christmas. There was no way she was in a relationship, so domestic abuse was a non-issue. She could be dismissed entirely.
When Michael opened his door for the first time that day at 10:27 precisely, and called him into his office, Dwight brought his folder of research as well as a small stand and visual aids for his presentation.
"Dwight, I know you thought this was necessary yesterday, but I thought about it and we're fine. We're all just one big happy family here, right? Let's call off the whole thing, okay."
"But I have a presentation." Dwight wined.
"We don't need to, we don't, just… go."
"C'mon, Michael. At least let me give my presentation."
"No…" Michael was giving in, Dwight could tell. He had almost worn him down and reached the moment where he would convince Michael to act as a leader in this crusade for the safety of women in this office.
"Michael please? I made charts." Visual aids were Michael’s weakness. Also, Dwight was incredibly proud of them.
"I… uh… okay, fine. You can do your presentation, but make it quick."
Dwight quickly set up his tripod and cards, pulled out his magnetic point, started with statistics, but, given Michael's apparent lack of interest, he soon skipped ahead to the meat of the presentation. "Fact: Domestic Abuse includes wife beating, but also sexual assault, mental and emotional abuse"
"Emotional abuse? That's not a thing." Michael scoffed.
"Oh, yes it is Michael. The Department of Justice defines it as…" Dwight dug around in his folder before pulling out the correct notes, "Undermining an individual's sense of self-worth through, but not limited to criticism, diminishing one's abilities, name-calling, or damaging one's relationship with his or her children."
"Ugh. What is this? An anti-bullying PSA?" Michael put his head on his desk and covered it with his hands.
"Michael, This is serious." Dwight was rarely critical of his boss, but why was he being so apathetic when one of his own might be in trouble. It just seemed out of character.
"Fine. Continue." He lifted his head up in a huff.
"Fact: Abusers will often only attack arms, abdomens, or other places that are easy to cover up or explain away. Victims are likely to cover themselves up regardless of the season." This seemed to get Michael's attention. "Fact: Victims of abuse are often shy or withdrawn. Quiet, prone to excessive privacy about their personal life. Meek, apologetic. Easy to control or manipulate."
"Hmm… What about Angela? She's quiet, kind of. Or maybe just mean. Is mean one of the symptoms? And she covers up, she definitely could show more skin. I bet she'd be really hot in a bikini."
"We don't have to worry about Angela." Dwight dismissed, the lovely image of Angela in a bikini and the horrible feeling of Michael accusing him of not protecting his woman both vying for his attention.
"I don't know…"
"We don't. Have to worry. About Angela. Moving on." Dwight took a deep breath to calm himself. "Abusive partners:" He hit the board with his pointer, taking out some of his frustration. "Can you always tell by looking? No. Signs of an abusive partner: Jealous." thwack, "Possessive." thwack, "Easy to anger." thwack, the card fell over and Dwight hastily set it back up, embarrassed. To save face he cleared his throat and continued. "Controlling. Constantly keeps tab. Controls access to money, family and friends, etc. Violent, easily provoked to violence with others."
"Okay, okay, I don't know anyone like that." Michael shook his head, dismissing the whole thing.
"Roy's like that." Dwight said quietly. After doing the research last night, he regretted not intervening sooner, noticing sooner. He'd been friends-not friends, work colleagues-for years. But now was not the time to draw conclusions. Michael was right. It still may well be nothing.
"No, I hired Roy. Well, I hired Darryl and Darryl hired Roy, so I kind of grand-hired Roy. And I wouldn't… hire anyone like that." Disgust lined Michael's face. "And how do you know?" Michael jumped to the defense. "It's not like you're close with the warehouse workers. Not like I am. Me and Darryl. We tight."
"Multiple people saw him throw over a chair in the break room, he's jealous of Jim. I mean, Jim. Of all people." Dwight scoffed. He could see being jealous of Michael or even the temp, but Jim? Please. "And I saw him yell at Pam over nothing. The signs are there, Michael."
"No," Michael started tearing up, "I don't want to believe it."
"But that doesn't make it not true." He moved over to comfort his boss. His boss and his friend.
"There could be others. There could be more. We could help them. The women of this office, you know, help them take back the night." Tears streaming down his face, Michael held this fist up in solidarity. "Augh! What are we gonna do?" He covered his face.
"Michael, it's okay. Michael. Michael. Michael. Mic-"
"What is it Dwight?" Michael snapped, before loudly blowing his nose.
"I have a plan."
