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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.

Author's Chapter Notes:

Originally posted on 9 October 2020

Enjoy!

The ambulance had arrived and, soon enough, one Stanley Hudson was taken to the hospital.

The office is in complete disarray: the copier is broken beyond repair, ceiling tiles are missing and on the floor, glass shards everywhere, locks are broken and needing replacements, and the paper projector is now on the hood of Stanley’s car, to add insult to injury.  The fire department also arrives to put out the offending flame and clear the smoke.

Naturally, in walks a police officer to get everyone’s statements from both office workers and the doc crew members alike.  These statements vary given the witnesses’ personalities, but the name “Dwight” and a variation of the phrase “ass” always end up in the same sentence in all of these statements.  Toby and the officer tell Michael that this scene is going straight to corporate, and he promises that Dwight will be punished “to the fullest ascent”.

In one of Michael’s smarter decisions, he tells the office that once they give their statements, they are free to leave for the rest of the day.

“This is ridiculous,” Dwight insists, “The workday doesn’t stop because of the incompetence of one’s peers.”  You can just feel the irony.

As everyone else is preparing to bite his head off, Michael beats them all to the punch with a surprisingly great comeback, “Yeah, well, you made Stanley’s heart stop, Dwight, so if it don’t work then we don’t.”

The rest of the workers are more than happy to get the hell out of there.

Phyllis, after grabbing her purse, hangs out in the Vance Refrigeration waiting room until Bob is done with work.
Andy goes home to treat his pipes after inhaling that much smoke.
Angela leaves to take Bandit to the vet.
Oscar drives home realizing he has experienced claustrophobia for the first time.
Kevin needs to get home and store his snacks.
Meredith goes straight to the bar.
Creed was gonna leave early anyway to “meet up with a friend”.
Kelly goes so she can write about all of this in her blog.
Toby accepts that his life is truly awful.
And Brent, the cameraman, schedules an appointment with his chiropractor.

Jim, Pam, and Dwight are the only three people still in the building besides the officer.  While Dwight is continuing to work out of spite, the office couple gives their statements together in the conference room.  They’re both shaken, but maintain their composure; they hold hands, clutching as tightly as they can because they were afraid they would die.

They’re eventually politely dismissed, and both of them head to their desks to pack up their things, just desperate to go home.

Dwight has to open his big mouth as Jim’s packing his satchel and not even thinking about looking in his direction, “Before you leave Jim, for future reference, a copier does not make a suitable battering ram.  May I suggest—”

“Don’t talk to me,” Jim responds coldly.  He makes a beeline to Pam who’s ready and the one thing keeping him sane right now.

“Pamela,” Dwight calls to her, “Please inform Jim that a copier does not—”

“NO!” she shouts back, equally as infuriated as her fiancé.

The couple is in the elevator, his arm around her shoulders and her arms around his middle, trying to make all of this go away.

“Are you okay?” he asks quietly.  He knows the answer but wants to ask anyway.

She just shakes her head no, eyes glassy.

“You wanna talk about it?”

“We will, back at the house,” she responds shakily.

“Sure thing,” he says as he softly kisses her head.  She can’t help but smile, and neither can he.  They savor this moment alone as the elevator goes down, both in the comfort that they’re together and happy and in love and the confidence that they can handle literally anything this office throws at them now.

While in Jim’s Saab, they hold hands tightly once again over the armrest.  He’s in reverse, readying to leave when Dwight knocks on his window.

“I was only trying to save your lives!” he shouts through the glass, “You’re welcome!”

That is met with Jim flipping him off with his left hand as he switches gears with his right, briefly letting Pam’s hand go.

“Oh, real mature, Jim, real mature!” he shouts as they drive off.  Jim, in his mind, concedes that was immature, but so is Dwight.

Holding hands, they drive home in silence.  It’s not out of anger (well, not anger towards each other), but more out of contemplation.  After all that insanity, just knowing that the person they love is sitting a foot away from them right now after either one of them could have been out of their lives forever… they’ve spent four damn years apart.  Neither one of them is going through that again.

They walk into the house, knowing that they’ll eat lunch later, just not right now.  William Beesly is thankfully napping in the guest room, so he doesn’t hear all this bull.  Both of them make a beeline for the bedroom, and when the door shuts, he sees tears begin to streak down her cheeks.

“Come here,” he coos in a voice riddled with sadness, and she practically jumps in his arms.  He holds her tightly, letting the mascara stain his work shirt.

“I was— so s-scared,” she says through her tears.

“Me too,” he returns, getting emotional himself.

“If you had— m-my mind can’t even go there.”

