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Author's Chapter Notes:

To start: I apologize that this has not seen an update in around nine months. Since September, this school year has been a doozy. On top of that, I’ve moved twice within six months, and we are finally settled in our new home. With the school year winding down, it was about time that our favorite Scranton boys saw the light of day again.

So, funny story, other than my lack of an update. I performed in theatre from middle school until my sophomore year of college.

When I was in seventh grade, our spring musical was a review show that included “That Thing You Do!” as a song that I sang and performed as part of a select group. I had no idea of the movie that it came from or had ever heard the song before, but I thought it was cute to perform (I still remember some of the steps).

Randomly, I saw that some TV channel was showing the movie, and I decided to watch it. It became a comfort movie of mine for a short period …

And here it is again, becoming a comfort movie for me.

I have a lot of credit for this chapter, listed below! Big thanks to:

TPB for being the best beta in the world and pushing me to finish this chapter.

Tinydundie for the idea of having an original song to be used for our wonderful band and helping come up with our band’s name.

DJC for assisting in my quest for an original song (and for a song he wrote that you’ll see in a future chapter 😉), as well as helping me come up with our band’s name too!
I appreciate all 3 of you <3

Anyway, our band that is yet to be named is without a drummer…

“Hey, hey, hey, looking good!” Jim announces toward his father, presenting an advertisement stand in the front window of their store. His father’s smile dissipates upon seeing Jim outside their shop, mouthing for him to get inside and work. Typical, Jim thinks to himself as he rolls his eyes, opening the door to enter the shop.

“Morning!” Jim announces; his feet finally hit the show floor, with a smirk over at Gerald.

“Don’t we open at nine on Saturdays?” Gerald questions Jim in a cold tone and manner.

“Yes, we do,” he begins. “And it’s such a good thing we do.” Jim looks around at the show floor, sarcastically pointing out the emptiness of their store. Typically, Saturday mornings are bustling at Halpert’s, with many shoppers searching for everything from vacuum cleaner bags to a brand new stand mixer.

Today, however? No one. Just Larissa behind the counter, and his mother, Betsy, playing a song on the only piano brand they sell in their store.

A ghost town, some would call it.

“Yeah, go ask your sister. What on Earth am I paying you for?” Gerald asks back to him, shuffling toward an inventory box near the shop's back.

Jim quickly notices that this is an ample opportunity to talk to his father, with no patrons inside the shop yet, and takes his chance.

“Hey, Dad?” he begins. “We…should move the store…over to Riverside Plaza, don’t you think?” His dad chuckles at the comment, shaking his head up to the ceiling, refusing to acknowledge or even humor the idea Jim suggested. “You know, better parking? A steady flow of foot traffic? The excitement of a new location? We could give a grand opening that those clowns at Tele-Mart something to worry about!”

And that last statement, the mere mentioning of their T-word competitors that are currently creaming the competition in Scranton? Silences Betsy’s piano playing, forces Larissa to drop her newspaper onto the register counter. And, of course, stops Gerald in his tracks.

He turns over to look at Jim, who notices the twitch in his father’s eye as he looks at him.

After a few seconds, he watches as his father sighs, changing his expression from angry to calm. “Jim,” Gerald starts, placing his arm around his son’s shoulder and walking the two closer to the front of the store. “You wouldn’t know this unless I handed you the keys to this place, but I’ll make it short. I pride myself on the family business here, which my grandfather bestowed upon my father, and then myself. I like our location in town and how close it is to the other family-owned businesses. Tele-Mart may have more customers than we do, sure. But, what they don’t have is this right here: a local family enthusiastic about selling electronics to the locals of Scranton. Your mama and sister at the register, striking up a conversation about customers' families. A salesman who truly cares about the products they're selling.” He sighs, looking out the window to their small town, one that his father loves. “Jim, moving the business wouldn’t change our competition. All we need to do is wait Tele-Mart out; once their customers realize how cold their customer service is, they’ll come crawling back to us. Understand?”

With a sigh, Jim nods. “Understood, Dad.”

He knew his father would respond with an anecdote such as this, so why would Karen push him to ask about moving? What was the point of discussing such with him last night? He knew it was a moot point: that the business wouldn’t move as long as his father had a say in such.