Dwight, in the conference room with the blinds drawn. "Like any qualified tactician I will not execute a mission without a thorough plan of attack. That's how I maintain my spot as number one salesman in the area. When you think about it, everything is a battle, the only way to strive in this world is to prepare for every possible outcome and strategize appropriately."
"I have a four part plan set in place that will quickly and efficiently end the abuse. Step One: Observation. First we begin by observing the women in the office and comparing them and their partners to what we know about domestic violence. This will go beyond work hour duties, something I am more than willing to do. Besides, it's winter. We're between harvesting and planting again, so I have a bit of extra time on my hands." He shrugged.
"Fact:" Dwight continued, moving back to a discarded notecard he skipped earlier. "Domestic abuse is most likely to occur between the hours of 6:00pm to 6:00 am. I say that we come up with a shortlist of likely victims and I observe them, utilizing my extensive experience with stealth and reconnaissance."
"Step Number two:" he smacked the card a little too hard again, but caught it before it fell. "Step Two: Community Outreach. In order to effectively convince the person in question to leave an abusive relationship we will need to enlist the help of her family and friends. Before we enlist their help, we must interview them and make sure that they are not enabling the abuse. If we cannot trust them, we move on to step three alone."
"What's step three?" Michael said seriously, finally on board with the plan, but still sniffling a bit.
"Step Three: Intervention. We approach the victim with what we know and persuade her to end her abusive relationship. This might be hard, because, according to my reading, many victims are afraid to leave or don't feel able to for one reason or another. In order to persuade any domestic violence victims to leave their abusers, I have set up a makeshift women's shelter in my farm house, that can be rented by the night or with the exchange of manual labor on the farm."
"No one wants to rent a room in your stupid" Michael blew his nose and wiped his tears, "farmhouse, Dwight."
"Do you have any place better in mind?" He doubted Michael had anything better than a 9 bedroom farm house that he currently planned on turning into a bed and breakfast on the side.
Sniff, "No." Michael conceded, "My spare bedroom maybe, but only if it's one of the hot ones. Like Pam. Or Angela. Maybe Kelly."
"That works just as well." Dwight dismissed, eager to move on to the final step. "Step Four: Enforcement. If the abuse victim is unable to remove themselves from the situation in question, they will be forcibly removed. Enforcement also accounts for the actions taken to protect the abuse victim from further abuse at the hands of said abuser. It means protecting the women of our office with everything we have. Making sure they are safe at any cost. Even at the cost of their own freedom."
Michael had stopped crying, a determined look on his face, "Let's do this."
So, for reference:
Step One: Observation
Step Two: Community Outreach
Step Three: Intervention
Step Four: Enforcement
Again, Thanks for reading!
Chapter Five: Give and Take by elephantskeleton
TRIGGER WARNING: This chapter recounts sexual assault in a relationship with non-explicit detail as well as emotional manipulation leading up to and after the event. I have not marked off the triggering section as some writers do because I do not know what could be left out for the story to still make sense. I also maintained the rating of T, as the subject matter, while difficult, is important and all references to sex are non-explicit. If you have any issues with any of this at all, please, don't be afraid let me know.
Chapter Five: Give and Take
Pam was later than usual getting into the office, but for good reason. Surprised by the suggestion from Roy this morning, she stayed packing a nice lunch for both her and Roy. Sandwiches, pickle spears, fresh strawberries, salads with dressing on the side, cookies in baggies. More than the usual leftovers or sandwich and chips. Roy had asked her to pack them a nice lunch to eat together while she was getting dressed. Something kind of special. It was a little inconvenient, but she didn't mind. Things with Roy were better and he was taking time to spend with her. She was blissfully content as she poured herself her first cup of tea for the day. She usually didn't sweeten, but Oolong with just a touch of honey sounded so good this morning. Nothing was going to ruin her day.
Roy had been so gentle and sweet this morning. He had woken her up with kisses, but not pushed her to take it further. He had complimented her hair and makeup, and the lunch idea had been such a pleasant surprise. It had been a great morning.
Michael called her into his office about half an hour after she got in. After taking notes on a phone call he had with Jan, and being asked to analyze every other word for double meanings, Michael's tone turned serious.
"Pamnana split, I wanted to talk to you about the schedule you typed up for me." Despite the cringeworthy nickname, Michael's face was very serious, much to Pam's elation.
Pam put a carefully schooled look of curious concern on her face, "What was wrong with the schedule?"
"It was kind of hard to read, Pam."
