Jim grunted as he pushed the last desk into place. It was the final day in the Romeo and Juliet unit for his sophomore classes and he preferred to have their desks in a circle while they discussed it. Which is why he was at the school before anyone else—to arrange desks and return the class set of books back to the library so the other English teachers could start their units with them.
Pam had decided to stay home and sleep in a little later before driving separately into work, maintaining that pregnancy fatigue was alive and well. He believed it, because gradually he had started waking up before her and had to rouse her after she fell asleep on the couch at least twice a week.
Jim carefully stacked the tattered copies of Romeo and Juliet in a box and made his way through the empty hallways to the library. He didn’t expect anyone to be there, as school didn’t begin for another 45 minutes and Angela, a creature of habit as far as Jim could tell, always arrived promptly 30 minutes before the first bell. This was better anyway, he thought, because now she couldn’t scold him in that shrill tone about how he brought his AP Lit class to the library with only 15 minutes left in the class period yesterday. (“I don’t like being rushed, Mr. Halpert.”) She was actually quite terrifying for such a tiny person.
He rounded the corner to the library, hoping to make the stop quick and painless. He had just placed the box on Angela’s desk, when he thought he heard a sound coming from behind the bookshelf nearest the desk. He stilled his movement and strained his ears toward the sound.
“Is that…” he whispered almost silently to himself.
He definitely could hear the unmistakable sound of lips and moans and sighs, and he rolled his eyes. It wasn’t the first time he would have to separate two hormone-riddled teenagers playing tonsil hockey at school. Just as he was about to clear his throat to make his presence known, he heard something else.
No. No no no. Angela?! Uptight, super-Christian, resident prude Angela? Angela, who threatened to remove The Scarlet Letter from the library because Hester Prynn was “far too promiscuous”, was now making out in the library before school. He couldn’t decide whether to feel confused, disgusted, or amused. Before he could land on one, he heard a man’s voice.
“I should get going, Monkey.”
Dwight. Dwight K. Schrute was making out with Angela Martin. In the library.
There was no mistaking it. Jim bit the knuckles on the back of his hand to keep from gasping out loud and giving himself away. As quietly as he could, he tiptoed out of the room and pressed himself against the wall right outside the door of the library to process what he had just discovered. Suddenly, the absurdity of it all caught up to him and he couldn’t seem to suppress his laughter as it bubbled up. He reached for his phone to text Pam but then suddenly decided he needed to see her face when he told her. He would somehow hold onto until lunch.
He heard Dwight’s footsteps coming out of the library, so he quickly scrambled to push himself off the wall and stand up straight. Dwight exited the room, chest puffed out and a smirk plastered on his face, and walked passed Jim without looking at him.
Since when did he call him just Halpert?
Dwight continued down the hall with wide, purposeful steps and Jim looked on in amazement.
Pam was going to lose her mind.
He tried not to think about the incident at the library while he was teaching, but unfortunately he was discussing Romeo and Juliet with his classes. Clandestine meetings, forbidden love—all he could do was picture these two unlikely people sneaking around and sucking face in the school library. And it was gross.
Finally the bell rang to dismiss for lunch and he rushed his students out as fast as he could because he knew Pam would be walking across the hall any second and he was just about bursting at the seams with this secret.
He saw her come out of her classroom, nose in her phone. Without looking up, she questioned him as she passed the threshold into his classroom. “So what’s this big secret you need to tell me?”
He pulled her fully through the door by her arm, checked the hallway, and shut the door behind them. She finally looked up from her phone, amused bewilderment written on her face.
“What’s going on?” she chuckled.
He put both hands on her upper arms and made solid eye contact. He couldn’t stop the grin from forming on his face as he excitedly unveiled his discovery. “Okay, so, I dropped off my books at the library this morning, right? And I heard something.”
“Angela. Angela and Dwight. Making out behind the bookshelf.” A giddy noise of anticipation escaped him as he waited for her reaction.
Pam’s eyebrows raised a fraction, but it was not at all the reaction he had expected. She looked back to her phone and walked to his desk. “Oh, yeah. That’s been going on for a while. I thought everyone knew.”
His jaw ricocheted off the floor as he stared flabbergasted at this woman he thought he knew.
“I’m sorry,” he uttered. “What?! You knew?!”
Pam looked up at him and shrugged. “Yeah. Thought it was common knowledge. I mean, they don’t think anyone knows. But people know.”
Jim looked at her and pinched the bridge of his nose, squeezing his eyes shut. “You knew and you didn’t tell me?!” His brain was starting to finally catch up to the words she was saying.
Now Pam was laughing. “I’m sorry! You’re always saying how you don’t want to talk about...” she lowered her voice to a whisper, “...Michael and Jan…so I thought this was the same thing! Just something we don’t talk about.”
Jim started pacing. “Oh, we definitely talk about this, Beesly. What else are you keeping from me?!”