Regardless, it’s not as if Karen were in the shop to discuss this, and he happens to be on the clock.

Rolling his eyes, he walks over toward the vacuum cleaners and begins his day unknotting the cords, ignoring everyone else around him as he hums along to a Darryl Philbin song he has stuck in his head.

 

XXX

 

“What do you mean it’s fractured, Ryan?” Roy announces angrily. With his ear up to the payphone on the corner of Wyoming and Ridge, mere steps toward Halpert's Electronics, his anger grows with every word Ryan provides him.

Fractured, Roy. It means broken. He broke his radius bone near his elbow, out for six to eight weeks. No way he can perform tonight,” Ryan answers loud enough that both Pam and Andy can hear him.

Andy grabs the phone from Roy’s hand, putting it up to his ear. “Ry guy, stay with Dwight until he’s discharged from the hospital. Drive him home if you have to, and then meet us at Roy’s afterward? We’re finding us a replacement right now.”

A quick goodbye from Ryan on the other end of the phone, and the call ends, leaving Roy rolling his eyes. “Do we have to ask him, Andy?” he groans.

Pam folds her arms, as does Andy, to this question. “Roy, he’s the only other drummer in all of Scranton. Trust us; he will say yes, and you’ll be able to perform in the show tonight,” she responds.

“I’d rather forfeit….” Roy mumbles under his breath.

“Relax, Roy,” Andy starts. “Pammy and I wouldn’t steer you in the wrong direction. Now let’s go before we’re left without a drummer and actually have to forfeit.”

Roy groans, watching Andy and Pam open the door to the store before entering. Here goes nothing, he thinks to himself.

 

XXX

 

As the bell chimes at the entrance to their store, Jim looks up automatically to see three familiar faces. Three familiar faces that he just so happened to have seen a mere thirty minutes ago at the diner. And only one who truly caught his attention.

He’s confused; He told them earlier to come by the store if they needed new strings or anything in the future. He didn’t think they would need such so soon.

Jim looks over at his father, who motions at him to chat with the group that had just entered the store. Obeying his father’s wishes, he drops the cord of the vacuum cleaner he was wrapping and walks over to them, curious to what brings them in.

Putting on his customer service voice, Jim speaks to the trio. “Welcome to Halpert's. Is there anything I could help you all with?” He slightly smirks toward Pam, whose attempt to contain a chuckle fails. Miserably.

“What’s up Tunes. Roy-Boy here has a big proposition for you,” Andy smirks, elbowing Roy in the chest to speak. “And I mean big.”

Roy walks closer toward Jim, swallowing his pride in a sigh before speaking. “You, uh,” He begins, stopping to look over toward Jim’s family, whose watching their son’s every move. “You still play percussion?”

“Of course he is, Roy,” Pam interrupts quietly, picking up on the room's air and watchful eyes. “Andy and I wouldn’t have brought you here if he didn’t.”

“Yeah, I do,” Jim matches the volume of the trio. “Every day, down in the basement after work. Why do you ask?” His facial expression changes to a confused one. Why would they feel the need to ask that? He thinks to himself.

“We need you, Tunes,” Andy blurts out as Pam smiles while Roy interrupts.

“How about sitting in for Dwight, just for tonight, for the talent show?” Roy quietly asks, with his arms folded and his head staring up toward the ceiling.

Mirroring his folded arms, Jim smiles sarcastically. “Sorry, Roy. I couldn’t understand what you were saying.”

“Roy, there’s no need to be embarrassed!” Pam announces, brushing past him to stand closer to the group and now face-to-face with Jim. “Could you fill in for Dwight tonight for the talent show?”

Jim stares at the group in confusion. Didn’t he just see Dwight with them earlier? There’s no way Dwight would quit their band on such short notice.

If Jim knew anything about Dwight Schrute, he wasn’t a quitter.

“Why? What happened to him?” He asks.

“Asshole,” Andy starts, laughing. “Broke his arm jumping the meters at the diner.”

Unable to contain himself, especially in front of his family, Jim cracks up, triggering Pam’s laughter.

“He broke his arm, jumping a parking meter?” Jim hysterically asks, glancing over toward the register where his father closely watches his actions, desperately wanting him to make a sale. Jim clears his throat before continuing. “Wow, um. So, our clock radios are over here, and we have multiple brands and models for each, so you’re bound to find what you are looking for!” He uses his “customer service” voice, which causes Pam to laugh once again.