Score. She nodded, failing at hiding a smile. She wouldn't have to do it and he didn't seem mad.
"But" he continued, her heart sank. "All and all, I loved it. Do it again tomorrow. Oh, but use darker colors? Or word art?"
She nodded, a little grumpy about the stupid tasks he had her do, but still in an overall fantastic mood from the morning. When she left Michael's office she made hard eye contact with him, a look of comically fake hatred on her face, but a playful glint in her eyes.
Michael aside, in his office, holding up the unreadable neon schedule: "There's something great when an employee takes time to do something special for you. I'm a great boss," He beamed, "What can I say?" He cleared his throat. "It's a little hard to read. Artsy types like Pam always put beauty first. Shame she doesn’t do that with her appearance."
"How'd it go?" Jim sauntered up to her desk, a smug, knowing grin on his face. Pam wanted to be annoyed with him just a little, but she couldn't. He was just too… Jim.
"He loved it," she admitted with a grimace.
"I so told you."
"I hate you." she wanted to be mad, but she couldn't hide her smile.
"Pstch, you love me." He popped a few jelly beans in his mouth, leaning against her desk with that cocky grin on his face.
She couldn't help but smile up at him in response, her stomach doing a little flip when their eyes met. Green eyes. Like a dark grey green. Pine trees in the autumn, before the snow. She snapped herself out of it. She preferred blue eyes. Roy had blue eyes. "He asked for Word Art next time."
"Nice." He rocked back on his heels, clenching his fist in success sarcastically. "More late nights at work, contemplating color theories and font size?"
"I'm sure I can squeeze it in around my other very important research." Pam turned confidently back to her desk, pretending to work.
"Yeah?" He leaned down over her desk as through trying to spy what she was working on "More palm reading?"
"It's called palmistry."
"And I'll have you know that was of vital research to the company."
"I bet. How would a corporate structure function without knowing how many children we - I mean each of us - are going to have?" He blushed and scratched the back of his head.
"It's important when planning your 401k." She loved that he played along. Why did they not hang out more outside of work? There was her teaching him to drive stick like a year or so back, but since then they spent too little time hanging out.
"So what's your research about today, Beesly?" he dug through the jelly beans looking for a pink one. Those were his favorites.
"I don't know… Maybe numerology?" It was silly, she knew it, but she loved that stuff. Not the way Kelly loved it, reading daily horoscopes and putting absolute faith in unknowable forces of the universe, but it was trashy. Fun. Besides it wasn't as trashy as Trading Spouses, so Jim couldn't say anything.
"What? It's interesting!"
"Oh my god. You want to be a fortune teller!"
"No I don't! Shut up!" Pam laughed
"I've gotta tell Kelly."
"Don't you dare."
"I'm going to write her an email right now." he took a couple steps backwards to his desk in a grand gesture.
"And I'm already typing her one, telling her you were asking how it's going with Ryan. That you want all the details." She mock typed on her keyboard, making the threat more real.
"This is a dangerous game you're playing, Beesly." He challenged, eyebrow raised and arms out spread, as if to say 'come at me.'
"Mutually assured destruction. Suck it, Halpert."
He threw his arms up dramatically, "Okay I give."
She grinned widely at him as he sat back down, today was going perfectly.
Kelly, aside in the annex, "I love horoscopes! Why do you ask? Do other people like them too? Oh My God who? Is it Ryan? Did I tell you about my horoscope today? It is such an awesome day for me. Today I am going to talk with someone who will change my life for the better, but it's a bad day to wear red. What's your sign? I'm a Gemini, which is awesome. It's super important to know your sign. I looked up Ryan's sign yesterday. He's a Capricorn. Ohmygod do you think that he might be the someone I talk to today who changed my life. He is so cute. I hope he asks me out! That would be so completely awesome."
Several hours and no more than 15 phone calls later, an unusually low number, she had done the calculations for both her and Jim. Four numbers for both of them filled with hidden meaning. Not that she believed in this, but it was fun and a good distraction. They had the same Life Path and Balance numbers: 1 and 9 respectively, but different Destiny and Birthday numbers. His was 11, hers: 8. She hadn't looked up what they meant, she figured they could do that together and waste some time after lunch.
Feeling a little guilty for leaving Roy out, not wanting to give him a reason to be jealous, she did his numbers as well. And just to be extra careful to make sure this looked like something meaningless and not an inside joke, she did Dwight's as well. As she scribbled down numbers and answered phones, Pam slipped away from her happiness back to the previous night.
