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Author's Chapter Notes:

Originally posted on July 14, 2021

Enjoy!

Why did I move here?

Yeah, it’s obvious.  But I knew better for about a month now.  Jim Halpert and I will never be a couple.  So why would I move to a place where my crush’s serious girlfriend lives?

New York was only 45 minutes away.  Shit.

I mean, he’s still a friend.  He’s kind-hearted, intelligent, well-spoken… plus he’s tall and certainly easy on the eyes— damn it!  He’s a great friend, and though we may only be friends there could have been the capacity for more down the line, right?  Long-distance relationships fail for one reason or another, this could be a similar case.

And then I met Pam Beesly.

It’s like the woman was pulled from Jim’s rib.  I have never seen two people this in sync and on the same page.  And, wouldn’t you know it, she’s a sweetheart!  She’s not even kind of a bitch!  At least then I can make it known that I’m here if he needs someone to talk to and maybe change his mind?  Nope, not happening.  And it makes things even tougher because I know she felt bad at first, even though there’s nothing to feel bad about.  Sweetie, all you’ve done is… exist.  That’s all.  You’re good.

And after we started having lunches together in the break room, something became apparent to me: the real Jim Halpert is not the Jim Halpert I met in Stamford.

Oh, he very much is Jim, the three of us are friends for a reason.  But now he kinda reminds me of that one kid in school who’d try to make people laugh through his pranks.  And Pam is, of course, the Harley Quinn to his Joker nine out of every ten of them.  The pranks are really fun, I gotta admit; they’re almost all on Dwight, who certainly deserves it, the asshole.  But what stuck out was that Jim isn’t as diligent or driven as I thought he was.  And that’s not a bad thing, per se, but it opened my eyes to something.  Jim carried himself that way in Stamford because he had to for Pam.  Nearly every decision he ever made in Stamford — even his drunken stupor — revolved around her.  And now that he’s home he doesn’t have to act that way anymore.

What kills me is that Jim’s numbers are still thoroughly impressive, even here.  He’s right under Dwight the Asshole in the branch and one of the top ten in the company, but he never strives to try to crush Dwight’s sorry, gloating ass like he easily could.  Are pranks really the best method for humbling Dwight the Asshole?  He can easily put that energy and creativity into his work.  I mean, yeah, I don’t care about this job either, but have either he or Pam put actual effort into thinking about their futures?

Given some of our lunches together, they haven’t.  They both seem… not lost, just confused.  But hell, at least they’re confused together.

Thinking about all of this makes me realize I come across as a bitter, cynical ex.  I am happy for the two, especially given their history, which certainly became the talk of the office for quite a while.  Then again, this office is one big hair salon, they gossip more than teenage girls.  Her ex even works down in the warehouse, which makes things even more interesting.  Ron, is it?  Who cares, neither are in the mood to talk about him and I’d rather not ask.  And they do keep it down so that others can focus on work, but they still get away with the occasional kiss, hand-holding during meetings, stuff like that.  It’s really cute if I’m being honest.

It suddenly made sense why Pam felt so bad: what I went through with Jim is what she went through for six years.  And we don’t say anything, but I know she knows, and I’m thankful she hasn’t brought it up.  No wonder Jim felt even more awkward than he should have that night.  It hurt, but at least I’m not being strung along.  I’ve had that happen before, it sucks.

And the two do help me through the monotony of this… nuthouse.  I’m still shocked that Hannah hasn’t dropped everything and left.  Andy staying makes sense, this branch feels like home for him, and by that I mean it’s full of crazy people.  There’s, of course, Dwight the Asshole, Andy’s new target now that Jim’s no longer a threat, who’d spend an entire day sniffing his own farts and blabbering on about beets or whatever.  Angela (Andrea?) is a stone-cold bitch who’s so off-putting she makes Hannah look like Mother Teresa.  Kevin’s likable if a bit slow, which wouldn’t be a problem if he didn’t constantly objectify his female coworkers.  Kelly cannot shut up to save her life, and she’s as shallow as a kiddie pool.  Stanley seems less interested than Jim and Pam combined, literally doing a crossword puzzle across from me as I sit here making a cold call.  Phyllis seems to have warmed up to me, but that perfume is still… pungent.  Meredith is constantly drunk.  Constantly.  And the less I even think about Creed, the better.  Toby’s the only one who seems to exhibit any common sense, so naturally, he’s constantly ostracized by the branch manager.

