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DISCLAIMER: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

Author's Chapter Notes:

Originally Posted 29 April, 2023

Why do I always edit my work after I post it?

“Where did he go, Joyce?”

“Helene, I… I am so sorry.”

Where did he go, Joyce?”

“He’s at the bar with Kenny and all he told me was he… he can’t do it.”

Jim told himself he wasn’t going to go to the wedding.  He does anyway.

He lied that he couldn’t refund the tickets to Australia, but now he has around five days to kill.  Why not have his heart ripped out of him in front of his eyes?  Great way to spend a Sunday.  He was considering bringing Karen as his plus one, but he’d rather not humiliate himself in front of his coworker.

He loves her.  He still does.  And he might as well be there for her, even when she’s making a botched-up decision like this one.

He sits on the groom’s side, striking up a somewhat pleasant conversation with Lonny.  He’s not sitting there because he knows any of the warehouse guys very well, but it’s more the fact that his former boss and coworkers are to his right, and they’re the last people he wants to speak to.
There’s Kelly, dressed in white of course, next to Ryan, who’s about ready to blow his brains out.
There’s Meredith, who brought her own box of wine.
There’s Stanley, already asleep, next to Phyllis, who’s knitting her wedding present last minute.
There’s Angela, as prune-faced as ever.
There’s Oscar, checking his watch, next to Kevin, who’s eating a chocolate bar.
There’s Toby, looking more forlorn than even Jim.
And finally, Michael and Dwight.  Michael only looks at Jim once, and then turns back around to sit and stew.  Dwight doesn’t acknowledge him, but instead addresses Michael, probably talking about him to make Michael feel better.

The sad part is that Jim almost agrees with everything Dwight is saying about him.

Suddenly, the priest steps up, “May I have your attention please?” everyone turns to face him, “Um, well, it seems like we cannot find the groom or the best man, so… the wedding is off.”

The hallway is mostly empty, with Jim wanting to make his move.  He hurries down the hall when

“Jim, I can’t let you do this!”

Michael, of all people, stands in Jim’s way, somehow already knowing what he’s trying to do.

“Why not?” Jim asks.

“It’s a bad idea,” he shakes his head.  He then blocks Jim’s way like a goalie in a soccer match.  Naturally, Dwight hops in and does the same.

Jim tries to reason with him, “Look, Michael, I already laid”
“out my feelings for her, and”
“Nope, nope, nope.”
“I have a feeling that she reciprocates—”

“Dammit, Michael, you’re the one who told me to never give up!”

“And if you do this, then you’ll be giving up!”

Jim becomes silent.

Michael continues, “She is an emotional wreck and isn’t thinking clearly.”

Dwight interjects, “But that’s common behavior for most women—”


Michael turns back to Jim, “She may precipitate her feelings for you, but her judgment is cloudy.  Who knows if she changes her mind or regrets her decision because that very well may end up happening.  And that’s the last thing that you want.”

Jim doesn’t know how to even process this… but he concludes that Michael is exactly right.  Hell, it could be worse than that: she may wise up and realize that he’s not enough for her.  That some salesman in a failing industry will only be a constant weight to her, someone who deserves the world and has so much potential.

But… he just wants to help.

“So I can’t be there for her?” he asks.

“I never said that,” Michael clarifies, “But right now, all she needs is a friend.  Do you hear me, Jim?” he knocks Jim’s forehead, who leans away from him, “A friend.  Nothing more than that.”

Nothing more than that.

How it always was.  How it needs to be.  At least for now.

“I’ll let you go in there.  But only as a friend.”

Jim nods, “A friend.  Yeah,” he looks ahead, “Thanks, Michael.”  He pats his shoulder kindly, then makes a beeline to the bride’s dressing room.

Once he hears soft crying (God it hurts), he knocks on the door.  “Come in,” says an unfamiliar voice.

He sees Pam sitting on the couch adjacent to the mirror, devastated and in tears, as what he presumes to be the Maid of Honor comforts her.  They spot him.

No turning back now.

“Um… hi.”

Pam recognizes him immediately, “Jim?”

The other woman only recognizes the name, “You’re Jim?”

“Um, nice to meet you.”

The woman stands up and turns to him, wearing a scowl on her face, “You have some nerve.”

Pam, starting to calm down, then stands, “Izzy, don’t.”

Jim hesitates, rubbing the back of his neck, “Um, I was wondering if I could talk—”

“Nuh-uh,” Izzy interrupts, “Not a chance!  Get out!”

“Izzy, that’s enough!” Pam turns her around to face her.

“Pam, this is his fault, this is not—”

“I’d like to speak to Jim.  Alone.”

Izzy pauses and her expression softens, “Pam, sweetie—”

“I’ll be fine, but… we need to talk.”

Izzy still doesn’t think this is a good idea, but she relents, “Okay,” she nods.  She walks to the door, but stops when she reaches Jim, “Oh, and by the way?  I know jujutsu, bitch.”  She shoves past him and slams the door behind her.

