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Author's Notes: Just a heads up...”Av” is a restaurant in Pennsylvania, outside of Scranton...oh and don't drink and drive :P

I don't own the office...or Jim and Pam..or anything really.
Thanks to the beta'ing and encouragement from my lovely friend Danielle :)
Now go ahead..enjoy this..and let me know what you think!

“Pam,” Jim stood in the doorway to their bedroom, a look of utter confusion coming over his face as he managed to dump the contents of Cece's bag on their floor. “Where the hell is that binky I put in here earlier?” He brought a hand to his forehead, a mountain of diapers, Desitin, and wipes strewn under him.

She came out of the bathroom, Cecelia on her hip, and a toothbrush in the other hand; she'd learned to multitask, quickly.

“I have no idea, Jim. She had it earlier, at lunch.”

“Well it's not in here now, and she won't make it an hour in the car without it,” he sighed, beginning to grumble as he put everything back in the bag, and shoved it on the bed, where he promptly placed himself. The past seven months had proved trial in he and Pam's life. Never before did he think he'd learn how to watch the Phillies play ball, while entertaining his daughter on his lap, and making sure that the lasagna in the oven wasn't burning. He certainly didn't think he'd be on his hands and knees, digging through lint attempting to find the hundredth pacifier that his daughter had managed to lose under the couch.

He loved Cecelia. That wasn't up for question, but he'd be a liar if he didn't have moments where he wished it was just him and Pam. In those quick seconds when she glances over at him, in a heat of frustration, tears in her eyes, a baby on her lap, and a look of utter exhaustion over her face, he wished he could just take it away. He'd also be a liar if he didn't admit to talking to Cecelia late at night when he can't sleep. Those nights when he pads into her bedroom to just watch her little belly rise up and down, and touch his finger to her pouted lips. When she laughs and grabs his fingers if they even get near to her body, and how she loves to be picked up and placed high above his head. Cece was no mistake. And later in life he'd tell his daughter that she was simply an unexpected present. A wonderful surprise that they didn't even know was arriving. He'd manage not to tell her about the time she fell of the couch, or how he tumbled with her in his arms once. But in this very moment, with Cecelia crying in Pam's arms, kicking her to be let down, all of this was pushed aside and frustration was taking over.

“Hey,” Pam watched as he sighed, laying back on the bed, his eyes closed. “What's wrong?” She came over, setting the baby on the bed, her little body rolling over, and finding her father's hair.

He shook his head in protest, keeping his eyes firmly shut. Pam reached out a hand to his, and stroked it.

“It's going to be fine, I'll sit in the back with her, she'll be fine.” He opened his eyes to find her leaning over him, propped up on her elbow.

He smiled. The sight of her in that dress, one he hadn't seen in months, her hair tied back in an updo, and a free hand curled around Cecelia's back, supporting her, softened him. He'd never once been able to explain what it is that Pam does to him. When he first told his mother about Pam, how great she was, he told her it was like when she was around, he felt lighter. Like when you hold in a secret, and you finally get to tell it, the instant relief-that's Pam.

“You're right, it's fine. I overreacted,” he sat up, and pulled Cecelia into his lap. “Are you going to be good for Grandma?” She responded in a fit of raspberries.

“Let's hope that's a yes,” Pam grinned.

“Are you sure you think it's okay to leave her with your Mom? I know she's good with kids, but she's never stayed there before...especially overnight.”

“She'll be fine. Mom's got the emergency numbers, our numbers, and we're only going to be out for the night. Plus, she's been dying to take Cecelia for months now,” Pam cocked her head to the side, “And you and I have been looking forward to this for months too...” she smiled deviously at him, sending him a wink.

“Not in front of the child!” He scooped Cece up and stood up, trying to restrain a laugh.

“Give me her,” Pam reached out, “You go finish getting ready. I'll do one more sweep for that binky. We've got to get out of here soon, our reservations at seven right?” She asked.

“Yep,” Jim nodded, grabbing socks and underwear out of the dresser and casually throwing them into their duffel bag.

“When are you going to tell me where we're going?”

“When we get there.” He stated simply, collapsing the pack and play.

She sighed. “You're a pain in my ass, did you know that?”

“Yup” he nodded and smiled, giving her a little nudge out the door.

“We're officially baby free.” They took a moment to enjoy the silence in the darkened car.

Jim looked over and chuckled at Pam, “Does this good feeling seem a bit...malicious?”

“Absolutely,” she laughed, as he started the car, backing out of her Mom's driveway.

Pam glanced inside the picture window, one last time, watching as Helene held Cecelia's arm out in a wave. Jim honked the horn, and pulled back out onto the deserted street.

“Do you think she'll call if there's any problems?” Pam asked, looking for some reassurance.

“Nope,” Jim smirked. He glanced over, and reached out, squeezing her hand, “Happy Anniversary Pam,”

She moved close to him, bringing a hand around his chin, trying not to distract him from the road as she planted a kiss on his just shaved face, he smelled like Christmas.

“How far away are we from wherever we're going?”

“Oh, fifteen minutes or so...not far.”