And, oh boy, what a branch manager he is.

I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone as racist, misogynistic, immature, sycophantic, and just plain annoying as Michael Scott.  God, there are days when I just wanna punch him in the face.  He makes me miss Josh.  Yeah, Josh.  That ass who threw his whole branch under the bus?  I’d rather he be my boss than whatever pod person this is.  The man’s an idiot, plain and simple.

This all circles back to that burning question: Why did I move here?

And whenever I dwell on any of this… I look to my right.  The guy at the desk clump over who’s actually trying to do his work.  He kinda sucks at it, but he seems to be trying.  Whenever the idiot walks out of the office, we exchange looks of pure annoyance and exasperation.  Ryan knows what it’s like living in this hell.  I’m not interested in him romantically, but we just… click like Jim and Pam.  Hell, if it wasn’t for him, I would’ve probably thrown in the towel by now.

Hopefully, I’ll find out why I moved here.


3.10–11 “A Benihana Christmas”

Merry Christmaaas!” Dwight happily greets, carrying something large.  And dead.  And a goose.

Pam barely has time to register it before she sees what it is, “Merry Christm— NO!  Why-why did you bring that here?”

“Don’t worry, she’s dead.  Oh, wait,” he checks, “He’s dead.”  Ryan and Karen look as frightened as ever.  But Dwight, happy as a lark, plans to roast and serve him to the others with white rice dressing.  He just so happened to run over it, it’s a Christmas miracle!  “Do we have any cayenne pepper in the kitchen?” he asks Pam, ready to prepare the dressing.

“Merry Christmas Dwight,” Jim casually greets him.

“Jim,” Dwight deadpans.

“Wow.  What have we got here?”

“What does it look like?”

“Dead goose.”

Dwight just looks at the idiot, “And circle gets the square.”

“All right,” Jim can’t help but smile at the display, but he looks over to Pam, still uncomfortably flabbergasted.

“So can you watch this?” Dwight asks her, “I’m gonna get my carving knife out of the trunk.”

In walks in Toby, with the reveal that this discussion has happened more than once.  “Once I brought in a duck,” Dwight reveals to the doc crew, “To prepare for lunch.  And people got upset.  Apparently, they got attached to the duck and didn’t want to see it killed.”  Yeah, people do that.

The office gathers around the front desk as Dwight continues to argue with Toby, making the point that the meat has a delicious, smoky, rich flavor.  Plus one can use the molten goose grease and save it in the refrigerator, thus saving them a trip to the store for a can of expensive goose grease.

“Wow, win-win,” Jim jokes.

“Exactly.  Thank you, Jim,” Dwight likes that he’s starting to get it.  Pam and Jim look at each other and hide their chuckles.

After seriously half an hour of arguing over this, Toby relents that Dwight can clean it in his car.

“I would like it off my desk,” Pam asks Dwight, still uncomfortable.

“Oh, Pam.  Take a chill pill.”


Michael decides to make a grand entrance on his bicycle, “De-eck the halls withboughs of holly-y, Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la!” he struggles to stay on, “’Tis the… ack!  S***!” he greets Pam happily, “I would like a nice slice of Christmas Pam.  Side of candied Pams.  And perhaps, some Pam-chops, with mint—”
“Can I help you, Michael?”

“I’m looking for the toy drive box.”  Yup, Michael bought a bike for the toy drive!  Well, brought one for the toy drive.  His old one.  The worn tires and chipped paint were a giveaway.  Andy compliments it on his way in for good measure.

But Michael receives a nice goody bag from Pam, a nice robe!  It’s actually from corporate.  Everybody got one.

“This is going to be the best Christmas ever,” Michael announces to the doc crew, “My girlfriend Carol is coming to our party tonight, and I have a little surprise for her,” he reveals probably the most extravagant gift he’s ever seen (outside of the iPod), “I’ve gooot, two tickets to paradise / Pack your bags, we’re leaving the dayaftertomorrow!  Um, taking her to Sandals, Jamaica, all-inclusive.  All-inclusive.  You know what that means?  Right?”  Yes, they do.


