Pam slid the pencil gently across the paper, shaping the sides of Dwight's desk with ease. It was a rather slow Friday morning, and despite the fact that it was ten o'clock, Michael had yet to make an appearance. The office almost seemed normal from her vantage point. Jim was talking on the phone with a client, squeezing in the most important of his calls before Michael's antics would halt his work. Dwight was typing on his computer and had yet to irritate Jim enough to disrupt the peace of the office. Stanley already had his crossword puzzle book out, furrowing his brow as he counted the empty boxes with his pencil. The kitchen door opened, and Phyllis slowly entered with two steaming mugs, one of which she set on Stanley's desk, receiving a satisfactory grunt in response. The ringing of the phone interrupted Pam's scan of the office.
"Dunder Mifflin, this is-"
At that exact moment, Michael burst through the door armed with two bulging paper bags and a devilish grin.
"Employees of Dunder Mifflin!" Michael shouted.
"I'm sorry what was-," Pam began before Michael snatched the phone from her hand and slid it back onto the receiver. "Michael that was-"
"A blah blah blah!" Michael yelled. "I have an announcement! Conference room! 1 minute! Go!"
Upon Michael’s arrival, Dwight’s posture became impossibly straighter. "Michael, as assistant regional-“
"Assistant to the," Jim corrected, his voice dripping with fake sympathy.
"I should know what the announcement is before anyone else," Dwight finished with a flourish of confidence, scowling at Jim who leaned back in his chair and smiled at him.
"Argh, just shut it Dwight. Just go in the conference room like everyone else," Michael groaned before heading into his office. Dwight glanced around awkwardly before sighing and following his sluggish coworkers into the conference room.
Once every seat in the conference room was filled, Michael skipped into the room, dressed in only swimming trunks and a colorful lei. A pair of sunglasses were perched on his head, and a radio was in one hand.
Angela’s hands flew to her eyes. "Ugh, Michael!"
"Michael-," Oscar began before realizing his attempts at rationale would be pointless. This was Michael Scott after all.
"Uh Michael, this is actually very inappropriate. Company policy requires you to be fully dressed at all times, and that includes, uh, wearing a shirt," Toby motioned awkwardly to Michael's bare chest, covered with far more hair than anyone ever wanted to see.
"We'd all like it if you were fully covered too Toby. No one wants to see your ugly face anyway. As I was saying, I have an announcement! As this year's morale building event, we are going to Rehoboth Beach!" Michael took this opportunity to push the sunglasses resting on his head down over his eyes and hit a button on the radio. Everyone stared as he attempted to moonwalk to an island soundtrack. "Come on guys! We're going to the beach! Get hyped! Girls in bikinis! Booze! Wild parties!"
The only sound in the room was that of the radio as Michael's enthusiasm was met with confused expressions. Pam exchanged an amused glance with Jim while Dwight madly scribbled in his notebook. Kelly's eyes lit up as she grabbed Ryan's arm, shaking him as he rolled his eyes, looking like he would rather be anywhere but here.
Meredith smirked, taking a long sip from her suspiciously large cup. "Free booze? That sounds like a party that I'm gonna be at.”
"Hot girls in bikinis?" Kevin asked incredulously, his eyes glazing. over.
Michael’s grin only widened at their misguided enthusiasm. "Yes! Hot beach babes for everyone!"
"I used to go to Rehoboth all the time in the 70s. The girls there are some hot mamas," Creed announced to no one impacticular.
"Wait, is this actually happening?" Pam turned to look at Toby.
"It actually is. Michael proposed it to Jan, and corporate went for it since it was within our budget, but it's intended to be a team building event, and Michael is required to plan events and give lectures and other business related talks-," he responded before Michael cut in again.
"Stop stealing my moment you soul sucker! We're leaving at three o'clock today!"
"Michael, you waited until the day of this trip to tell us?!" Stanley drawled.
Phyllis shifted her concerned gaze to the floor. "Some of us have plans for tonight.”
"Is this mandatory, because I have a test tomorrow for business school?" asked Ryan, crossing his fingers behind his back. He'd never been superstitious, but this seemed as good a time as any to start.
"I have to find someone to watch my cats!" Angela complained.
"You people are SO ungrateful! I get you a free trip for you all, and all you people can think about is where your cats are going to poop!" Michael yelled over the buzz of confusion.
"Hey!" Angela glared at Michael, crossing her arms firmly over her chest.
"Everyone is going! This trip is mandatory!" Michael interrupted. "Corporate said you all can go home at lunch to pack," he added hastily before cranking the volume on the radio and breaking into a series of horrifying dance moves. Dwight took the opportunity to jump up from his seat and join Michael's solo dance party while everyone else filed out of the conference room.
Rather than returning his desk, Jim followed Pam back to her desk and poured some jelly beans into his hands. He had never realized how deep his affection for jellybeans ran until he met the receptionist.
