It’s about fifteen minutes later when the parking lot is littered with mounds of snow, twigs, and paper cutouts.
“Wow,” Pam states, impressed, “Every last one.”
Jim, recovering from his trauma, needs to know, “Where the hell is he?” he whispers shakily.
Both Halperts look up to see a proud, confident Dwight making his way to his Pontiac.
“The war is over,” he continues, “I must admit, I thought you’d put up a better fight. But now, I think you’ve learned your lesson: the greatest snowball isn’t a snowball at all… it’s fear.”
While Pam looks at him in utter confusion, Jim attempts to hide the unbridled rage boiling within.
He unlocks his car, “Merry Christmas!” he greets with a smile and a wave.
Dwight continues about his business as Jim flips his broken umbrella upwards, anger in his eyes, holding it up and ready to strike him.
“Nonononononono!” Pam gets in front of him and stops him, “We’re going home, we’re going home.”
A wave of calm hits Jim and they just head to the car. Naturally, Pam’s driving. They’re on the road for a bit, Pam deciding he needed some comfort and held his hand, and he clutches it as if his life depended on it.
“You okay?” she asks, legitimately concerned.
He sighs deeply, “...yeah,” Jim says, rubbing his temple, “I just… I need time. I need time.”
“I’ll help you pay for the window.”
Pam attempts to break the tension with some vaudeville, “Guess that fight snowballed out of control! Heh?”
Jim just looks at her incredulously.
“Oh come on! That was funny.”
“One,” he begins, shaking, “I threw… one snowball at him.”
“Not to play devil’s advocate,” Pam argues, “but you agreed to a snowball war with Dwight Schrute.”
“I didn’t think he was gonna use guerilla tactics!” he shouts, “That’s not how snowball fights work!”
Pam sighs, “Look, I’m gonna be completely honest with you. The snowball you threw at Dwight? It was uncalled for.”
Jim’s annoyed at where he assumes she’s going with this, “So that justifies everything he’s done to me tonight?”
“Of course it doesn’t,” she states matter-of-factly, “But I’m not gonna justify your behavior, either. I mean, the snowball had pebbles in it. That could have done some damage.”
“Pam, I didn’t know there were pebbles in it.”
“Still, that was thrown point-blank, hard, at his face,” she argues, “That was really mean.” He sighs, recognizing she has a point. “And the others shouldn’t have found it funny either.”
“Yeah, and then they immediately joined Dwight on his crusade.”
She shakes her head, “Those people are sadists.”
“They really are,” he shakes his head as well, “Look, I went overboard, I’ll admit that. I just wanted him to shut up! Why can’t he just let people enjoy things?”
“Jim, it’s Dwight,” she wisely points out, “Every person he comes across wants him to shut up, and he ruins everything for everyone. Besides, you’re sometimes harsher to Dwight than you should be. I mean there’s a prank and then there’s just being mean-spirited.”
Jim takes in her words, “You’re right,” he says, “I’m... kinda awful, aren’t I?”
“I wouldn’t go that far,” Pam comforts, rubbing her thumb on his knuckle, “Dwight’s awful most of the time anyway. Besides, he may have the best sales record of the entire company and acres of farmland—”
“This is supposed to make me feel better?”
“My point,” she presses, “is that all he has is this stupid snowball war that ended up hurting someone else, and Mose. Meanwhile, you have friends and family who love you, an amazing house, and our beautiful baby girl,” she smiles at him briefly while at a red light, “You’re the real winner here.”
He smiles. Leave it to her to make him feel better after the worst Christmas party of his life.
“There’s something else I have that Dwight doesn’t.”
She smiles, already knowing the answer. They both lean over to have a short kiss before the light turns green.
The next day, Jim drops by the annex to see Holly with the cash for the window, who is sitting at her desk… across from Dwight, and an open seat next to him. Oh, come on…
“Have a seat, Jim,” Holly says with a soft smile.
“Yes, Jim, have a seat,” he says with a grin, patting the other seat. Wow, I guess I’m gonna commit murder in the office today. Jim reluctantly takes a seat next to Dwight.
“Now,” Holly begins, “I know tensions are high, but this goes beyond who’s in the right and who’s in the wrong. This is also about coming to an understanding so we can have a better work environment. Are we clear on that?”
“Good,” Holly continues, “Now Jim, in a composed manner, talk to Dwight about what you could have done to alleviate the situation.”