Creed takes a toy from the box.

Jim clarifies, “Oh, I think you’re supposed to put a toy in the box, Creed.”

“And a Happy Holiday to you.”  With a pat on his shoulder, Creed’s off to his desk.

He’s quickly followed by an annoyed Carol, who — desperate to see Michael in private to discuss a recent development — instead is asked by him to “turn the other side.”  Andy says she’s even prettier than he described her, which totally flowed straight from his heart and not pulled out of his ass.

“Oh, ouch,” Dwight stands, “Michael, I don’t think there is anything wrong with the way you described her.”  Their game of ‘Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better’ rages on.

And Carol shows off Michael’s Christmas card, the two of them and her kids on a skiing trip.  Actually, it was her and her kids.  With her ex.  Two years prior.  With Michael’s face Photoshopped on top of her ex’s.

“Yes,” Michael argues, “but what you didn’t realize at the time was that I was with you in a sense.  I was in your heart”
“Michael.”
“and next to your kids.  What?”

“This is, so weird.”

“I don’t understand?”  He doesn’t.

“It’s a bold move, to Photoshop yourself into a picture with your girlfriend and her kids on a ski trip with their real father,” Jim informs the crew, “But then again, Michael’s a bold guy,” he looks to his friend Brian in the corner, “Is ‘bold’ the right word?”

This on top of the proposal and the Sandals trip sends all the red flags that Carol needs.  She shyly and awkwardly walks out the door.

It’s over.


Pam signals a sharply-dressed and surprisingly organized Jim to her desk, “Um, hey.  I need to give you your Christmas gift now because…” she tries to find the words, “well, I’ll just tell you.”

“What?” he leans in, interested.

“For the past few months I’ve been sending Dwight letters from the CIA,” she whispers as she hands him the file.

“Are you serious?” he opens it, mesmerized.

“They’re considering him for a top-secret mission.  There’s his application.  Oh, and this is where I made him list every secret he promised he’d never ever tell.”

“‘Last year, my boss, Michael Scott, took a day off because he said he had pneumonia, but really, he was leaving early to go to magic camp,’” he shakes his head, “Wow.”

“So… here’s the gift.  You get to decide what his top-secret mission is.”  He just looks at her and smiles.  To think she went through all of this, for him.  “Sorry I didn’t wrap it.”

Naturally, he goes for it, “Alright, Beesly, the CIA will be contacting Agent Schrute by the end of the party,” his smile continues to grow, “Thank you.”

She blushes underneath her concealer, “I’m glad you like it.”

“Love it.”  He walks to his desk.  Despite her utter happiness, her face sinks, and her concern persists because Roy’s here.

And she knows he’ll be joining the party eventually.

“I haven’t run into Roy at work since before Jim came back,” Pam tells the crew, “And I never really thought about him coming upstairs for the party.  But hey, we’re adults, we’ve moved on, and hopefully, nothing will happen,” she nods, contemplating, “God willing.”


Michael walks out of his office and declares it: Christmas is canceled.  (Stanley’s questioning this declaration almost had him losing New Year’s.)  He lets them have the party anyway while lying on the floor and lamenting to Pam.  And then, “Hey, would you like to go to Sandals, Jamaica with me?”

“No thank you,” she replies.

“It’s all— Okay,” he accepts as she walks off.


Toby looks in the bag, “Hey Dwight.  Pretty nice robe—”  Dwight grabs the bag and walks away.  “Why?”


Angela gathers the Party Planning Committee (ie most of the women) and prepares the Christmas party, as it should be.

“We didn’t have a party planning committee in Stamford,” Karen explains to the crew, “Somebody would just volunteer to run out to Carvel and pick up an ice cream cake.  So the fact that they have a committee here… fascinating.”

She decides to offer some suggestions: a Christmas raffle, karaoke, a drinking game… but is naturally shot down every time by Angela since it has nothing to do with Nutcrackers.

Karen walks off, still annoyed at this whole office.


