I am not losing Pam this way…no fucking way. We spent too long apart and this is not how we are going to end. Jim’s mind was in overload. There was smoke and screaming and everyone was scared.
And Pam’s face. The look he saw in her eyes when he heard her yell and looked up at her. He hadn’t seen what she was yelling at, but he had seen fear in her eyes.
His driving thought was ‘get her out of here…NOW’ and the only way to get her out was to smash something, he needed her next to him, behind him, something to ensure he could protect her.
And it was all a fucking fake. That nitwit did this to us all on purpose! Pam was safe, but Stanley almost died! All because that idiot thought he needed to create a ‘real world scenario’ to install fear and force us all to learn.
He drove them home in silence, thankfully Corporate had called and closed the office after Stanley left in the ambulance. Pam cried, letting all the fear run out of her. Just silently cried all the way home while he held her hand.
He got them in the house as fast as he could, ushering them upstairs and getting their work clothes off them (and in to a garbage bag that he threw out the window toward the garage) as fast as he could. He got the water hot, letting the shower fill with steam, and pulled them both in. They just stood there, holding one another, under the hot spray, letting the smell of smoke leave their noses.
Pam reached for the shampoo first, but he took it from her. He hadn’t needed to save her life today but he was ready to and now he wanted to take care of her …no, he needed to take care of her. He gently massaged her head, running his hands over her elongated curls. He breathed in the soft smell of vanilla to clear his own head. He turned her to rinse it out and held her against his chest while he did. He tried to pull away for the body wash, but she wouldn’t let go. She held him, crying in the stream of the water, and he wrapped his arms around her. He let her cry it out until she was ready.
Dutifully, he used every product in the damn shower to clean them both after that. He hoped all the stench of burning butane and paper would be off from them for good.
He wrapped her in a fuzzy towel, patting her hair dry like he had seen her do. And then wrapped a towel around himself. He took her hand and pulled them to the bed, snuggling in behind her and wrapping his arms around her, pulling her tightly to his chest. She moved her hips and legs back In to his, getting as close to one another as possible. They lay there, breathing and snuggled in to one another a long time. When he heard her softly say “I was so scared…” he lost it. Jim felt the tears come up and fall across his face on to the pillow. He tried to pull her closer, but she was turning herself over to face him, then buried herself in his neck. They both cried a while together, uncertain what it is you are supposed to say or do when a coworker tries to scare you all to death.
“Pam, I am so sorry…” Jim did not know what else to say, but he felt like he had failed her. He had not gotten her out. It didn’t matter there wasn’t a reason to get her out, he had been unable to if there had been. A deep sob came up from his chest.
“I am too. I couldn’t get us help, I couldn’t help Stanley and I felt just frozen.” Pam stumbled over her own words as her eyes welled with tears again.
They held one another that way for a long time. Determining neither could eat, they at least grabbed glasses of water in the bathroom, and got in to their comfiest pajamas. Jim pulled Pam in, under the covers, and they held one another tightly until she fell asleep. He felt her relax, and once she did, he was able to relax…she felt safe, she was safe, in his arms.