The group follows him over to the other side of the store, where they shelve the radios. “So…?” Jim asks.
We wrote the tune; it’s nothing you can’t handle,” Andy chimes in.

Roy rolls his eyes toward the first part of his statement before adding to the conversation. “It’s only for tonight, and if we win, we split $100 cash.”

He scoffs, running his hand over his mouth as he thinks. “I don’t know, fellas,” Jim starts. “It sounds like fun to play in a group again, but I’ve got a lot going on here at the shop. Plus, I promised I’d take my girl out tonight.”

“Figures,” Roy mumbles. “Alright, guys, let’s get going. I got to go call and tell them we have to forfeit.” He walks toward the door with Andy in tow.

Pam, however, doesn’t listen to her boyfriend’s words or take Jim’s answer seriously.

“Jim,” she begins. “As much as I love your family’s shop, I know you would rather be playing the drums than handling the shop.”

Playfully rolling his eyes, Jim hides a smirk while looking back at her, jestfully responding. “And how on God’s Earth would you know that about me, Beesly?”

Pam matches his smile, biting her tongue on the side. “Considering you used to bang sticks on every flat surface of my backyard while I watched growing up and your constant complaining about working at your family store, I believe not many things have changed since then, Halpert.”

“Alright, alright, you got me. I would rather do anything else in the world than be here right now,” Jim whispers in a volume that only she could hear. “It’s just—I don’t know. It’s been a while since I’ve performed in front of a crowd. How do I know I’d be any good at it?”

“Well, I remember when you were in marching band and would play at all of the football games at Dunmore and how the crowd would love when you had a solo. I can still see the jealousy on Dwight’s face when you would get a standing ovation.”

Jim smiles, impressed by how much Pam remembers about his time in marching band, even if they weren’t as close as they could have been in senior high.

“Please, Jim?” Pam pleads. “He surely will not admit it, but I know it will make Roy extremely happy if you played with them and win. I know you boys can.” She smiles, holding her hands close to her chest. “Please, for me?”

Jim can’t help but catch her infectious smile, the one that he would often find himself in awe of when they were younger. The one he would try his hardest to put on her face every day after school.

“I’ll do it, but only for you, Beesly,” he whispers before waving the guys down at the door; they both watch as Roy and Andy walk back toward him in the radio section. “Follow my lead,” he says to her. As they meet up with the two, he offers them a deal: “I’ll do it but under one condition.” Jim looks over at his family, smirking in a way that insinuates to them that he is about to make a sale.

A smirk his family knows well by now.

“You want these ‘magic hands,’ you gotta buy three new sets of guitar strings and this clock radio right here,” he whispers, grabbing a General Electric model they recently got in stock off the shelf.

Jim watches as Andy and Roy look at each other, laughing at the joke they believed he was pulling on the both of them, slowly but surely realizing that he was being serious.

“Alright, you got a deal, Halpert,” Roy smirks, offering his hand to Jim to shake, which he accepts.

“Great! Let’s get you fellas checked out then,” Jim smirks, leading them over toward the register (and to his mother and sister) while winking at Pam.

And, with the warm smile she offers back to him, he quickly realizes that this was the right decision.

Especially for her sake.

 

XXX

Meanwhile, closer to the Providence section outside of the city, Karen is seated in the waiting room of her dentist’s office. She awaits her name to be called, excited to get through her appointment with the new dentist she has heard nothing but good things about from her mother and friends, and off to see her boyfriend later that night.

Jim had promised to take her out to the movies to see whatever film the drive-in was playing and then off to one of the local clubs for dinner and dancing. He told her that this would make up for his lack of attendance at her friend’s Tupperware party the night before, mixed with celebrating their first anniversary, so the sooner she could get through this appointment, the faster she could prepare herself for their night.

She finds herself flipping through the pages of one of the periodicals they offer in the office when she overhears the clerk at the desk handing her file to her new dentist.

She closes her magazine quickly at the sight of the man in scrubs before her, right next to the desk. A tall, more muscular man with short, blonde hair, blue eyes, and the brightest smile she had ever seen stood before her, quickly causing butterflies to flutter in her stomach.