Michael sits there and sings the same preview of ‘Goodbye My Lover’ by James Blunt over and over while Dwight looks through some of his stuff from their relationship.  He realizes how smart of a realtor Carol is.

“This is an old adage,” Michael laments to the crew, “but they say when you find true love, you know within the first 24 hours.  With Carol, I knew within the first 24 minutes of the second day I met her.”


Pam can tell Karen still feels left out.

Things have been a bit… awkward between the two of them.  Not bad by any means, but being around a guy you can’t really get over isn’t the most fun.  So she goes and becomes a helping hand, “Hey, Karen.  Sorry about that meeting today, that was really crazy.”

“Yeah, right?  I’m so glad you said that.  Because I don’t know how those meetings usually go.”

“Um, usually like that.”

Karen’s confused, “Does anyone ever stand up to Angela, or?”

“I think one of her cats did once.  She came in with scratches all over her face.”  The two laugh.

“Right,” Karen responds.

Pam gets an idea, “Um, I really liked your karaoke idea.”

“Oh cool, yeah.”

“That could really be fun.”

“Oh, thank you.”

“You guys do a raffle?”

“Yeah, we do a raffle.”


Toby greets Kevin, already in his robe, rubbing his back just to get a taste of what could have been.


Angela and Phyllis set up a sign for their Christmas party… as do Karen and Pam for theirs.

“‘The “Committee to Plan Parties” invites you to a margarita-karaoke Christmas?’” Angela reads, “There’s no such thing as the “Committee to Plan Parties.”

“There is now,” Pam argues, “We just started it.”

“Well, you just can’t start a committee.  You have to have funding.”

“What’s your funding?” Karen asks knowingly.

“Two hundred dollars.”

“What’s ours again?” Pam asks Karen.

“Um, two hundred and one dollars.”

“Right.”

So now there’re two parties: the PPC’s 3:00 party, and the CtPP’s 2:45 party.  But which one will be more successful?

Oh, and Dwight tries to shut down CtPP’s party as Number 3 (or is Andy Number 3?), but Jim steps in and uses his A.R.M. duties to prevent that from happening, through the Validity Committee.

“Yup, looks like the Scranton people and the Stamford people are finally starting to come together,” Jim tells the crew, “And it only took us about… one-and-a-half months?”


Andy, continuing to suck up to Michael, invites him to Benihana.  Dwight notices.

Ryan manages to get out of it, though Jim can’t, “Wow, thanks for taking all the excuses, dude.”

“Doctor appointment, car trouble, plantar warts, granddad fought in World War II.  Use your head, man.  I keep mine in here,” he shows off his Blackberry, “Look alive, Halpert.  Welcome back.”  Jim walks off with a smile.

Oh, and Dwight joins them, too.

“Bros before hos!” Michael offers the crew, “Why?  Because your bros are always there for you.  They have got your back after your ho rips your heart out for no good reason.  And you were nothing but great to your ho and you told her she was the only ho for you.  And that she was better than all the other hos in the world,” he starts to cry again, “And then… and then suddenly she’s not yo ho no mo’.”  Fo’ sho’.

At the restaurant, while Andy is spouting off about a girl he hit on, Dwight tries to take a chair from someone else, but Michael stops him since they’re a ‘lovely couple’; he tries to join in the conversation, but all he hears is that Carol apparently has a mustache.

“It is my job to be there for Michael,” Dwight tells the crew, “How can I be there for Michael if I’m here for Michael?”  And then food hits him in the face.  Jim looks on in solace.

Andy manages to stop Michael from calling Carol when the waitress arrives.


As Pam and Karen ready the Margaritas, Phyllis has a suggestion, “You should, you should put out salt for the rims.”

The other two smile, “That’s a great idea,” Pam comments.

And then Angela shows up, “Phyllis?”

The poor woman’s nervous, “I was just getting a snack.”

Pam sticks up for her, “You can have your snack in here.”

“Pam, don’t tell her what to do!” Angela shouts, who proceeds to tell her what to do.

Kevin thinks about it, “I think I’ll go to Angela’s party because that’s the party I know,” he says to the crew.

“I miss the days when there was only one party I didn’t want to go to,” Ryan comments.

