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Cross-posted from AO3.

Inspired by ‘dear whoever you might be, i'm still waiting patiently’ by elsaclack on AO3. Title taken from Feeder’s ‘Frequency’.

Every time Pam’s been lucky enough to see a soul-bond realization, either in person or on a film or a TV show, it’s been some huge, dramatic event. She still remembers the way everyone in the school cafeteria had lost their minds when Maria Somerville had bonded with Benjamin Porter after he’d asked her to junior prom; they’d started making out on one of the tables and been given detention for a month. In comparison to Ben’s promposal, Dwight’s realization had been pretty reserved: Angela had slapped a form down in front of Jim and told him flatly that if he didn’t fill it out and return it to her by the end of the day, she would be reporting him to Michael.

Jim had been on the phone to a customer, so he couldn’t do anything more than mumble something noncommittal in response, but Pam’s attention had been caught by the way Dwight had fumbled his pencil and stood up from his chair.

“Angela Martin,” he had said stiffly. “Though I am typically extremely irritated by Jim Halpert, the aggravation I am experiencing at the present moment is unusually intense and vehement. This, along with the fact that I find you sexually desirable and somewhat pleasant to associate with, leads me to believe that you are my soulmate. Can you confirm or deny my theory?”

There had been a couple of moments of silence, broken only by the sound of Jim’s phone falling to the floor and the tinny voice on the other end going hello? hello? a couple of times before the dial tone set in. All eyes had been on Angela, but she had just stood there, as cool and composed as she always was. The only hint that she hadn’t turned into an especially judgmental ice statue had been the slight hint of pink at the tips of her ears.

She might actually have given Dwight an answer, except that Kelly had squealed “Oh, my God!” at the top of her lungs, and all hell had broken loose. Michael had come sprinting out of his office with an airhorn shouting about soulmates, Phyllis had started crying, and even Stanley had deigned to look up in the general direction of Jim and Dwight’s desk hub for two seconds before shaking his head and going back to his crossword. He doesn’t show that kind of enthusiasm every day.

In the midst of all the chaos, Angela had tilted her chin up, fixed Dwight with a piercing stare, and then walked past him towards the annex. Dwight had nodded, locked his computer, shot Jim a dirty look, and followed after her. And that had been that.

Their meeting with HR’s been going on for nearly an hour now, and Pam’s not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. Anything that gets one of Dwight or Angela out of the office for any length of time is a good thing, and she’d probably go so far as to say that something that gets them both out of the way for fifty-two minutes and counting is a great thing, but she can’t help but worry for Toby’s safety. Kelly had been asked to leave the annex on confidentiality grounds, but the bullpen had been saved from her… excitable reaction to new developments when the camera crew had called her into the conference room to do an interview. She’s been in there for a while now, and Ryan’s been sneaking glances at the back of her head through the blinds for the last fifteen minutes with an increasingly nervous expression on his face. Pam suspects he’s concerned for what this new office romance will do for Kelly’s expectations and aspirations for her own love life.

“What do you think they’re doing in there?”

She turns to Jim, who’s chewing a jellybean and eyeing the door through to the annex with a speculative expression.

“If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say paperwork,” she replies. “What’re you thinking?”

Jim lets out a deep sigh and shakes his head. “I’m actually trying really hard not to think about what they might be doing in there.”

“Then why did you ask me?”

“Because I’m a masochist at heart,” he replies without missing a beat. “Why do you think I’m still working here?”

Pam huffs a laugh, but then she takes a moment to remember that she works as a receptionist at a mid-range paper supply company, and stifles a shiver.

Soulmates – even if they’re Dwight and Angela – are much more fun to talk about than her job. “But they’re not going to do anything crazy in there with the cameras rolling, right?”

“If anything, that might encourage them,” Jim muses. “But I think Toby’s presence is enough to put a dampener on their, uh…”

He trails off with a slightly queasy look on his face, so Pam naturally takes great delight in making him squirm.

“Lustful urges?” She supplies dryly, and he winces. It’s kind of hilarious.

“You sound like Angela,” he complains aggrievedly. “And the idea of Angela or Dwight having lustful urges is just wrong on so many levels.”

“If you think that’s bad, imagine Angela and Dwight having lustful urges.” She pauses for effect. “Together.”

There’s a half-horrified, half-amused look in his eyes as she waggles her eyebrows, or at least tries to. She’s probably not as good at it as Jim is, but it makes him grin and shake his head all the same.