She can’t help but bite the side of her lip, her pupils dilating over the sight of such a man.

“Hi, are you,” he pauses to look at her records. “…Karen Filipelli?” He asks, smiling primarily at her.

“Y-yes,” she stutters, amazed by how he says her name. “Yes, I’m Karen!” She chuckles, standing up quickly and walking toward him.

“Great, I’m Dr. Goor; I’ll be seeing you now,” he responds, opening the door for her to walk back into the office.

Oh yes, you will, she thinks to herself, smiling through the walkway.

 

XXX

“Girl, you keep me on my toes,

and baby, I want you to know.

That you make me want to drive, drive, drive all the way to you.”

Roy sings into his microphone as he and Andy gently strum their guitars, Ryan on his bass, and Jim primarily hits the high hat and the snare drum of his drum set while practicing in Roy’s garage while Jim is on his lunch break from the store. All the while, Pam, singing along to the song, plays darts.

“All the way to you,

All the way to you,

All the way to you, girl!”

Jim leads the song's outro in a prolonged tempo manner; the piece is slower than his liking, assuming that what the rest of the band produced in a writing session is to be a ballad. Sure, he would have liked to follow his heart and take the tempo up: it was what he was feeling and what he, in his opinion, thought the song should be.

However, he was just filling in for the night. Dwight would be coming back to them once his arm healed, and they would continue to play the way they originally planned. And on top of that, who was he to tell the rest of the band that the tempo was too slow when he hadn’t written a lick of the song?

So, Jim bit his tongue and followed Roy's instructions: a slow, methodic rhythm.

“Perfect, man!” Roy announced as his guitar finished weeping. “That was perfect!”

“Very good,” Ryan added. “That took Dwight a week to learn.”

“Dwight?” Andy questioned the rest of the group. “Who’s Dwight? I only know Tunes.”

Laughing, Jim hit his snare and both sets of cymbals quickly before questioning the group. “Just the one song, correct?”

“Yep, just one song,” Roy answered.

“Wonderful!” Jim answered back, hitting his cymbals again once before announcing his departure to return to the store.

Pam turns around, looking over at Jim in amazement as if he had come up with a brilliant idea. Of which he unknowingly did. “That’s it, James Halpert! The Wonders! That could be the band’s name!”

“As in, ‘I wonder what happened to their other drummer’?” Andy jests, chuckling at the corny joke he just made. “In all seriousness, though: I, for one, like the name.”

“As do I,” Ryan seconds. “It’s the best name we’ve come up with so far.”

Roy, however, folds his arms. “I’m not so sure it fits us, though. I really like the Roy-als.”

Pam interjects, “Well, how about we take a vote? All in favor of ‘The Wonders,’?” She quickly raises her hand, as do Andy, Roy, and Jim.

Rolling his eyes, Roy unfolds his arms. “Alright, fine. We’ll go with The Wonders.”

A cheer spreads throughout the room, which includes Andy running over to Roy and embracing him in a very undesired hug on his end.

Jim, however, looks over at Pam with a smirk, offering her an air high five and a “Nice job, Beesly,” before saying his goodbyes and leaving to return to work.

I guess I’m doing this; he says with a smile as he gets into his Jaguar. Alright, Wonders. Let’s win this talent show!

 

XXX

 

“We’re going to cream those ladies,” Jim states, passing his girlfriend a drink as he sits down with a plate of food provided by Lackawanna College for their senior class and the talent show performers. Jim is talking about the performers currently on stage, who happen to be an all-girl folk group, performing a song with two guitarists, a singer, and a bass violin. No audience member happens to be paying proper attention to the performers, going as far as throwing paper airplanes at their heads and mocking them from their seats.

Jim’s statement must be correct if this is the audience’s reaction.

“Jim, this is hardly a date. How long is this going to last? I thought we would be going to the club for dinner,” Karen angrily asks, disappointed that the plans Jim promised to her earlier this morning would be forgotten about.

“I-I’m not too sure, Karen; I’m not sure how long this will take,” Jim responds, unsure honestly how long this would be. He isn’t entirely sure when they will be performing since Roy was the one who had all of the information.