As for Stanley, “I’m going to the party in the break-room because they have more chairs in there.  If I have to stand around a long time, I get real unpleasant to be around.”

It doesn’t matter to Creed, “Once you’ve danced naked at a hash bonfire with the spirits of the dead, all parties seem pretty much the same.”

Later on in the breakroom, in walks… Roy, “Hey.”

Pam turns to him, “Oh, hey,” she smiles, “Thanks for helping us get set up.”

“Yeah, sure, no problem.”  A pause until he asks how to wrap a present for his mom and siblings, and she advises him.  “So I only use three?”

“If you’re using more than three pieces of tape to wrap a present, you’re doing it wrong,” Pam clarifies.

“Okay.  And where do you get all those cool bows?”

“Oh, I just get those at any party supply place.”

“Okay,” he tries to keep things going, “Are you sure I can’t use like, the cartoons from the newspaper?”

“Oh yeah, your mom would love that.”

It was like old times again.  That’s enough for Roy.

Karen walks in, “Hey,” a beat, “All right, I’ll see you guys later,” he leaves.

“Bye,” Pam continues with her task, getting her mind off of things.


I call Pam “The Office Mattress” for good reason.

The way that she and Jim look at each other, the way they demonstrate their affection… they might as well be having intercourse right in the middle of the office.  Disgusting.  After her history with Roy, you would think that she would finally settle down and at least demonstrate the decorum of a proper lady.

And it surprised me when I heard Pam called off her wedding.  Why would she give Roy up?  He is strong, dependable, rugged, puts in his hours, and never shies away from his work.  He seems to be the ideal mate.  I can’t lie, I find him rather fetching.  My heart belongs to one man, but I could see Roy sweeping me off my feet and through the threshold in another life.

On the other hand, Jim cares about his job just as much as his hair.  Sure, he exudes charm through his words, but that seems to be his only redeeming quality.  A slacker does not a good provider make, bolstered by the fact that he has impressive sales numbers (and they are, I check) and yet does nothing to improve upon them.  Instead, he spends a lot of his free time needlessly teasing Dwight with his juvenile pranks while our debaucherous boss does nothing about it!

And then there’s Pam, who’s become more and more risqué as time persists.  Sure she may seem like she hasn’t changed, she still wears the cardigans and has her hair up tidily, but she always looks dressed to impress.  I recall that, when she and Roy were together, Dwight would call her “unassuming,” which is a perfect term to describe how she should look.  But no, her face has to be made up because no one can leave the house without looking like a hussie nowadays.  Guess it’s a new fashion statement.  Well, in the eyes of God, fashion is not an excuse.

And everyone saw something there, you’d have to be blind as a bat to avoid it.  The smiles, the winks, the air fives, the way he uses “jellybeans” as an excuse to walk by her desk.  (They probably use “jellybean” now as some sort of sexual euphemism.)  I just kept playing the game of “Pam Pong” ever since he moved out of the annex, and it’s even worse now that he’s returned.  The two sneaking in kisses when no one is looking or holding hands during meetings, ugh.  A display if I’ve ever seen one.

Pam and that lanky bowl-cut of hers are not special.  They are not “cute.”  They are certainly not “The Office Couple.”  I’d say they are tolerable at the very best, and total nuisances at worst.

…So why is it that I am genuinely happy for them?

I keep finding myself perplexed by this.  These are two people I seek to avoid and yet when it was announced that they maintained a long-distance relationship, I had a difficult time hiding my smile.

Is it that they’re comparatively less disgusting than Meredith or Creed?

Is it that now they can stop moping around and snipping at each other, hiding their true feelings like some sort of soap opera?

Is it that I begrudgingly respect them for overcoming the challenges of a secret relationship, one that I’ve suspected for quite some time?

Knowing me, it’s a culmination of all three.  Still, though, I should have felt indifferent about the announcement at the very most.  But no, “happiness” can only describe how I reacted to the news.  But why?