"So, looks like our fearless leader was finally able to get us a trip. How do you feel about this?" Jim smiled as he stretched his arm out toward her as if it were a microphone.
"Well Jim, I think that this will most definitely be the strangest trip of my life, but the real highlight of the trip will be when you and I convince Dwight to wear a speedo. You see, in many cultures, they are a sign of masculinity. Only real men wear speedos.”
"Beesly, I can't decide if you're a genius or just a pervert," Jim smirked. "But I think we may just be able to arrange that. I've heard that bright pink speedos are particularly enticing to women because it reminds them of their time in the womb," he added as Pam dissolved into a fit of laughter.
"That may be more of Dwight than I ever wanted to see, but I think the looks on everyone's faces will be worth it," she giggled.
Michael spotted Jim and Pam laughing, and jogged over to reception to join them, joining their laughter with them even though he had no idea what was so funny.
"You don't even know what we're laughing at," Jim pointed out, turning to face Michael as he leaned against the reception desk.
"You were laughing with happiness because of the trip!" Michael enthused, still laughing despite the fact that Jim and Pam had stopped.
"We definitely were not.”
"Pam-a-laaa! We are all dying to see you in a cute little number on the beach!” Michael announced. Pam's cheeks flushed bright red as she avoided eye contact.
"Uh, I actually have a lot of work to do," Pam told him, turning to pick up the phone.
Once Michael headed over to bother accounting, Jim turned back to her.
"Is warehouse coming?" Jim asked, mentally crossing his fingers.
"Uh um I don't know," Pam stammered, realizing she hadn't even thought to ask. "Michael, is warehouse coming?"
"Nope! Too much of the green stuff," Michael replied, rubbing his fingers together for emphasis.
Turning back to Jim, Pam sighed. "I rode here with Roy. Do you mind giving me a ride to my house at lunch? If it's not too much trouble?"
"No problem at all," Jim smiled. He had no idea where she lived, but then again, she could live three hours away and he would hardly care. For the next three days, he had Pam all to himself, even though the experience would be slightly soiled by Dwight's presence. Because of Roy, he rarely saw her outside of work. As he sat down at his desk, he let his mind carry him away. They would have all day to pull pranks on Dwight and create more inside jokes and go to the beach and just talk. Assuming Michael wasn't too vigilant (which he rarely was), he was sure they could sneak away together at least once. Things finally seemed to be working in his favor. Maybe this would be the trip that would finally change things, maybe he wouldn't be the pining coworker anymore, maybe he would finally summon the courage, and maybe she would surprise him. He had never been so grateful for Michael.
Pam smiled to herself as she returned to her work. Because they she and Roy had been saving for the wedding, she hadn't had a vacation in a long time, unless she counted visiting her parents (which she didn't). The more she thought about it, the less she minded that it would be with her coworkers. Most of them were actually pretty nice outside of work, and at least she would have Jim to joke around with. It would be nice to have a break from work and a break from Roy, but that was to be expected when two people lived together, right?
"Oh my gosh Ryan this is such perfect timing! I just bought a new bikini online last week, and it arrived yesterday! I totally look hot in it! Oh my gosh, did I mention that Jennifer Aniston has this exact same swimsuit?! I mean, how cool is that?! We're totally twinning! Do you want me to tell you what it looks like now, or do you want to be surprised?" Kelly rambled. Ryan didn't look up from his nonexistent work, sighing in response. "Oh my gosh, you probably want it to be a surprise, right?! I mean I obviously won't look as a hot as Jennifer Aniston but its so cute! I'm going to tell you anyway! It's a white lacy low cut bikini, but it's so much more than that! The top has this adorable little design on the top, and bottoms have the cutest cut out, and I'm on of those few people who looks really good in white and....," Kelly's voice finally trailed off as Ryan managed to lose himself in his thoughts, which were definitely not of Kelly in a bikini. He had hoped that she would be a fun one night stand, but instead he had somehow managed to convince her, without using any words or actions, that she was his girlfriend or something. She was definitely cute and had a nice body, but he definitely wasn't looking for a relationship. Even if he was, he would never date her. She was very high maintenance, clingy, obnoxious, and had so little self awareness. Unfortunately, there was nowhere to hide in such a tiny office. He imagined she had probably changed topics by now, but he figured it didn't really matter anyway.
In the breakroom, Dwight was intently staring at a vending machine full of food that he had absolutely no intention of buying. Angela was seemingly very interested in her fingernails, facing the adjacent vending machine.
"You know you can't act any different around me during the next few days. We have to be careful," Angela said in a low voice.
"I know Monkey, but what if I want to be with you?" Dwight whispered.
"It's only three days..," she trailed off.
"I'll be extra cautious. We can meet in secret like we do here," he urged, moving slightly closer to her.
Angela sighed softly. "Fine, but absolutely no PDA," she whispered before turning on her heel abruptly and exiting the room. Dwight looked crestfallen. This was going to be a long three days.