“Jim...you told me to pack a bag, and wear something nice. If we go through the McDonalds drive, and crash at our place I'm going to kill you,” she glared at him.

He snickered, “What? Two apple pies for a dollar won't cut it?”

She slapped his arm playfully, and rested back into her seat, watching the lights quickly pass by her. Rain pelted the window, drizzling down, and collecting in the corner. Moments like this reminded her of her childhood. Nights spent traveling to and from relatives houses, her and Penny curled up in the back of her parent's Sedan, watching out the windows. She couldn't imagine in any lifetime the person sitting next to her would be Jim. There was no way her brain every could have conjured a man so perfect to match her personality. Her family and friends were always reassuring her that he was perfect, that she was so lucky. She'd smile and agree of course, but it would take too long to explain to him, that perfection didn't exist. It was finding perfection in even your partner's flaws. And now, she sat across from the man that she shared a home with, a child with, and a heart with.

Like he knew what she was thinking, he looked over at her, grinning devilishly,“Get ready for your two for a dollar apple pies, babe.”



“Right this way,” the waiter smiled as he led the two of them to the smallest, most intimate part of Av. Pam shook her head, taking a seat at the table, glancing down at the card sitting in front of her plate. “Every day you make me falls more in love with you.” was written in Jim's scratchy handwriting. She blushed, smiling at his pun.

“Is this too much?” He asked hesitantly, the flickering of the candle creating shadows under his nose and around his eyes.

“It's perfect.” she whispered, taking his hand from across the table, rubbing her thumb over his knuckles.

Norah Jones' “Love Me Tender” played quietly on the radio somewhere above them, as Pam released a chuckle. “Now it's too much.” She bit her lip playfully.

That was coincidental.” He pointed upwards, indicating the music. It was the song they'd first danced to as a couple.

“Shut up, it was not,” she laughed.

“Okay, so maybe,” he cocked his head to the side, “I paid off the management.”

Whether he did or not, it didn't matter. She laughed quietly, loving him even more. Loving him for being too extravagant, for not caring that the food was terrible, for ordering two beers instead of wine, it was exactly the anniversary she'd wanted.

“I'm sorry the food was terrible,” he apologized, as they found their way out to the car, stumbling into each other, the alcohol starting to buzz through their veins.

“It's fine,” she reassured him, leaning him against the car. The crisp air that smelled like wood stoves and Halloween brushed between their legs. It was quiet as she pressed herself against him, leaning her chin upward, kissing right under his jaw.

He made a noise, maybe a laugh, maybe something else, as he pecked her on the nose, and pulled her into the car.

“I promise, once we get to where we're going, we can do this for the rest of the evening if you want,” he eyed her lazily, his dimples appearing on his cheek and the corner of his lips as he smiled.

“Oh crap,” Pam groaned, seeing four missed calls from her Mother. “I really hope she's just calling to ask how we're doing.”

Jim watched as she called Helene, listening intently to the “Mhmm's” and “Okay's” and feeling his stomach rise into his throat when she said “we'll be right there.”

“What's wrong?” he asked, starting the car, already wondering how he would cancel the reservation he'd made at the cabin for them that night.

“Cece won't stop crying. I guess she laid her down to go to sleep about an hour ago and she just won't stop crying. She's fed her, changed her diaper, walked around with her, tried to give her a pacifier...nothing. She's just screaming.”

He laid back against the seat, watching Pam fidget in her seat. He knew what they said about Mother's was true. Children are always on their mind, and he knew that she was thinking about Cecelia.

“I'm sure she's okay,” He reassured her.

“I hope so,” Pam remarked, knotting her hands.


They were crammed into the tiny twin bed, the balloon nightlight illuminating the room around them, Cecelia was fast asleep near them in the pack and play, and they were attempting to be as quiet as possible as to not wake her.

“Remind me again why we're not sleeping in our own bed?” Jim whispered, scooting down in the bed, meeting nose to nose with Pam.

“Because my mother thinks we're drunk and can't handle getting back to our house.” She rolled her eyes.

“But she trusts us with our child...that makes a lot of sense,” he snickered.

“Oh come on, you know you love sleeping in my old room,” she fidgeted, the bed creaking with her.

“It feels wrong.”

“Think of this as an escape back to my young girlish days...” she laughed a little too loudly.

He brought a hand to her mouth, “Who are you? Jane Austen?” He shook his head, “Your girlish days? Are you going to tell me about your crush on Mr. Darcy, too?”

“I'm sorry the night kind of fell apart. I had all these plans for us to stay in this lodge-”

She rubbed her thumb against his lips. “This is great Jim...really.”

“As usual...Cece's got to butt in to all our fun,” he pouted.

“Cece's the cause of all our fun,” she reminded him as Cecelia babbled from over in the corner.

“Never a dull moment.” Jim climbed out of bed, walking over to her, and peering in.

“Come here monkey,” he brought her over to the bed, putting her in the little space between them, just enough room for her.

“You don't like Grandma, huh Cee?” He teased, watching her laugh.

“You're terrible,” Pam grinned.

“You don't mean that.”

“No. You're right, I don't.”

JHalpert is the author of 10 other stories.
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