I recall when the two tried to sick Andy on me a while ago, and I had to sit there and endure him singing Louis Armstrong and talking about Labordoodles, ugh.  Seeing them laugh at my misfortune didn’t help matters whatsoever.  And then, during his horrendous rendition of ‘Rainbow Connection’ at the end of the day, I noticed Dwight.  Shaking his head, wearing a smirk on his face, and looking confident as ever that this odd man playing the banjo in the middle of an office will never have my heart.  Andy may be charming in a way and have his own redeeming qualities, but frankly, I find Jim more tolerable, which is saying something.

But Jim and Pam’s dedication.  Their loyalty.  Their teamwork.  These are virtues that all couples must exhibit if their relationship will ever survive.  And after their time three hours apart from each other, they remain dedicated.  They stay loyal.  They continue to work as a team, and though D and I are diametrically opposed to them, we carry these virtues ourselves.

And then it hits me: the way Pam looks at Jim.  It’s the same way I look at D.  I guess we’re all prone to temptation.

Despite their needless displays of affection and promiscuity, there lies compassionate, genuine love.  A love gifted by God Himself from above, one steeped in that same loyalty, dedication, and teamwork they express to each other every day.  Even if they don’t believe it’s there or they claim it’s something else entirely, it is definitively the love of God, who has truly blessed the two of them.  And you’d have to be blind as a bat to miss it.  Maybe this will convince them to repent of their wicked ways?  That they’ll finally learn their lessons?  I should certainly hope so.

Pam and I are nothing alike, but if we have one thing in common, it’s this: no matter what, we stand by our man.


As Dwight judges the server on what knife he should use to prepare the dish, Andy tries to cheer Michael up by getting the waitress’ attention, “Hey Cindy, he just had his heart broken, you wouldn’t do that to him, would you?”

“I don’t know,” she answers.

“Oh, sure you would,” Michael states, “Look at you, I bet you break up with a guy every hour.”  She laughs awkwardly and walks off.

Andy’s pleased that he’s finally getting into the spirit of things.


Back at the office, Pam and Karen announce that their party has officially started… but Angela seeks Michael’s permission first, so she calls Dwight.  Tired of being ignored, he decides to say, “Start the party.”

“Did Michael give you permission to do this?”

Once more, with conviction, “Start the party.”

And it begins.

Stanly decides to go with… the Committee to Plan Parties.
Kelly and Ryan?  Committee to Plan Parties.
Hannah?  Party Planning Committee.
Meredith?  Committee to Plan Parties.

Kevin’s conflicted, “I hear Angela’s party will have double-fudge brownies.  It will also have Angela.  Double fudge… Angela… double fudge… Angela…”

He decides to go with Angela, “Brownies.  Cupcakes,” she tells him.

“Don’t push it,” he replies.

Both Angela and the CtPP duo stare each other down until she brisks to the conference room.

“Are we taking this too far?” Karen answers the crew, “You know what, I don’t think we’re taking this far enough,” Pam looks at her with fear, “What?”

“I got goosebumps.”

“I don’t back down,” Angela informs them, “My sister and I used to be best friends, and we haven’t talked in 16 years.  Over some disagreement, I don’t even remember.  So… yeah.  I’m pretty good.”  Sounds like it.


Michael’s finally feeling better and, while grabbing someone else’s food, becomes the life of the party once again.

Andy, for some reason, motions Cindy over again, “I want you to close your eyes and imagine your dream house,” she laughs at that, “C’mon!  Do it for Michael.  He’s had a really long day.”

“I don’t know what he’s doing,” Michael laughs.

“This is great.”

Dwight signals Jim, “What— What’s happening?”

“Oh,” he points to Cindy, “She’s asleep,” he lies.

“Oh… Narcolepsy.”

“Probably.”

“Now open your eyes,” Andy continues, “and describe it to me.”

“I… don’t know,” she responds, “it has four bedrooms and a loft…”

Dwight’s surprised, “Oh my gosh, now she’s up.”

“And she’s trying to correctly butcher a goose,” Jim explains, “but she’s having trouble coming up with it.”

Dwight assists her with a tutorial on how to butcher a goose, much to the other patrons’ disgust.

Jim just smiles his usual grin of delight.


Both parties are in full swing… well, Pam and Karen’s party is.