“She seems friendly,” Jim breaks the ice.

Pam smirks, “Sorry about that.”

“Don’t be,” he says, “It’s kinda deserved.”

“What made you decide to come?” she asks.

He takes a seat, “I… couldn’t not come.”

She’s still standing, facing him, “What about Australia?”

“Turns out those tickets were refundable after all.”

She realizes it, “They were always refundable, weren’t they?”

He sighs through his nose, “Yeah.”

She simply nods.

He decides to start, “Pam, I—”

“Why did you do it?”

He already knows what she means by that, “I just… I wanted to be… not here.”

She becomes more annoyed by the second, “A goodbye would have been nice.”

He looks down, “Yeah.”

“I mean, my God, Jim, you drop that on me and then decide to run off?”

“It was stupid.”

“You’re damn right it was stupid.  I was willing to talk to you the next day, but you weren’t even there.  I cried for days on end over you leaving, and you show up anyway?  Even though you originally weren’t going to?”

“Yeah, it, doesn’t make sense—”

“You don’t make sense!  You were my best friend, Jim, I thought we could be honest with each other about everything!”

“Were you honest with me?”

She pauses, hearing the pointedness of that question.

His voice is low, not accusatory but still frustrated, “I was honest, Pam.  I told you the truth, and you rejected me.  Twice.  I get it, and I only left because I figured you could be happy without me.  But something tells me that you weren’t honest with me that night.”

She looks down and fiddles with the sleeves on her dress, “Jim, I don’t know,” she confesses, “That’s the honest truth.  I needed time to figure everything out, and I still do.  Probably even more after today.”

He nods understandingly, “I know.”

She sighs, “…I miss you.”

“I miss you, too.”

“I…” she swallows a sob, “I’m sorry.  I just… I want things to make sense again.  I wish I wasn’t this confused.”

He shakes his head and gives her an encouraging smile, “Don’t be sorry.  You just need to figure things out, I get it,” it sinks in, “I didn’t before, but I do now.”

She flashes a sad smile, “I just hope I didn’t ruin our friendship.”

He shakes his head again, “Nothing’s ruined.”

“Good, because I could use a friend right now,” she half-chuckles.

“Me too, honestly,” his smile widens but starts to fall again.

A beat before her voice cracks, “Jim?”

His heart is breaking at the sight of this, “Yeah?”

She starts to tear up again, “I could use a hug, too.”

He’s up in a flash and embraces her as she starts to cry in his jacket.  He cups the back of her head and snakes his arm around her waist, trying not to cry himself.  “Oh, Pam…” he rests his head on her shoulder, “Pam, I’m so sorry.”

“It’s all my fault!” she shouts, “I hurt you, I let you walk away.  Please forgive me…”

“Of course, I forgive you,” he quietly comforts her, his voice shaking, “I should have been here for you.”

“Don’t cry, Jim, please,” the moment she hears him sniffling, she turns her head to rest her cheek on his chest and tightens her arms around him, trying to siphon out all his pain.

“I’m here, Beesly,” he whispers, tightening the hug in kind, “No matter what happens, or where we are, I’m here now,” he comforts.

He feels her face tugging a smile against him, whimpering a “Thank you.”  He can’t help but smile back.

After a minute of them just being together again, they both lean out of the hug, finally calming down from the emotional high.

“Thank goodness,” she sniffles.

“What?” he rubs his hands over his face.

“I thought I stained your jacket.”

It takes him a second, “Oh—” he lightly chuckles, “Nope.  That must be some good mascara.”

“Belk, fifty percent off.”

“What a steal.”

She starts to chuckle herself, and her face softens, “I understand, Jim.”

“Understand what?”

“Why you left.”

He sighs, slumping back on the couch, “It was a mistake.”

She slowly walks over and sits next to him, rubbing his shoulder, “You earned that promotion.”

He smirks, “Thanks.”

“I’d stick it out,” she advises, “Just a few more months.”

He nods, “Not the worst idea.”

She sets her arm down, “I’m sure you gotta go back soon.”

“Truth be told, I was just gonna stay for the wedding and then head back immediately.”

“You can stay for the reception,” she tells him, “Everyone’s already there, anyway.”

“I doubt anyone there wants to see me.  Especially your family.”

“None of them hate you.”

“Are you sure?”

“Mom really likes you,” she reassures, “And my dad and sister don’t hate anybody, at worst they might be pissed at you.”

“What about Izzy?”

“…Yeah, she hates you.”  He looks down, smiling.  “She’s very protective of me.”

“I noticed.  She seems to be a great friend.”

“She really is.”

He then looks upset as he checks his nails, “Better than me.”

“Don’t do that, Jim,” she gently tells him, grabbing his hand, “You’re still my best friend.”

“And you’re still mine.  No matter what.  And I promise I’ll come back to Scranton one day.  Just…” Please, wait for me.  But knows he’d be asking too much of her.  “I want you to be happy.”

She hasn’t felt this relaxed in months, “You always make me happy.  And if you ever need me, I’m there.”