“Beesley, what made you think I would ever want to imagine that?” He laughs.

“I don’t know, but if I’ve got to have that thought in my head, so do you.”

“Ugh.” He shudders dramatically, and pops another jellybean in his mouth. This one’s blue. “Kill me now.”

“Are you sure?” She asks with mock-seriousness.  “Because I’m pretty sure Dwight would be happy to do it if you asked him. It looked like he was about to, right before he and Angela went all… soulmate-y.”

“I know, right?” He shakes his head and rubs at his temple in disbelief, like he does when he’s got a headache coming on. “I can’t believe Dwight realized that Angela’s his soulmate because she was threatening to submit a complaint about me to Michael.”

Instinctively, Pam glances towards Michael’s office. After the immediate heady rush of witnessing a bonding wore off, the realization that there’s going to be a new couple flaunting their happiness in the Dunder-Mifflin office hit Michael pretty hard. He’s sitting behind his desk with a carton of ice cream as big as his head and a sad look on his face, playing Coldplay’s ‘The Scientist’ loudly enough to rattle the glass in his office windows. He’s not receptive, so just like everyone else who can’t feel their soulmate’s emotions, he’s got no idea whether there’s anyone out there for him. If there is a special someone waiting for Michael, Pam just hopes that they’ve taken their bond-suppressant pills today, because otherwise they’re going to be feeling really, really lonely and depressed right now for no apparent reason.

It’s really sad and actually kind of awful when you think about it for too long, so Pam turns her attention back to Jim and tries not to dwell on it.

“You know, this could be the start of your new career as a professional matchmaker,” she says, trying to inject a bit of light-heartedness back into things. “You could be like Will Smith in Hitch.”

To her delight, he plays along, nodding seriously as if this is the best idea he’s heard today – and to be fair, it might well be. This is Dunder-Mifflin, after all.

“That’s not a bad idea,” he says. “Maybe I should get business cards. ‘Jim Halpert, bringing soulmates together since ‘05.’”

“Jim Halpert,” she begins grandly, before realizing that she doesn’t actually know where she’s going with this. “Uh… you’ll start off with a complaint about me, but you won’t have any complaints about who you end up with?”

“Seems kind of wordy for a business card,” he comments. “Good luck fitting all that in.”

She sees an opportunity to atone for her less-than-impressive one-liner, and seizes on it. “That’s what she –”

“Do not.”

She cackles triumphantly, and although he’s trying to scowl at her, she can see the corners of his mouth twitching upwards. She bribes him by nudging the jar of jellybeans towards him in wordless apology; he takes a green one and grins at her in easy forgiveness.

“Okay, then, how about this?” She clears her throat and swallows before spreads her hands like she’s putting the words up in lights. “Jim Halpert: The man who did the impossible.”

“Which is?”

She waits a beat. “Found Dwight Schrute a soulmate.”

“They said it couldn’t be done,” he begins appreciatively, before pausing. “No, wait – they said it shouldn’t be done.”

He suddenly drops his head into his hands and lets out a low groan. “Oh, my God, Pam, what have I done?”

She giggles at the way he fists his hands in his hair in mock-despair. “Oh, Jim, didn’t you know? You’ve made Dwight the happiest man on earth!”

“God, Beesley, don’t even joke about that.”

“Okay, okay,” she smirks at the anguish in his muffled voice. “Hey, maybe he’ll ask you to be his best man at the wedding?”

Jim lifts his head and tries to give her an offended look, but it’s somewhat undermined by the way he’s trying not to chuckle. His hair’s all mussed from how he’s been gripping it. “Are you kidding? I’m not settling for anything less than godfather to their firstborn.”

“Godfather, huh?” She purses her lips and nods seriously. “Are you sure you want to be the one teaching Dwight Junior how to act like a real boy?”

“I know you’re joking, but the sheer ridiculousness of this alternate reality where I’m teaching Dwight and Angela’s kid how to run hitch and slant routes is literally the only thing stopping me from freaking out right now.”

Pam can’t help but giggle. “You know, it’s really not that big a deal.”

“Not that big a deal?” Jim demands, pinning her with a wide-eyed stare. “It’s a huge deal! How are you not freaking out right now?”