“Jim!” he heard in the distance, a voice he knows all too well at this point. Pam rushes toward him, calling his name again. “Jim, I’ve been looking everywhere for you! You got to set up; the other guys already have their instruments.” Pam sits down next to him, looking worried.

He knows that look on her face; he’s seen it plenty of times before, from the multitude of years they have known each other. Pam had, and has, a tendency to worry too much about the tiniest things. Between tests in grade school or junior high that she was more than prepared for, conversations about hearing her father say crude things about her mother, and even her fears of having her first date and first kiss, she found herself a nervous wreck.

But fortunately, she had Jim there to talk her down from her nerves.

Even now.

“Hey,” he states, placing his left hand on her right shoulder. “Everything will be okay; you have no reason to worry. I’ll go back there now and set up, okay! We’ll be fine, I promise.” He runs his hand from her shoulder, down her arm, and back up to her shoulder, to help alleviate her stress.

He watches as she takes a deep breath before responding to him. “Thanks, I needed that.”

“Where are they?” Jim asks, handing Karen all his food from his hands and standing up.

“Um, straight back, through that door right by the stage,” she responds, pointing toward the direction he needs to go in.

“Great,” he says. “Oh, Karen, this is Pam. Pam, this is Karen. Gotta go!” He states, rushing off toward the stage.

“Hi,” Karen offers her, smiling awkwardly as she sizes Pam up and down. Versus the 50’s-esque blue dress, heels, and earrings she chose to wear tonight, Pam is dressed in a “beatnik” styled outfit than she. She dons a black, long-sleeved shirt, black pants, a pair of flats, and a black headband. Pam’s smile did seem genuine, though, so that’s a plus?

It’s still awkward to her that Jim randomly introduces them after she watches him run his hand up and down her arm. That bothered her, so of course, she would act cold to this girl. That is her boyfriend. “So, how do you know the band?” Karen asks.

“Oh, I’m dating Roy, the lead singer!” She excitingly announces. “We’ve been together for almost three years now.”

Karen perks up, thrilled to know that this girl is taken and wouldn’t have eyes for her boyfriend. “Congratulations! Tonight’s Jim and I’s first anniversary. Do you happen to know how long this is going to be?”

Happy but slightly confused, Pam responds. “Um, I’m not too sure. I’ve never been to one of these before.”

“Okay,” Karen answers back, cold again.

Pam stands up after a few moments, picking up on the woman’s cold responses. “Well, it was nice to meet you!”

“You too,” Karen sharply responds, folding her arms and crossing her legs in her seat.

 

XXX

 

After two more performances, the group walks onto the stage to set up while the announcer tells horrible jokes between the acts. Jim takes mere seconds to sit in his chair while Andy, Roy, and Ryan set up their microphones and tune their guitars.

And finally, they are ready.

“This next group,” the announcer states, “Are local and call Scranton home. Give it up for….” He pauses, squinting at the card to read it. “The… Dunders!”

Roy, rolling his eyes, gets on the microphone and corrects the man. “That’s the Wonders,” he states as Jim is about to cue them in.

Staring at the crowd, Jim gains a sense of confidence, which he did not previously have while performing in the senior high band. He hears the song in his head but at a faster pace than he practiced this afternoon on his lunch break. He hears cheers in his head, pictures the audience dancing… and with that, he runs with it.

“One, two, three, four!” he yells, picking up the tempo and beginning to play his drums.

Roy automatically picks up on Jim’s cue, walking over to him and yelling over the cymbals: “That’s too fast, Jim! Slow it down; it’s slow!”

“Come on, Roy! Come on!” Andy yells back over to him, insinuating that his cue will be starting soon.

“Jim, slow down! Slow it down!” Roy yells at him again as his cue to start singing begins.

Roy walks back over to the microphone and begins to sing as the rest of the band plays:

I love you a lot,

please give me a shot.”

Pam, who is sitting in the front row of the audience, is in shock. Roy has always played this song for her at a slow tempo, slow pitch. Never had she heard it this fast.

But yet, she likes it. It fits with the words well.

“'Cause when you look me up and down like that,

you make me want to drop my top and,

Drive, drive, drive all the way to you, you, you.

Roll my windows down and smile, smile, smile down the avenue.

Girl, you keep me on my toes,

and baby, I want you to know.