Pam casually strolled over to him and placed her hand on his cheek that was now flushed from the whiplash he just experienced, and lightly kissed his cheek. “Nothing,” she smirked and walked to the hallway and toward the faculty room.
He stood there stunned for a moment before chasing after her. “This discussion isn’t over, you know!”
By the time they got to the faculty room and he could talk to her again, there were too many listening ears and Jim decided to table the discussion until they got home. But that didn’t keep him from shooting her playful glares across the hallway for the rest of the afternoon.
As they sat together that night, Jim leaning back in the corner of the couch, while Pam laid her head on his chest, Jim shook his head and let out a low chuckle.
“What?” she laughed, looking up to him.
Jim tangled his fingers in hers. “I just can’t believe you never told me you knew about Dwight and Angela.”
She rubbed circles on his palm with her thumb while he stroked her arm with his other hand. “I guess I’m just more perceptive than you.”
He huffed. “And you didn’t think to bring it up to me, even once?”
She pushed herself up on his chest with her hand to look at him. “I told you, I thought you knew!” she exclaimed through a laugh, then settled back in the crook of his arm, shimmying until she found the perfect spot nestled into him. “Sorry. Do you forgive me?”
He gave a dramatic sigh. “I guess…”
She turned her face into his chest and placed a kiss there. “Thank you,” she said, running her hand along his chest. “I promise I will keep you in the loop about all ETMHS gossip from now on.”
They sat in comfortable silence for a few moments before Jim shuddered.
He frowned and shook his head. “Nah, just imagining Dwight and Angela again. Don’t you think it’s...unpleasant? I mean, Pam. They were making out in the library. Of our school. Dwight.”
“Exactly! You would think they would, I don’t know, do it somewhere else that isn’t a high school?”
Pam let out a roar of laughter.
“What?!” he questioned.
“We literally have a sex handprint on the gym wall of our school.”
Well, there was that.
“That’s,” he fumbled for the right words. “That’s completely different.”
“Oh,” she scoffed. “Is it?”
He shrugged, now feeling the laughter rise in his chest. “I’m not Dwight and you are definitely not Angela.”
“That’s for sure.”
“So it’s different,” he attempted to say solidly, hoping for agreement.
She smiled and wiggled herself up his body to give him a kiss. “Sure.”
Shifting slightly, he moved to lay across the length of the couch, all of Pam’s weight now comfortably pressing him into the cushions. He wistfully traced a finger along her hairline and up and down her arm. Pam lifted her head and propped her chin up on her folded arms across his chest so she could look at him.
“I’m going to miss you next week.”
Jim was set to go to an annual educator’s conference in Boston the following Monday for three days. The English department rotated who went each time and it was Jim’s turn this year.
“Me too,” he said softly. “But think of all the episodes of The Bachelor you can get caught up on without my commentary.”
Her face crumpled with thought. “That does sound pretty nice.”
“And I have to be there with Michael and Dwight. For three entire days. And I have to be trapped in a car with them for almost five hours. Twice. Maybe you can have Iz come stay with you.”
“And paint nails and talk about boys?” she mocked. “Is that what you and Dwight will be doing?”
“Yes, and braiding hair. No, I’m serious! I would feel better if someone was here with you anyway,” he said, stroking her cheek.
He knew she was capable and independent and strong. She would be fine while he was gone. But he couldn’t help the surge of protectiveness that flooded him as soon as they saw the two pink lines on the pregnancy test. She was his sun, moon, and stars, but now she was also growing something inside of her that they made together and he knew he would do anything to protect them both.
She rolled to the side and buried her face in his neck. “We will be fine,” she whispered as her hand drifted to her stomach, almost absentmindedly.
Jim turned and kissed the top of her head, still amazed that she seemed to have the innate ability to read his mind at all times.
“Want to watch the Bachelor?” he said against her hair with a smirk.
“Not with you…”
Jim feigned offense. “What? They said it would be the most dramatic episode of the season, Pam. And the last episode was the most dramatic, so can you even imagine?! And we need to find out if What’s His Name is there for the right reasons.”
She playfully smacked his chest while she giggled. “You’re dumb.”
Jim squeezed her tighter, wrangling her squirming body closer to him as she tried to escape his grasp.
“Hey, at least I’m here for the right reasons,” he said as she finally wiggled free and glared at him through a smile as she turned to walk up the stairs.
“If you stop making fun of my trashy TV shows, you can join me upstairs in the fantasy suite,” she said with a raised eyebrow.
Jim scrambled off the couch and ran after her. “I hate so much that I know what you’re referring to!” he called out.
Pam stopped abruptly at the top of the stairs and turned around to look at him, biting her bottom lip and raising an eyebrow.
He let out a slow breath. “And suddenly I don’t hate the Bachelor anymore.”
Chapter End Notes:
I’m excited to continue explore this relationship of the German teacher and the librarian. ;) Thanks again for your reviews!