If she’s being honest with herself, Pam had been freaking out when Dwight had basically straight-up confronted Angela about being her soulmate. But now that the moment’s passed, and most of the office has gone back to work, it’s easier to get a little perspective on the matter.

“All they’re doing right now is filling out a couple of forms,” she points out. “I’d be pretty lousy at my job if I freaked out at the thought of paperwork.”

“I don’t care about the paperwork,” Jim waves his hand impatiently. “How are you not freaking out over the fact that Dwight has a soulmate?”

“To be honest, I think I’m more shocked that Angela has a soulmate,” she deadpans, before the phone rings and she has to shoo him away. “Dunder-Mifflin, this is Pam.”

It’s Bob Vance, from Vance Refrigeration. Apparently Phyllis isn’t picking up her phone, so Pam patches the call through as Jim saunters back to his desk and slumps into his chair with a faintly-incredulous look on his face. Phyllis picks up the phone, and after a couple of moments, opens her desk drawer and starts rummaging around until she emerges clutching a phone charger. She’s chatting away into her work phone with a triumphant smile, and laughs at something Bob’s saying. They’re really sweet together.

Pam forwards a couple of enquiries on to Stanley and Oscar, reads Phyllis’ vague query about something to do with recycled paper and composes a suitably vague reply, and kills a bit of time with another game of FreeCell. Kelly comes out of the conference room and immediately drags Ryan out of the office, and Michael moves on to R.E.M’s ‘Everybody Hurts’, and then Queen’s ‘Somebody to Love’. Kelly returns looking and sounding buoyantly happy; Ryan returns a couple of minutes later looking like he’s been diagnosed with a terminal disease. Dwight and Angela still haven’t emerged by the time Darryl comes for his meeting with Michael at one o’clock, but Pam’s humming along to the Pet Shop Boys’ ‘Always on My Mind’, as she plays Minesweeper, and she’s hoping that the shift in mood towards eighties synth-pop indicates an improvement in Michael’s mood.

Darryl opens the door to Michael’s office without waiting for an invitation, and the music shuts off abruptly, but Pam is distracted from the inevitable petty argument by a sturdy knock on the corner of the reception counter.

“Hey, babe,” Roy greets her with a broad grin. “How’s it going?”

“Hey!” She smiles back at him, happy that she’ll be able to catch him up to speed. “You missed a crazy morning.”

“Uh-huh?” Roy gives the office a dubious once-over, but when he can’t see any dark lenses staring back at him, he relaxes. “No kidding.”

Ordinarily, Pam thinks he could be forgiven his skepticism – after all, this is Dunder-Mifflin. But today is a crazy day! Pam doesn’t think she’s witnessed more than five soul bonds in her whole life.

“Really,” she assures him. “Angela and Dwight are soulmates!”

Roy, however, doesn’t seem too enthused, as he glances over at Dwight’s still-vacant desk with a doubtful look. “For real? The weirdo and the blonde with the stick up her ass?”

Dwight and Angela,” she emphasizes their names again. “They’ve both been here since before I joined, but I guess it took them a while to figure things out.”

“No shit,” Roy snorts. “If I was a chick, and I had to fall for that dickwad before I figured out we were soulmates, I’d probably want to put it off for as long as possible, too.”

Pam feels a flare of annoyance – partly at his assumption that it’s always the guy that has to be the receptive soulmate, but mostly at the way he’s talking about Dwight on what’s probably one of the happiest days of his life. She can see Jim wince slightly at his desk as well, which just goes to show what a jerkish thing it is for Roy to say. If Jim thinks you’re being unfair on Dwight, you’ve definitely gone too far.

“Actually, Dwight’s the one who had to figure it out,” she answers. “It was kind of sweet, actually – he realized they shared a bond because she’s the only person who could possibly hate Jim as much as he does.”

Jim doesn’t halt his typing or look away from his screen, but she can tell he’s heard her by the way he rolls her eyes.

Meanwhile, Roy looks unconvinced. “What, they’ve been working together ever since you joined – what, two years ago?”

“Nearly three,” Pam informs him, but it only makes Roy scoff and shake his head.

“Kind of creepy that she knew he was her soulmate the whole time, and she never said anything about it,” he mutters, wrinkling his nose and casting another look at Dwight’s desk.

“It’s not creepy,” she disagrees. “It’s romantic – and besides, you can’t tell someone they’re your soulmate, it’s against the rules –”

“No, Pammy,” he replies dismissively. “It’s fucking creepy. Think about it, okay? How would you like it if someone could feel everything you’re feeling for however long those two have been working together?”

