"After you," Jim grinned, as he opened the door for Pam at 5.03pm following one of the strangest Halloween parties that Dunder Mifflin had ever hosted.
"Thank you," she smiled back at him, her eyes sparkling with love for the husband that she'd been arguing with all day. She watched him as he closed her door and walked over to his side of the car, worry still very much filling her mind. As Jim pulled out of the parking lot and started the drive home, obliviously humming along to a song on the radio, Pam stared out of the passenger window in silence. Although she and Jim had shared a kiss in the elevator ride down to the parking lot, which in Jim's eyes meant their little tiff had been put to bed, Robert California's ‘scary story' was still playing on Pam's mind.
Jim pulled up to a red light and heard Pam sigh softly, and out of the corner of his eye, he saw her roll her head on the headrest to look at him. He turned to look at her, a small smile tugging its way onto his lips and a slightly raised eyebrow.
"Look, if you want to be the one who explains to Cece that ghosts aren't real, whenever that could happen, then I guess I'm ok with it," Pam said shyly, her head leaning on the headrest, with doe eyes staring up at Jim.
"So you finally admit ghosts aren't real huh?" he smirked, letting his head fall back on the headrest, mirroring his wife's position. The car behind them beeped, causing Jim to sit back up in his seat and hit the gas.
"No, it's not that, it was Robert's story. I don't want us to be the couple that sleeps an inch further apart until one of us leaves and then we..." she sobbed, unable to finish the end of her sentence.
"Woahh, Beesly," he said, reaching his hand over the centre console to hold hers, but keeping his eyes on the road. As much as he was used to seeing her pregnancy induced weeping, Jim still couldn't stand to see Pam cry. "What are you talking about?"
"I just don't want us to disagree about stupid stuff that might tear us apart eventually," she sniffed with a small shrug.
"I promise you, nothing like that is going to happen. If anything, it's going to be the half drunk mugs of tea you leave lying all over the house that drives us apart," he smirked, earning him a swat on the arm from Pam. "But, you know, I really don't think we need to worry about something like that. I think we're gonna be ok."
"Even if I believe in ghosts?"
"Even if you believe in something made up like ghosts, yes," he said with a roll of his eyes, "we'll be ok."
They carried on the short journey home in a more contented silence, humming along to the radio as Jim drove. He eventually pulled into the driveway and put the car into park, before jumping out and racing around to Pam's side to help her out of her seat.
"Thank you," she smiled at him as she placed her hand in his and heaved herself out of the car.
"Anytime," he replied with a quick kiss to her hand, before they walked over to the front door. Jim fumbled around with the key, trying to get it into the lock, as Pam rubbed her hand over his suit jacket between his shoulder blades.
"Hey mom, we're home," Pam called as she stepped inside the house, dropping her purse on the floor by the coat rack in the hallway.
"We're in here," Helene called from the kitchen. "We're just having dinner. Fish sticks and peas. So how was the party?"
"Um, kinda weird," Pam replied, as she walked into the kitchen. She went over to give Cece a kiss on the top of her head as she sat in her highchair, pincering peas into her mouth, one by one. "There was this really creepy video that was played during the party. I think it was meant to be scary or something. But it was just," she paused, thinking of the best way to describe it, "gross. And then our boss, or I guess our boss's boss, told this weird story. I don't know, just it wasn't as fun as last year's party," she said, somewhat sadly, thinking about how Jim had dressed up as Popeye for her the previous year.
"Oh well, work isn't really for parties anyway," Helene replied, trying to get a fish stick into Cece's mouth, but failing miserably as the toddler clamped her mouth firmly shut and thrashed her head about.
Pam laughed as Jim came into the kitchen and walked over to give Cece a kiss and swipe a fish stick. "I can tell you've never worked at Dunder Mifflin," he smirked. "Has she been ok today?" He shoved half the fish stick into his mouth, before he caught Pam's glare and he put the remainder back down on Cece's tray.
"An angel, as always," Helene replied with a smile, as Cece threw the fish stick onto the floor and peered over the side to look at it on the ground.
"Ok, so angels," Pam said, holding out her hand, palm upwards, towards her mother. "Do you believe in angels?"
"What?" Jim and Helene both replied simultaneously, looking to Pam in question.
"We were having an argument," Pam began, but was interrupted.
"Woah, it wasn't an argument, it was," Jim paused to think for the correct word. "It was a conversation that led to a slight disagreement." He waved his hand in front of Pam to signal for her to carry on.