“Mine neither,” he shakily agrees, kissing the top of her head, “I’d be completely hopeless.”

“Me too,” she agrees.

After a few more tears, they pull apart and give each other a long kiss, pouring out all of their fear and frustration.

As they pull apart, she notices the mascara stains on his shirt.  “Sorry,” she apologizes with a slight smile, regaining composure.

“No problem,” he says, wiping his tears, “I have like 20 more of these.”

“Ugh, I need to lie down,” she groans.

“I’ll join you,” he says tiredly.

As Jim lies on his back, his arm around Pam who’s cuddling him on his side, she realizes what they need to do next.

“We’re mad,” she suggests, “Let’s be mad together.”

“I’m gonna yell, Pam,” he admits, “not a big fan of yelling.”

“You need to let this out,” she says, running her hand through his hair, “besides, I’ll join you.”

They both smile as he begins with his voice raised, “Where the hell does he get off?!”

“Really!”

“Yeah, as if we don’t know how to escape a burning building!”

“You know what?  I think this was about that PowerPoint presentation.”

“Oh yeah, he was saying that ‘nobody paid attention,’” he says, mocking Dwight, “Yeah well maybe we shouldn’t have to sit through a PowerPoint for stuff we already know!”

“‘Grab the fire extinguishers!’  Bitch, we didn’t know where the fire was!”

“Yeah!  He broke the keys, he heated the door handles with a torch, he killed the phone lines, there was no way to escape.  He pretty much trapped the whole office in the Kobayashi Maru exercise.”

“Wait,” Pam pauses, “is that, like, the Battlestar Galactica thing where you’re forced to make a bad choice either way?”

Star Trek, and yes,” Jim answers.

“Oh my God, that’s exactly what it was!”

“Oh, and I can hear him say ‘But Kirk beat it!’  No!  No, he didn’t!  He just reprogrammed the whole thing so it would work as he wanted.”

“I have no earthly idea what you’re talking about, but I am in full agreement.”

“God… he nearly killed a man!”

“Exactly!”

Jim sighs, slamming his head into his pillow, “I hope he’s okay.”

“Phyllis texted me during our ride home,” Pam mentioned, “She says he’ll make a full recovery.”

“Thank God.”

They both sigh and just lay there for a minute, until Pam starts to giggle.

Jim looks at her, puzzled but smiling, “What’s so funny?”

“Okay,” she posits, “this is gonna sound crazy, but do you think years down the road, we’re gonna look back at all of this and laugh?”

He just looks at her incredulously, “Yes, Bees, that does sound crazy.”

“Hear me out,” she begins, “Throughout that entire mess, how could you not expect some of those people to make the stupidest choices imaginable?”

“I was too distracted to see what everyone else was doing for obvious reasons.”

“Well, I noticed in the accounting clump that Angela pulled one of her cats out of a cabinet drawer, and then threw it when Oscar was crawling through the ceiling,” she couldn’t help but laugh, “And then it fell through the ceiling and landed on the desk!”

“Wait… that’s what that meow was?”

“Yeah!”

“Oh my God,” he says through a chuckle, “Hope that thing’s alive.”

“That vet has a job waiting for them.”

“Oh, and when Dwight planted the firecrackers, I heard Andy shouting, and I quote, ‘The fire is shooting at us!’”

Pam’s laughing harder, “He graduated from Cornell, right?”

“Well, he was drunk the whole time, according to him.”

“Oh, oh, and I overheard Brent telling Brian that he got a shot of Kevin breaking into the vending machine and stealing all the snacks!”

Jim was laughing at this point, “Of course he would.”

She pauses and sobers, “Jim, are we horrible people?”

“Honestly, I think we’re just making the best out of a traumatizing situation,” Jim explains, “Stanley will be fine, no one else left with any injuries, and we all know that David Wallace is gonna tear Dwight a new one anyway if he’s not flat-out fired.”

Pam sighs, “Honestly, good or bad, I just want to forget that today ever happened.”

“Me, too,” Jim says, “Let’s go eat, watch some TV, and then…” he gets his voice low in that way she loves, “we wash this day off of us.”

She smiles knowingly, “Let’s go, Halpert.”

With a kiss, they get out of bed and head to the kitchen.

Pam was right, years down the road they’ll laugh at this, alongside millions of people.



3vasectomies is the author of 16 other stories.
This story is a favorite of 2 members. Members who liked Procedure also liked 70 other stories.
This story is part of the series, Episode Relateds. The previous story in the series is Words Better Left Unsaid. The next story in the series is The Silent Treatment.

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