Suddenly, Jim gets up from his chair, and they both look towards him. He flushes and jerks his thumb towards the break room.

“I’m gonna get some grape soda,” he says. “You guys want anything?”

“We’re cool,” Roy says with a shrug before turning back to Pam. “You wanna go to Taco Bell? I was kind of in the mood for tacos.”

Pam’s got lunch in the refrigerator in the kitchen, but she knows they’ve got a lot of orders to load up in the warehouse today, and Roy could really use a break. “Taco Bell sounds great.”

“Cool,” Roy nods. “I’ll meet you down there, okay?”

“Okay,” she answers happily, and begins setting her things away so she can head off on her lunch break. By the time she’s gathered up her purse and grabbed her coat from the stand, Jim’s coming back from the kitchen with a purple soda can.

“So Roy and I are heading out now,” she tells him, albeit unnecessarily. “If they come out whilst I’m on my lunch break, let me know what Dwight says?”

Jim gives her the same noncommittal grunt he gave Angela earlier as he settles into his seat and drags his satchel into his lap. “Will do.”

He rummages around for a moment before pulling out a small orange bottle, and Pam frowns as he taps out two small tablets into his large palm. “Suppressants?”

“You know it,” he replies, before pulling the can’s tab with a sharp crack, cramming the tablets into his mouth, and chugging half his grape soda. After he’s swallowed hard and pulled a couple of faces, he clears his throat and puts the prescription bottle back in his bag with a grimace. “God. You’re lucky you’re not receptive, Beesly.”

Jim’s absent-minded words are casual, but it’s that thoughtless quality to them that makes Pam feel a slight twinge of hurt. Although Dunder-Mifflin does require employees to disclose their soulmate status – or lack thereof – it’s on a strictly confidential basis. She and Roy are fairly open about the fact that they’re not soulmates, but just because Pam’s never come out and announced to the whole world that she has an emotional connection with another person, that doesn’t mean she couldn’t be receptive.

Of course, it would be fairly unusual if she was engaged to Roy whilst having an emotional connection to someone else – but that’s not the point. Jim might think nothing of swallowing down his bond-suppressants at his desk in the middle of the working day, but some people might want to be a bit more private than that.

But before she can point this out to him, he winces and starts patting at his heart, before breaking into a series of strangled gulps and coughs. It goes on for long enough that Pam begins to wonder whether she ought to be at least a little bit concerned.

“You okay there?” She asks, glancing uncertainly towards the annex. If Jim’s got a suppressant tablet stuck in his throat, he’s picked a heck of a time for it; their Safety Officer is in a HR meeting along with the only other person who would be enthusiastic enough to perform an effective Heimlich maneuver.

“Fine,” he manages in between wheezing fits. “That just went down the wrong way, is all.”

“Okay,” she nods hesitantly as he leans over and puts his head between his knees. “Um – if I head out to Taco Bell, can you promise me you won’t be dead when I get back?”

With an effort, Jim manages to get a hold of himself. He takes a couple of deep breaths, and then straightens up in his seat.

“I mean, Dwight might come out and make good on that whole killing-me thing we were talking about earlier.” His face is a little red, and his hair’s as messy and untamed as ever. “So no promises.”

Now that it’s clear that Jim isn’t going to require the kiss of life any time soon, Pam allows herself to relax a little. “Tell Dwight that if he kills you, I won’t bring back any celebratory Taco Bell.”

Jim frowns. “Dwight hates Taco Bell. Are you trying to get me killed?”

“Then tell him if he kills you, I’ll make him eat Taco Bell.” She flaps her hand dismissively. “You’re a salesman, aren’t you? Figure something out.”

Wow, Beesly.” Jim tries to play offended, but she can tell that he’s amused by the spark in his eyes. He’s not slick. “And here I thought you cared.”

“Only for Taco Bell, Halpert,” she flashes a cheery smile before turning on her heel and heading for the door. “Catch you later!”

He calls something out after her, but she’s already spent enough time dawdling around, and Roy’s probably getting impatient. As she presses the button and waits for the elevator doors to open, she’s not sure whether she wants a burrito or a taco. She’d actually been kind of looking forward to eating her mixed berry yoghurt in the break room, but she’s sure it’ll keep for another day.

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