Angela’s party consists of Hannah breaking a nut by hammering it with the nutcracker, Kevin grabbing seconds (much to Angela’s frustration), and Phyllis wanting to be anywhere else.


Andy signals to the waitresses and tells Michael, “They have been checking us out all night.”  Have they?  “I am not kidding!”

Michael, unfortunately, gets an idea, “You know what we should do?”

“What?”

“We should invite them to the Christmas party.”

“Now, you are thinking,” Andy’s on board, “Yes.  And you know what?  Because you have had such a rough day, you get Cindy.”

“Oh, you are such mench, my friend,” they fistbump.

Eventually, the four men enter the office, Michael and Andy with their “new girlfriends.”

As Michael and Cindy start to get along, him showing off how generous he is by giving his bike to the toy drive (how humble), they go ahead and enter the PPC’s party… then immediately to the CtPP’s party thanks to Phyllis.

“I just think there are two, two specific kinds of people in the world,” Michael tells Cindy, “People who own houses and people who own condos,” Cindy turns to leave and Michael signals the other waitress, “And… my question to you is… do you agree?”

“Do I agree about what?”

“Do you agree about what?” he laughs, “Wow.  You’re lucky you’re so darn cute.”

“What’re you talking about?”

“What’re you talking about?”

Uh-oh.


While Kevin sings his heart out, Dwight stands beside Angela at the PPC party, just as dead as it was before.

“Did you have fun at Benihana’s?” she asks Dwight.

No,” he’s still bitter about it, “It was awful.  I couldn’t hear anything.”

After hearing cheers from the other party, she tries to drown it out with Tchaikovsky’s ‘Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.’  She just sighs and says “I’ve had the worse day here.”  Dwight holds her hand as a sign of comfort.

As Karen and Pam enter to give Dwight the raffle gift (a pair of walkie-talkies), Pam suddenly looks at Angela.  Really looks at her.  The utter frustration and disappointment with having something she really loves, something that she’s proud of, taken from her.  All because of the Committee to Plan Parties.

Pam has to fix this.

“Well, the Committee to Plan Parties has served its purpose,” Karen announces to the crew, “We’re gonna disband.  In the name of Christmas.”

Pam holds up a Rice Krispy wand, “In the name of Nutcracker Christmas.”

So, with access to the aux, both parties can join as one.


Now that the karaoke machine’s out and everyone’s in the bullpen, Michael serenades the girl he’s been with all night… or rather, most of the party.  He suddenly sees Cindy riding his bike through the office and realizes he made a big mistake.

And then there was Kelly, “Whatever we deny or embrace / For worse or for better / We belong, we belong, we belong togetherRyan…”

Death would be a release for him.

Michael chats with Kevin and Roy and indicates that, no, he doesn’t know which one is his date.

“You don’t know?” Roy asks.

“Dude, you should know,” Kevin tells him.

“Yeah… well, it’s been hard, they’re wearing the exact same uniform.  And I’ve been drinking.  And you know how all waitresses look alike.”  Roy and Kevin just laugh at him.  The natural response.

“I honestly don’t see what the big deal is,” he later vents to the crew, “Stevie Wonder is married.  Are you going to tell me… that Stevie Wonder doesn’t love his wife just because he’s not sure what she looks like?”

And he finally figures out who she is in the kitchen and marks her.  With a Sharpie.  Seriously.


The party’s now alive and well: Creed sings, Kelly and Ryan slow-dance, Meredith drinks, and Dwight and Angela play with his raffle gift.  Toby, to his surprise, finally gets his robe back.  And from Pam, too!  Win-win.

As Roy walks over to the restroom, he catches Jim and Pam at his desk exchanging gifts.  For Jim: a DVD of Bridget Jones’ Diary.  For Pam: a DVD of Bridget Jones’ Diary.

“What a horrible, horrible movie that was,” he smiles.

“And now we can cherish it forever,” she smiles back.  They give each other thank yous and tightly embrace.

They don’t even notice Roy as he sulks and continues with his business.


As both waitresses depart (with Michael’s bike in tow), he realizes how bad of an idea Andy’s suggestion was.  Big shock.

Now he’s alone.  Again.  On Christmas.