Jim had taken her home last night. She thought it might be awkward, after Roy got so angry with both of them in front of the whole office, but it wasn't. After a few tense moments, everything dissolved back into their usual camaraderie. Jim was her best friend and she never had more fun than when they were together. As she sat in the car with him, she kept thinking of ways to extend this sliver of time she had with him outside of the office, without filter. She almost suggested dinner together: fast food. Casual and unromantic enough that it couldn't be misconstrued as a date. But Roy would see it as one. She hated that she did this to Roy, made him feel so insecure about their relationship. If not hanging out with her friend would help him feel better, it was the least she could do.
When Jim dropped her off, she wanted so badly to invite him up. She knew Roy wouldn't be back till late and the idea of spending yet another evening alone while the world goes on around her was almost overwhelming. The only thing that stopped her was the idea of how hurt and angry Roy would be. She could text and ask permission, hint at Jim not being a threat, but now was not the right time to push anything. She hugged Jim goodbye and settled into a night alone.
She had leftovers for dinner, anticipating Roy would be well fed on Bar food. She did some laundry and had a glass of wine or two. When Roy wasn't home by eleven, she settled in for bed. She was asleep by midnight and actually slept pretty well until Roy drunkenly stumbled in happy and excited to see her.
"Pammy!" He collapsed on top of her on their bed, jarring her violently from sleep. "I missed you!"
"I missed you too." Pam rubbed her eyes and struggled in to a sitting position, trying not to let her grumpiness at being woken ruin the moment of Roy being so nice. "What time is it?"
“You're kinda hot, you know?" He said, ignoring her question and, instead, looking at her with a wolfish grin, eyes taking in her bed head and her bunched up tank top.
Pam rolled her eyes in response. Of course. Of course that's why he was so happy, so attentive. She brushed him off, she wasn't in the mood. "C'mon, Roy," she smiled sleepily, "Let's go to bed."
"Oh, c'mon Pammy. Please. I love you. And I missed you so much while I was out."
"Not tonight, Roy, I have to be up soon."
"You love me don't you?" He grumbled, as though confused about why Pam would ever deny him sex.
"Of course I love you."
"This would really show me that you love me, Babe." His words were followed by silence of Pam's part. "I mean, after today I really need to feel that you love me."
"I know, Roy, I love you, but I just don't - Not tonight, okay?"
"You owe me. C'mon Pam, after today, you owe me." Serious eyes and insistent hands met her refusal, but guilt brought it home. He had her there. She had said he owed her. She knew what that entailed. By that point he was already mostly on top of her, kissing her
body, roughly removing her shirt. Her best option was taking control.
Appeasing his sexual appetites with a blow job would often result in Roy leaving her alone so that she could get back to sleep. It wasn't that bad actually. She had done this a hundred times. If history told her anything, he'd just lay back tired, let her do her thing, and collapse afterward so that she could just go on with her life. Men had higher libidos, a bigger need for sexual gratification, this was just part of it. Part of a healthy give and take of a relationship.
It was never pleasant. He smelled gross and sweaty from a hard day of work followed by a long night out. All of this was made worse by him being pushier than usual as well, not letting her take control the way she wanted. She hated dirty talk, hated some of the things he said during sex. The worst moment, the moment when she almost stopped everything in favor of fighting, was when he grunted "Take it" in a moment of roughness. It was worse than humiliating, it was degrading. That, combined with his forcefulness that brought tears to her eyes, took away any pleasure she may have had at making him feel good. When he finally finished and passed out on the bed, Pam went into the bathroom and let herself cry, wondering if he was hurting her on purpose as revenge.
After a few minutes to collect herself, Pam headed to bed, surprised to see Roy was still up.
"Hey, babe. You okay."
"Yeah, I'm fine. I just don't like dirty talk like that, you know?" She stood awkwardly by the bed, not really feeling up to joining a conscious Roy in bed.
"I'm sorry about that. I guess I just forgot how much you hate it. I promise I'll talk to you before we decide to try something like that again." He opened his arms and gave her a big smile, beckoning her to bed. In his arms.
"Yeah. That'd be nice. Thanks Roy." She smiled. She should have known. He never meant to hurt her. He loved her. He had asked her to marry him. And it's unreasonable to ask that he be into the same things as her, sexually. It was just part of the give and take of a normal relationship.
"I love you." He stroked her hair as she crawled up next to him.
"I love you too."
"C'mere. Let's go to sleep. Or do you want me to…?" he gestured vaguely at her body, but seemed actually willing enough to reciprocate this time.
