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Author's Chapter Notes:

This came about because of two things. One: After the premier aired, I realized that fic where Roy and Pam get married on June 8th would be best categorized under AU and this made me smile. Two: Company Calls Epilogue by Death Cab For Cutie has been one of my favorite songs for years and it's basically The Jim Season Two Song. Lyrics within and the title come from this song.


Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

(synapse to synapse:
the possibility’s thin)

I bought a new suit and cancelled a plane ticket.

I stood next to your family members who didn't know who I was, because I wanted to listen to them talk about you. I wanted to hear someone else talk about how beautiful you looked when they peeked in on you. I wanted to hear your Aunt Judy talk about your make up and your jewelry.

I sat alone, toward the back. I didn't sit near the rest of the people from the office. That part of my life was over.

I listened to people whisper your name and his name. I listened to people talk about how you were perfect for one another. How after eleven years, they were so glad to see you getting married.

Then the organ kicked in and when I stood up I saw black with neon fireworks. And then it was just you. You and your skin against the pure white of your dress. You and your smile.

I don't know how I kept breathing.

You were beautiful. I knew you would be. You were always so beautiful.

I got you a waffle iron. Because you like waffles more than pancakes. And because anything else I might've gotten you seemed too personal to give you as a wedding gift. Still, when I was wrapping the waffle iron in creamy white paper, I thought it was the worst possible thing I could give you. You, my best friend. I gave my best friend a waffle iron when she got married.

When there wasn't any hesitation in your voice during your vows, I put it there for you. For myself. I put pauses where I thought there should be pauses, would be pauses if you knew that right then, right when he was slipping that ring onto your finger, I still loved you more than I thought possible.

I pretended that you glanced over at me, but you didn't. You looked right at him and said in a completely unfaltering voice, "I do." I pretended that when you kissed him, it was halfhearted and you pulled away immediately, looking embarrassed and darting your eyes over at me again.

(I kept a distance
the complications cloud)

I don't know why I went to the reception. I don't know why I wasn't immediately out of there.

That's a lie. I do know why I stayed. I wanted to see you. I wanted to watch you dance with him. I wanted to watch you laugh and smile and drink champagne with your mother and sister. I wanted to see how your hair looked under a softer light.

Mostly I wanted you to notice me and walk over slowly, shyly with your fourth champagne flute dangling dangerously from your fingers.

And you did.

(and there isn’t a pension for second best
or for hardly moving)

I was standing in a corner, feeling out of place and a little strange when you approached me.

You smiled warmly at me and said, "You didn't go to Australia."

"Nope. I thought this was more important."

You nodded, looking down at the floor. Then there was an awkward pause and you bit your lip as you looked up at me.

"To be honest, I sort of thought you planned that trip to avoid my wedding." You laughed and immediately said, "It's stupid, I know. But it just seemed...strange for you to plan your trip right at that time."

You were right and I stayed silent after that, because all I could think to say was that this whole thing seemed surreal. Everything had this cloudy feel about it, like I would wake up and this would be a dream. I wanted to say that I had been so sure this would never happen. That since the moment I found out you were engaged, I never expected to actually stand next to you at your wedding reception.

You were down on your knees saying something to your six year old cousin who had approached us. I couldn’t hear the words, but he smiled widely and giggled before running off in the direction of the flower girl.

You stood back up and held out your hand. “Dance with me?”

I hesitated, knowing that being this close to you right now would be one of the worst decisions of my life. But I took it anyway, because I’d never had much self control where you’re concerned.

You placed your now empty champagne flute on a nearby table and then your arms were around my neck. Our bodies were close and the song was slow.

I tried not to look over your shoulder to the table where your new husband was tilting his head back to gulp down the rest of his beer. I tried to just focus on the top of your head and the way it fit beneath my chin. I tried to focus on how your hips felt under my palms and how your right hand slid down to rest on my chest.

So I did what I’m good at. I pretended for just a minute that this was our wedding and our first dance and that in a few hours I’d get to board a plane and take you to some exotic place that we’d never actually see, because there would be so much to do with our skin.

I was brought back to my senses by something reflecting light in the corner of my eye.

(what was your first reaction?
screaming, drunk, disorderly, I’ll tell you mine)

So I bent my head down to your ear, because you had to know this now, really know this before you went on whatever honeymoon you had planned, before you bought a house and a dog and had your first child. My voice tried to sound stable, but with all the overcompensating I was doing, it sounded even worse. And I was too close, really just too close, but I didn’t realize this until I felt your skin against my bottom lip. The soft, smooth side of your face.

You didn’t jump back. You didn’t try to subtly pull your face away even a little bit.

So I kept my face there, let my cheek drag against yours almost hoping that the stubble would hurt a little and leave your skin red.

And I said, “This really doesn’t change anything. Not for me. I’ll wait.”

I didn’t know what I was going to be waiting for, but I just knew that I would. I let my lips brush against your cheek as I pulled back and when you looked at me, there weren’t tears in your eyes, just a vacancy.

A new song had started, something faster, but we were still standing there motionless.

(the white routine
to be ingested inaccurately).

unfold is the author of 102 other stories.
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