He sighs heavily, praying that what he’s about to say goes through Dwight’s hard-headed skull. “Dwight,” he begins, “The snowball I threw at you wasn’t an appropriate response to your comment, and the fact I didn’t know it had pebbles in it is not an excuse. And Holly, you were right, the lacrosse thing was dangerous and inappropriate, as well as excessive. I took out all of my annoyance and aggression on you, and for that, I apologize.”
Holly nods and smiles approvingly. “Dwight, do you accept his apology?”
“Absolutely, I do not,” Dwight presses, “I demanded an apology before the war began. If you would have said that at the moment, then this meeting wouldn’t even be necessary. Also, you have your own bad aim to blame for the lacrosse trick.”
Jim sighs, knowing he has a point, “Again, you’re right, not an excuse,” he acquiesces, “but do you really think all your snowball pranks were” NOT COMPLETELY TRAUMATIZING “an appropriate response to my actions?”
“Look,” Dwight explains, “You agreed to a war. And you did not meet the terms of surrender, so there was no reason for me to let up.”
“Terms of surrender?” Holly asks, curious.
“Oh, you didn’t know?” Jim points out, hiding his anger, “He wanted me to pelt my wife in the face with a snowball while he watches.”
“Dwight!” Holly suddenly blurts out.
“Okay,” Dwight responds, “I will admit, those terms were harsher than they should have been. But there should have been some sort of retribu—”
“Oh, hold that thought,” Jim interrupts, turning his attention to Holly, “Play this DVD, if you don’t mind. I think it’ll clarify some things.” Jim hands it to her. He got it from Hank.
She raises her eyebrow, but puts the DVD in. It presents the scene where Jim is locked out the door, Dwight comes out of nowhere from a snowman and pelts him with snowballs until he draws blood.
“Oh, my God,” is all Holly could muster before turning to Dwight with a disappointed look, “How could you think that this was an appropriate response to Jim’s actions?”
“And you were gonna sue me for psychological distress,” Jim points out, his anger evident.
“Oh please,” Dwight rolls his eyes, “Over the years, your pranks used to drive me up the wall. But now? They’re nothing more than a nuisance if anything. And the one time I dish it out you can’t take it. What does that say about you?”
If this doesn’t work, then murder will. “Dwight,” Jim begins, “Have any of my pranks ever drawn blood? Have they ever made you scared of your own shadow? Have they made you so afraid, so paranoid to the point where you felt like you had to defend yourself and your wife from being pelted, constantly, with snow?”
This gave Dwight pause, not helped by Holly raising her eyebrows at him.
“...I see your point,” Dwight admits, displaying regret.
“Yeah!” Jim emphasizes.
“Dwight,” Holly gently asks, “Do you have anything to say to Jim?”
Dwight sighs, defeatedly, “Alright then, I accept your previous apology, and offer my own.” He reaches out his hand.
Jim can tell when Dwight’s genuine and when he’s not. This time, he is. With a small smile, Jim returns the handshake.
Holly can’t help but brightly smile at the reconciliation, “Well, now that that’s settled, one more thing: I know from Michael that you two have this sibling rivalry thing going on, but just… don’t allow it to affect your job performance or the workspace. Other than that, go wild. Clear?”
They both agree, and Holly politely dismisses them, but not before Jim reimburses for the window.
“So,” Pam jokingly scolds as they sit back down, “have you boys learned your lesson?”
“Yes, ma’am,” the two salesmen say simultaneously, rolling their eyes as they begin to work.
“Great,” she smiles in response.
“Think fast!” Andy bursts through the front door and hits both Jim and Dwight with snowballs with surprisingly good aim. He laughs proudly, “Um, looks like I’ll be having frozen Tuna for lunch with a side of chilled Schrute.”
As the rest of the office chuckles and Pam shakes her head in disapproval, Jim and Dwight turn to each other, annoyed. Suddenly, Jim has an idea, “Hey, Andy!” he looks over, “Is that a challenge?”
“So what if it is?” Andy answers, still smiling as he sits at his desk.
“Dwight and I versus you. Think you can take on two of us?”
Jim turns to Dwight with a grin and a raise of his eyebrow. The latter, quick on the uptake, returns it with a delightfully devilish smile.
“Oho, it is so on!” Andy enthusiastically responds.
It’s Dwight’s turn to speak up, “Parking lot. 5 o’clock. Give yourself from now until then to perfect your aim.”
“Um, yeah,” Andy said sarcastically, “Like I’m gonna need to do that for a snowball fight.”
Andy has no idea what he’s in for.