"No. I just want to cuddle." She hadn't wanted to do anything. She needed the sleep.
"That's why I love you. You're always so easy to please." Roy yawned out as he got comfortable.
Good old reliable Pammy. So easy to please. Easy to please because his half hearted reciprocations never really did it for her, she mostly had to take care of herself. He was either just not skilled in giving pleasure or he didn't care. She hoped it was the former. But she couldn't say any of that, so instead she just wiggled herself under the blankets, still in his arms, and whispered, "Good night." It felt nice to be held after such a bad day, even if Roy did cause a lot of the awfulness. All her hurt, all her anger, Pam set aside. Things were okay now. Roy loved her. He was holding her, he was taking care of her. Things were okay. They were going to be okay.
As she slipped back into unconsciousness she imaged that Jim, not Roy, Jim with his long arms and deep green eyes, was sleeping behind her, holding and caring for her after such a trying day. Her dreams that night involved him as well. She and Jim were separated by a wall, white styrofoam and paper, brought together by their mutual love of mac and cheese, which they were both were eating from bright blue bowls. When they got to a break in the wall, the size of a large window, they leaned toward each other, both holding their macaroni lightly. Jim whispered to her in some foreign language and they kissed. Her heart had never felt so full.
Pam, still lost in the memory of her dream, a memory much preferable to the memory of of last night's reality, was startled back to reality by Meredith.
"I know that look. You're remembering getting plowed aren't you?"
Pam's face turned a bright red. "No! I um. No, that's not-" she stuttered.
"Hey, you don't have to explain anything to me," She gave pam a big wink. "Can you make 10 copies of this for me?"
"Yeah, no problem." Pam headed over to the copier while Meredith hung around her desk, looking over the Numerology chart she was working on. The one that looked more than a bit like the Matrices she covered in high school algebra.
"Thanks. Hey, whatcha workin' on here? Going back to school? Good idea. "
"Oh, no. It's just - It's nothing."
"Yeah? Okay. You should think about going back to school though. Better than being Michael's secretary your whole life." Meredith suggested, throwing a disgusted look towards Michaels weirdly silent and sealed up office.
"I'm the receptionist." Pam refuted, offended, despite knowing there was no reason to be.
"Whatever, same thing." Meredith took the copies and left. It got Pam thinking. Was there really any difference between the two positions? Was a secretary really worse than a receptionist? Maybe she should go back to school.
Meredith, aside: "I always encourage young women to go back to school. It's great, you get to party and drink on weekdays and no one says a thing. You're in college! I'm working on my PhD on weekends. Parties every week. Free booze if you show your boobs. It's awesome."
Quick Rant: I have this with a "dubious consent" warning, but in reality, if the consent is dubious in any way, it's not there. I feel like being pressured into sexual acts is the classic example of dubious consent, but it's still rape. Being told you "owe" some one sex is a form of manipulation and abuse. Being coerced into sexual acts is still sexual assault and rape.
Chapter Six: The Perfect Day by elephantskeleton
No warnings for this chapter.
Chapter Six: The Perfect Day
His morning's sales call went great. With the commission from this sale, he could afford a new car, or at least the down payment. His roomate, Mark, had finally admitted that those fruit flavored cigars smelled disgusting. He had even eaten breakfast. And, most importantly, he had a plan. Pretty soon, if all went well, he would be hanging out more and more with Pam outside of work, becoming part of her life. If she became friends with his friends, then there would be no issue with Roy. They could hang out anytime. Really be best friends, not just work friends. Abd before you knew it, she’d realize she’d rather be with him.
This plan would work, too. All except maybe the last part. And it was indefinite.There would never be a point in which Roy would butt in and stop them from being together. 'Not being together, being friends,' he reminded himself. Jim took the stairs two steps at a time, excited to see Pam, joke around about her weird number fortune telling, and flirt about their future together. He took a breath, tried to tone down the big smile on his face, and opened the office door. Today was going to be the perfect day.
After he set down his things, he all but skipped over to reception.
"You look pleased with yourself." Pam could always read him so well. That's why they would be perfect together. "Don't tell me you're actually starting to like this job."
"God no!" He choked on the weirdly salty jellybean he was eating. Popcorn maybe? "I do, however," he recovered with a throat clear, "find myself incapable of not liking the money."
"Who knew you were such a Material Girl?"
"You're forgetting that this is a material world." He smiled broadly at the Madonna reference, leaning against her desk and popping more, hopefully less nasty, jelly beans in his mouth. "So, how's it going back at home base, Beesly? What's the plan for lunch?"