Jim sits next to Michael on the couch.  “That waitress was the one,” he laments.

“No, she wasn’t,” Jim clarifies.

“How can you be sure?”

“Well, for starters, I’ve known you as a couple since the beginning of the relationship, which was approximately…” he checks his watch, “three hours ago.”

“Don’t make fun.  You’re making fun of me.”

Jim realizes it’s not the time, “Sorry.”

Michael smirks as he’s about to laugh, “I guess, I didn’t know her very well.  I marked her arm.”

“You what?”

They both start to laugh, “I, I put a mark on her arm,” they can barely hold it, “so I could tell them apart.  I don’t— I know, I know.  I can’t believe I gave her my bike!”

“Yeah.”

“Oh, why do I feel like crap?” Michael asks him.

“You just had a rebound,” Jim answers plainly.

“I had rebound?” Michael nods, “Yeah.”

“Yeah.  Which, don’t get me wrong, can be a really fun distraction, but, when it’s over, you’re left thinking about the girl you really like… the one that makes you happy.”

He looks off to the side, deep in thought, then decides to walk to his desk.  He has something he needs to do, and he nearly forgot.

“I totally rebounded,” Michael shrugs to the crew, “Someone else shoots and I take the ball and I score.  Well, I guess I didn’t score and I’m not sure who’s actually shooting, but, whatever.  Doesn’t matter.  It’s all good.  Or as my ex might say… domo arigato, Mr. Scott-o.”

As Dwight and Angela perform ‘Little Drummer Boy,’ Michael makes a call to a certain someone, inviting her to Sandals, Jamaica with him.  Surprisingly, she takes him up on the offer.

Meanwhile, the Office Couple watches the display in front of them and Pam notices Roy with the robe she gave him earlier, leaving without so much as a wave goodbye.

Noticing her look of concern, Jim squeezed her hand to get her attention, Are you okay?

She turns to him and nods, Yeah, I’m okay.

Good.  They smile at each other, neither over the butterflies, and turn their attention back to the performance.

As Angela and Dwight continue, Oscar returns, alongside Gil, bright-faced and wanting to join the party.  The moment they lay eyes on Angela and Dwight, Oscar simply says “Too soon,” and the two depart.  For another month.


After Pam wishes Dwight goodnight, Jim approaches her desk.

“Ready to go?”

“Almost.  Sorry, Roy just—”

“I get it,” he gives a small yet sincere smile.  She returns it and leans in to kiss him.  “Oh, and before I forget,” he suddenly mentions, “I intercepted a transmission earlier and it seems that the CIA is gonna need Dwight down at their headquarters in Langley for training and an ice cream social with the other agents.”

Their moods brighten as they grow mischievous grins and focus their attention back on her computer.


“What the?  ‘You have been compromised.  Abort mission.  Destroy phone.’  Destroy phone…”

And that’s how Dwight got a new phone for Christmas.

Chapter End Notes:

Honestly?  This one was harder than I thought it was going to be.  I had a limited amount of time to get this one done, and it may show in the final product.  Of course, constructive feedback is always appreciated, and I can make some small changes depending on your suggestions.  Not sure when the next one will be, hopefully soon.

The Monologues — I decided on two monologues since this was a two-parter.  Karen’s was entertaining to write but kind of hard for me since her delivery isn’t specific or notable.  I’ve gotten used to Jim and Pam even though those two are quite “normal” and thus less defined in how they talk (and even then I’m not that confident), but Karen was a harder nut to crack.
Angela, meanwhile, I had a trip and a half with.  I tried to make her not too formal or talk about promiscuity too much.  But the uptight Christian stereotype is pretty easy to replicate.

The Episode — This one’s a fun one.  It’s the first (and not even the only) indication that canon Pam and Karen could have been close friends.  It also gives Angela a bit more humanity, demonstrating why she holds that title and what it means to her.  Not a fan of how I executed the changes, feels a bit disjointed.  But this chapter’s also the catalyst of the major conflict in the story, at least where Jim and Pam are concerned.



3vasectomies is the author of 16 other stories.

This story is part of the series, Only You: A Novelization. The previous story in the series is All I Needed. The next story in the series is Smoke Stacks.

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