She rolled her eyes before continuing. "We were having a slight disagreement at work about whether ghosts exist, and I wondered if Jim thinks angels exist or not as well."
"Definitely," Helene replied.
"Absolutely not," Jim said at the same time. Both women shot him a warning look. "What?" he asked, hiking his shoulders up around his ears.
Pam narrowed her eyes at him as if in warning, before digging her hands into her pouch in defiance. "Oh shoot, I've lost the kangaroo that was in my pouch," she said as she rooted through the large pocket on the front of her costume. "Do you mind checking if I dropped it in the car?" she asked Jim.
"Oh sure, no problem," he replied, their little tiff already forgotten as he grabbed the car keys off of the kitchen counter and headed back to the front door. He stopped to place a kiss on the top of Cece's head on the way out.
"Alright, I'm going to get going," Helene said, placing her hands on her thighs and pushing herself out of the chair. She then started to look for her belongings that were scattered all over the kitchen, talking to herself as she did so. "Oh I meant to say," she said, turning to Pam, "those bulbs that Jim bought for me at the weekend must be faulty or something. I've tried three of them and they keep blowing whenever I turn the TV on. Or the radio. Or the oven. Any appliance really. It's the strangest thing. So anyway, I brought the rest of the box back and left it in the den. Can you ask him to return them for me and get a new box sweetheart?"
"Oh sure thing," Pam replied. "We'll see you tomorrow morning right?"
"Bright and early, as always," Helene replied with a smile.
"Thanks mom, you're a lifesaver." Pam kissed her mother goodbye and went to find the dustpan and brush to sweep up the peas and fish sticks that Cece had dropped all over the floor.
A few minutes later, Jim came back into the kitchen holding the toy kangaroo that had fallen out of Pam's pouch. "He was under your seat," he grinned. "Oh and also that mini projector I ordered finally arrived." He walked around the kitchen trying to rip open the package with his hands, with Pam giggling slightly at his inability to do so.
She opened the utensils drawer, expecting to find a pair of scissors, but after rifling through the mess of stainless steel and black plastic, couldn't find them. "Where have the scissors gone?"
"Hmm?" he asked, still trying to open the package unsuccessfully.
"I'm sure the scissors were in here this morning," she said, pushing the contents of the drawer about.
"Oh, I used them to cut a packet of bacon open this morning. They're over on the window sill," he said, distractedly pointing towards the sink.
"You're terrible with putting things away. You gotta get better," she sighed as she reached over to grab the scissors from the tiled shelf and passed them to him.
"Oh I'm sorry ‘Miss Puts Things Away Exactly Where They Should Go All The Time'," he said, rolling his eyes.
"I'm just saying, you need to start putting things back in their places. Makes things a lot easier when you do babe," she laughed as Jim sliced open the package. "So what is it you ordered again?"
"It's this little projector that you can slot your phone into and it'll project like a picture or video from it. I thought I could use it to convince Dwight that he could make the wall into a computer if I shined a picture of his desktop onto it. Maybe make it voice controlled? I'm not sure, I haven't figured out the details yet, but it's got a lot of potential," he grinned as he carried on examining the small black machine.
"Sounds great," Pam said as she heaved Cece out of her highchair. "I'm gonna go give her a bath. Oh hey, can you close the window, it's cold in here."
"Sure. We should really talk to your mom about not opening so many windows. It's gonna get too cold for Cece soon."
"Yeah, I know, I know. Wanna order a pizza while I bathe her?" she asked, with Cece balanced on her hip.
"Yeah, sure. Mushroom, pineapple and meatballs?" he asked with a slight shudder.
"Hmmm, no you know what. I think chicken, peppers and pickles."
"Oh gross. Can you even get pickles on a pizza?"
"Just try. I think we have a jar in the refrigerator. Or if not, you can go get one," she said, smiling sweetly, her tongue between her teeth. Jim gave her a mock salute. "Oh, and did you think about what movie you want to watch later? And before you say it, don't say Ghostbusters again. It wasn't funny then, and it won't be funny now," she warned with an arched eyebrow.
"Come on Beesly, give me some credit. No, um, there's this film I haven't seen." He dropped his voice ever so slightly. "It's meant to be kinda romantic and sexy," he said with a slight rise of his eyebrows.
"Oh yeah?" Pam said, her face visibly relaxing and a slight blush creeping up her neck.
"Yeah," Jim swallowed. "It's, uh, got Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore in it."
"I hate you," she deadpanned, with a slight glint in her eye, before turning and heading to the stairs.
"Love you too," he called after her.