Pam tugged at her sleeve anxiously and looked down at her desk. "Actually, Roy and I are eating together today."
Jim couldn't help but feel a bit hurt. Lunch was their time, what he had been looking forward to all day. "Fancy date in the warehouse? So romantic." The bitter undertones surprised even him.
"I packed a lunch for us." Pam was immediately on the defense, the little v appearing between her eyebrows. "It's kind of romantic."
Jim just raised an eyebrow and went back to his desk, not looking back up at her even as he left to eat his lunch.
At 12:15, or rather a little after, Roy entered the office and tapped on Pam's desk. Casually, as though he belonged there, he leaned on her desk. She smiled up at him with her pretty green eyes all shining and bright. She gave him a little kiss on the cheek as he put his arm around her waist and they left together. One foot out the door, Jim spied Roy’s oafish hand snaking its way down and squeezing her butt. A ripple of disgust rolled through Jim’s body. He couldn't look away.
Was he a masochist? The pain of watching the girl you love leave with another man was by no means unfamiliar, you'd think he'd get used to it or at least learn to look away. He knew he was watching them with sad eyes reflecting a deep aching in his chest. He knew that anyone could see; she could see. It was not even halfway through the day and he could really use a drink. The pain of a perfect day ruined was nothing compared to yet another hit of the world telling him that Pam would never feel for him the way he felt for her. He could see about taking a swig from Meredith's flask; he knew she'd share, but that wasn't a real option. He did what he did everyday: he put on his face and got back to work.
Messing with Dwight always brought Jim back up when he was feeling down. Something small, just to bring him back to reality. It had been a couple days since he'd pulled a good prank. Jello? Classic, but a little overdone, a little obvious. Changing the order of the keys on his keyboard? Great Idea, but he'd need access and he had no idea when dwight would be leaving his desk for any period of time long enough. Something simple. He could run out to the store during his lunch and just replace all of Dwight's pens and pencils with crayons, but then he might have to walk past Pam and Roy, probably making out in the parking lot. He drummed his fingers on the desk. He needed something to distract him. He had the perfect plan.
Jim, aside in the conference room, "Yeah, Pam's having lunch with Roy today. It's fine, it's fine. That's fine. Do I miss having lunch with my friend, sure, but it's fine. I'm fine. They're together. Engaged. And that's… totally… fine. " He scratched his head and focused his attention down at his shoes.
Lunch with Roy was nice. They sat outside on the benches by the side entrance to the warehouse, huddled in their big coats for warmth, and looking out at the hedge that surrounded the building. The view wasn't fantastic and part of her wanted to go up to the roof, but she just couldn't. There was something that made her only want to go up there with Jim, watch Dwight dance around fireworks, and share terrible delicious grilled cheese sandwiches. On the side of the building, they caught some heat off of the open warehouse door, so it was a better option anyway.
She and Roy never spoke much, but it wasn't an awkward silence; it was comfortable. It wasn't meaningful, but it was easy. He'd tell her about something that happened in the warehouse, she'd tell him about some idiotic thing Michael or Dwight had done. Lately she had been avoiding the subject of them. There was something a little too mean, a little too mocking in the way he laughed at them. There was always some conversation, nothing memorable, T.V., work, plans for the weekend, but mostly they spent their time in companionable silence. It was nice, she told herself, nice.
Jim was still picking at his sandwich and chips at his desk when she returned. She smiled and waved at him, but even after she caught his eye, he just ignored her. After fifteen minutes back at her desk and nothing from Jim, she was getting annoyed.
"Hey." She walked up to his desk, arms crossed in annoyance.
"Hey." A non-committal answer. A nothing answer. He was ignoring her.
"How was lunch?" She was trying. She really was. If he would just stop being difficult and tell her what was wrong, she could fix this.
"It was fine, I'm just really busy right now." He didn't look up from his typing.
"Okay," she stormed to the bathroom.
Pam, in the conference room with the blinds closed "I don't know what his problem is. It's not like he's never eaten lunch without me before. What about all those client lunches where I have to eat with Oscar or Toby or Angela? What? He can have plans but I can't? This is so unlike him. I can't believe him." She wrung her hands. "I'm so sorry. Toby and Oscar are lovely people. I really do enjoy their company. Angela, too, I guess. Sorry."