That you make me want to drive, drive, drive all the way to you.”

Roy sings, confusion and embarrassment spread across his face in an obvious fashion. Andy quickly picks up on the tempo change, going along with it how Jim is. Ryan tries his hardest to speed up his bass playing, learning it as he goes.

Andy ad-libs some harmonies along with Roy, which fit in very nicely.

Some college seniors start to stand up and walk toward the front of the stage to dance.

Jim closes his eyes and envisions the thought he had in his head when he cued the band in. The song fits his vision well, and he continues to play.

“You’ve got me bad,

Want what you have.

‘Cause when you appear in my dreams, girl

I want to rush to my car and,

Drive, drive, drive all the way to you, you, you.

Roll my windows down and smile, smile, smile down the avenue.

Girl, you keep me on my toes,

and baby, I want you to know.

That you make me want to drive, drive, drive all the way to you.”

More and more audience members stand up, choosing to come dance along to the song.

Being one of them, Pam sings along to their music as well up by the front, winking up at her boyfriend.

Roy, who sees this action, offers her a smirk while the song proceeds.

Meanwhile, farther back in the audience, Karen has her attention focused on her compact mirror, adding additional pressed powder under her eyes due to the heat of the college’s gymnasium. Her focus was found there versus the band’s performance.

As the song reaches its’ bridge, Andy walks his way over toward Jim, who is playing his heart out. “Hey, I have no idea what we’re doing, but it works!” he yells, as Jim nods his head to him in agreement. “You’re a lucky man, Tunes!”

“If you just give me a chance, pretty lady

You’d see I’d be more than a pretty face, baby.

You got me weak in the knees,

Got my heart racing fast.

Just give me all your love,

And I know our love with last.”

As Jim’s drum solo begins, he opens his eyes to see his vision, now a reality. With a faster tempo to the song, the audience has a ball. No person in the audience is sitting; they are all on their feet, with many of them dancing up by the stage, including the announcer and the talent show judges who are off to the side.

He looks over at Pam, who is now smiling up at him, dancing along. He can’t help but mirror her smile for the second or third time today while finishing the song.

“You’ll make me drop my top and,

Drive, drive, drive all the way to you, you, you.

Roll my windows down and smile, smile, smile down the avenue.

Girl, you keep me on my toes,

and baby, I want you to know.

That you make me want to drive, drive, drive all the way to you.

All the way to you,

All the way to you,

All the way to you, girl!”

They conclude the song with the audience cheering massively for them and the announcer taking over the microphone. “Oh my goodness, that was amazing!” he yells.

A visibly annoyed Roy walks over toward Jim, yelling over the announcer. “That was way too fast, man. It’s a ballad!”

Andy quickly comes to Jim’s defense, however. “No, Tunes, that was great! Roy, that was great!”

“Well, judges, do we have a winner?” The announcer asks, with the judges automatically pointing toward the band, having their side conversation about the tempo on stage. “That’s wicked! The Dunders are your champions!!” He yells as Jim and Andy stand to offer the audience a bow, while Roy stands with his arms on his hips, and Ryan accepts the band’s trophy.

A gentleman in a suit walks up to the band on stage out of nowhere, bringing them around to chat. “That was great, fellas! Come over here; I want to talk to you all! Have you ever been to Cugino’s?”

“The spaghetti place down off of Blakely Street?” Andy asks, pointing behind him in the restaurant's direction from the college.

“Yeah, I gotta have you boys perform there; I just gotta have you! I’ll pay you $100 next weekend to perform there, what do you say?” The man, presumably the owner of Cugino’s, asks.

“I’m in, are you?” Ryan asks the rest of the group.

Sighing yet smirking, Roy responds. “We’re in; we’ll play for you.”

“Oh, that’s fantastic, fellas! See me tomorrow, and we’ll talk hours, got it?” The man responds.

Jim, taking in the sights around him, can’t help but smile. Thanks to him, The Wonders (Or… Dunders?) won the talent show and are being offered a paying gig in-town.

I don’t think this will be a one-time thing anymore, he thinks to himself.

 

And boy, would he be correct.

Chapter End Notes:

I, uh, wrote the song performed at the talent show that will become their big hit...

 

I hope you don't hate it! <3 



emxgoldstars is the author of 9 other stories.



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