The day had been surprisingly busy following his morning meeting with Michael. He had planned to set aside large parts of the day to observe and set his plan in action. This had not happened. He was able to, however, interview the women of the office and assess who was and was not likely to be a victim of abuse. Dwight shook his head at the thought of the poor, weak women in this office. Not everyone could be like Angela. Angela was strong, and hardy, but very feminine. She would make a wonderful mother someday.
He had approached Phyllis first, cornering her in the kitchen. "How's it going with Bob Vance?" He asked as casually as he could, leaning against the counter and taking a long drink from a water bottle. People didn't really talk to Phyllis about her person life, and for good reason. She was matronly. Boring.
"It's going so well. Actually, he asked me to move in with him. Isn't that exciting?" Phyllis gushed at being asked a personal question. Weak. A real sign of strength was the ability to compartmentalize your personal and professional lives. Phyllis was on the list.
"Living together before marriage? Really Phyllis? And I thought better of you." Angela appeared in the doorway, joining in the conversation Dwight was trying to end.
"You would never live with someone before marriage?" He asked cautiously. His plans for their future together were leading to that. He would have to readjust.
"Of course not, I'm not some hussy." Her eyebrows raised in indignation as she glanced at Phyllis and back to reception.
"Not even if you and he were… invested in the relationship?" He pushed. He knew she had morals, her morals were part of why he was drawn to her, but they were having sex before marriage, what was the big difference? He loved her, he wanted to start their future together before too long.
"If he cared for me enough to be… invested, he should ask me to marry him." She said confidently, looking him directly in the eye, eyebrow raised in a challenge. He was captivated. He was scared. This was moving very quickly.
"Are you… invested in anyone these days?" He asked, a little breathless, but still on his feet.
"No." She said succinctly and with a turn of her heal, she left the kitchen.
Dwight leaned a little more heavily against the counter, shaken from what had gone on. He pulled himself together when he realized Phyllis was still there. She had been there for the entire conversation. And, luckily, more than anything, she looked confused.
"Why are you still here, Phyllis? Get back to work. Your pitiable sales record is bringing us all down."
Phyllis, aside in the conference room, "I don't know what that was about. I do just fine with my sales, thank you very much... Do you think there could be something going on between Dwight and Angela?" She looked excited for a moment until her face dropped. "No. That doesn't make any sense. Never mind."
Jim had spent the past hour or more working on the document. He had grabbed the header from a government agricultural website, added it to his document, and compressed the word document down into a pdf. And it looked good. Really good. Dwight would definitely buy it. But Jim wasn't feeling better. Not really. He couldn't while Pam was still upset with him. He had been cold, he had hurt her. Self preservation, right? It had been almost an hour since he had talked to her and the guilt was eating him alive. The deep hollow pain of longing pressed on his chest while guilt twisted his stomach. He couldn't live like this. Self preservation or not, he couldn't just be cold because she had someone else. It wasn't in him. It wasn't fair to her.
Subject: poison beets - a new study
So while you were at lunch I had this great idea. Surprisingly what I have been working on has not been my actual work, so out of character for me, I know. I finally finished it though. It's a pretty legit, if I do say so myself, looking article about a new scientific study that proves that beets are seriously hazardous to your health. I stole the header and author information from the National Agricultural Survey and photo-shopped it in. I put WAY too much time in it. I know. I've got it attached. What do you think? Can you read it over and play along when the time comes?
A few minutes later, when Dwight left his desk, Jim headed over to reception and whispered "Did you get my message?"
"This is so cool." Pam's eyes were bright, excitement and joy radiated off of her as though she was going to burst. She never looked like this around Roy, it was only for him. And suddenly Jim's day was perfect again. Pam continued, "Like seriously cool. But, I was thinking, what if I bring up the article? I know it's your thing but-"
"No, yeah yeah, totally." Her taking part in the prank was better than her laughing at it. Pranking Dwight was their thing. They had a thing. "He's way more likely to believe you. I'm gonna get back before he comes out and then let's do this!"
Pam gave him a brilliant smile and a stealthy salute before getting back to work. He started heading back to his desk, but then thought better of it. "Hey, wait. One more thing." he grabbed some jelly beans for good measure. "Would you... umm... would you wanna go out for drinks with me tomorrow night? Not just me, of course, but I'm meeting up with a bunch of old friends and we're just gonna hang out, get drinks, play games. Normal stuff, and I was - uh - wondering if you'd want to join? Roy can come, too, of course." He winced at his fumbling delivery. So much for the old Halpert charm.
"Uh, yeah." She blushed. That had to mean something."Yeah, that sounds great. Roy and I don't have any plans and he loves drinking."
"Cool." He drummed his fingers on her desk, unable to stop a huge grin from spreading across his face. "Awesome."
Jim decided to actually knock out some of his real work while they waited for the perfect moment to strike. About ten minutes later Pam's voice called him back to the prank.
"Hey Dwight? Why do you grow beets again?" She had taken something over to the copier and had stopped on her way back.
"I'm glad you asked that, Pam." Dwight sat up straighter and smiled at her with a proud look on his face. "Beets are an extremely nutritious not to mention delicious root vegetable. They are proven to lengthen life spans and lead to increased fertility in both men and women."
"Really?" Pam crossed her arms and leaned back against her desk. "It's just that I read this article, and I know you know a lot about beets, but it's just that it said beet consumption was one of the leading causes of cancer in America."
"That is false." Dwight scoffed, "Beets actively prevent cancer. Beets give Schrutes a near immunity to cancer. My great uncle eats at least 5 beets everyday and he's 103. You can't believe everything you hear on the internet, Pam."
"No, I read something about that too." Jim added, stroking his chin a bit for effect. "Didn't it say the beets degraded soil? Like growing beets in one place for an extended time depleted all the nutrients from the soil."
"No, that's not true at all." Dwight dismissed almost casually, but some cracks were already beginning to show. "Sure some additional nitrogen helps yield a good crop, but that's just basic farming."
"I heard that they are really bad for your teeth. Like really bad." Pam continued, playing to Jim this time. "Like the sugars in beets, beet sugar, has the right chemical make-up to cause dental hydroplosion."
"What's that? That's not. -" Dwight started, now clearly concerned
"I definitely heard that." Jim interrupted, hiding a grin at seeing Dwight so flustered "Did you read about how beets are bad for your eyes? They're like the opposite of carrots."
"Really?" Pam was great at this, Jim could almost buy the surprise and horror in her voice.
"No, that's a lie!" Dwight slammed his hands down on his desk, “They aren’t the opposite of… That doesn’t make sense!”
"Carrots are so good for you, Pam. They help you see in the dark." Jim continued, egging Dwight on.
"I should eat more carrots, shouldn't I Jim? Swap out my beets for carrots?" Pam asked him, a cute little line of concern creasing her brow.
"NO. Don't eat more carrots, Pam." Dwight, flustered, gestured madly, trying to grab Pam's attention away from Jim. "Beet greens contain more beta-carotene that a carrot ever could!"
"I don't know Dwight, carrots seem like the safer option." She really looked like she genuinely wanted his opinion.
"They are a fad vegetable." Dwight ranted. "Before you know it carrot cakes will be out and people will be eating beet cakes like the good old days."
"No, don't listen to him," Jim shook his head. "You're much safer switching to carrots."
"Shut Up, Jim!" Dwight stood up and turned to Pam, hands out, pleading. "Pam, he doesn't know what he is talking about. Beets are healthy, delicious, and a key part of a balanced diet! The article is probably just some sham from a jealous carrot farmer."
"I don't know Dwight, It looked pretty official to me." She headed back behind her desk. "I'll email you the PDF right now."
"Hey, I think I found that same article you're looking at. The one from the government website?" A little mention of legitimacy would drive Dwight beyond the brink.
"Government!?" Horror spread across Dwight's face.
"Yeah. that's the one. I'm sending it over to Dwight now."
"Hey look," Jim turned his monitor to show Dwight, pointing at a line in the PDF. "It says here that the rate of spontaneous human combustion is directly linked with beet consumption. That the odd chemical makeup of beet sugar acts as a fuel. Hey Dwight, didn't your grandfather die of spontaneous human combustion?"
"What? No. It was my great aunt's brother. And it was unrelated!"
"I don't know, that's proof if I've ever heard any." Jim shrugged, trying to hide his smile
"I'm scared, Jim." Pam looked at him, eyes round and innocent. "Should I be worried about Spontaneous Human Combustion?"
"Very worried." Jim said grimly. "If I were you, I'd completely cut beets out of your diet."
"That's it. I'm switching to carrots." Pam said with a shake of her head, settling back into her work space.
"IT'S LIES, PAM! DON'T SWITCH TO CARROTS!"
Pam, aside, a gleeful smile on her face, "Don't tell anyone this, but I actually really like roasted beets on a salad. But Jim would never let me live it down."
Sorry it has been so long since I have last posted or even been on. Thanks for all the comments and I plan to get back to updating regularly.
Thanks for reading.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.