“Likewise.”  They then lean back and sigh in contentment, never letting go of the other’s hand.  After a good few minutes of comfortable silence, “I should go.”

“Yeah,” she looks disappointed.

“Please give the family my best,” he tells her, “And I’m sorry I couldn’t stay for the whole thing.”

“No problem,” she says understandably.  They stand up and give each other another heartfelt embrace.  “Text me when you get back.”

“Will do,” he gently promises.

“And please, call me.”

“Trust me, I’m going to,” they ease from the hug, “Especially about this one guy from work.”

“What guy?”

“Oh yeah, he calls himself the ‘Nard Dog.’”

“Beg pardon?”

“I’m sorry, N-a-r-d Dog.”

“No, I understood what you said, but I didn’t, like, believe you,” they both start to laugh.  Like old times.

“Imagine Dwight, but worse.”


“Hand to God.”

“I refuse this idea.”

“Trust me, he’s that crazy.”

He slowly walks away from her, the two of them still holding hands, their arms outstretched before they hesitantly let go.

“Goodbye, Pam.”

“Goodbye, Jim.”

He exists and softly closes the door behind him.

He walks over to the entrance of the church where he finds, of course, Michael and Dwight.  “Well?” Michael asks.

He’s not sure why he’s talking about this with his former employer, “She needs time, but we’re still best friends, so… I’m willing to wait.”

Michael’s smile widens, “Well done, Jimothy,” he pats his arm.  Even Dwight smirks at Jim in support.

“Thanks, guys.”  Jim’s bummed, but at least he has these two rooting for him.  “And hey, the reason I left Scranton, it-it was never you.  You’re a good boss, you’re a great boss.”

“Of course, he is,” Dwight pipes up, “He’s the best Regional Manager that Dunder Mifflin has ever seen.”

“Dwight, I appreciate it,” Michael whispers to him, “But just”
“dial it back.”
“Just a tad.”

Jim smiles at the display, “No hard feelings?”

Michael grows a bright smile himself, “D’ahh, come here you!”  He wraps his arms around Jim’s middle, while Jim awkwardly yet happily pats him on the back.  They let go, “And hey if you’re ever in the Scranton area—”

“I’ll be sure to visit,” Jim tells him genuinely, “Hey, give my best to the others.”

“You got it, brotha!” after having a laugh and snapping him two thumbs up.  After Jim returns it halfheartedly, Michael smiles and walks to where the food is.

Dwight follows him when Jim says, “I’ll miss you too, Dwight,” and pats his shoulder.

Dwight turns to him, “G— off of me!” he fidgets and slings Jim’s arm off of him, “Idiot!”  He quickly joins Michael.

Jim nearly laughs as he leaves when


He turns and recognizes the person briskly walking towards him, “Mrs. Beesly?”

“Oh please, call me Helene,” she insists, “I just spoke to Pam and she’s in much higher spirits.”  He’s relieved.  “Thank you so much.”

“Of course,” he says, “And I’m sorry about everything that’s happened.”

“Oh, we’ll be okay,” she comforts, “I’m just glad to know today wasn’t a complete disaster.”

“Me, too.”

“Are you on your way out?”

“Yeah, have quite the drive ahead of me.”

“Well, you’re more than welcome to stay if you’d like.”

“Much appreciated, but I do need to head back.”

She looks as disappointed as Pam does, “I understand completely, drive safely.”

“Will do.”

Before he knew it, Helene walks up to hug him, and he returns it.  After they part wearing bright smiles, he leaves.

He reaches halfway across the steps when she gets his attention, “Jim?”

He turns to her, “Yes, ma’am?”

She stands at the doorway, needing to tell him something.  The next thing she says practically throws him for a loop.

“Don’t give up on her.”

“Never, ever, ever give up.”

He looks down at his feet, his heart bursting, then looks back at her and says, “I won’t.”  Helene nods, turns around, and reenters the building.

He heads to the car and gets comfortable, but he gets a text before he can press the gas.  From Pam.

{Michael’s plate looks like the Eiffel Tower! Be safe <3}

Well, now he has to reply.

{will do <3}
{at least you all are getting your moneys worth}


After setting his phone down, he drives home, knowing he has his best friend back.  And it’s nothing more than that.

“Thank God for the merger, huh?”

“Yeah, really.”

“Excited for tonight?”

“Yeah, I need it after today.  Karen did seem very nice.”

“She’s great, but she can also be… yeah.”

“I’m honestly not mad.”

“I mean, I already told her about you.  Seems like she’s not one to take a hint.”

“I will say, it did look like you were interested in her.”

“Trust me, it’s nothing more than that.  Honest.”

“I know, but…”

“But what?”

“She’s so pretty and accomplished and witty and… she’s not—”

“Pam, listen: she has nothing on you, all right?  And I already told you, I’m here.”

“You don’t have to be.”

“I know.  I want to be.”

“…It’s just been so hard, Jim.”


“My feet hurt and my stomach hurts and everyone keeps telling me I’m not fat when I am and I’m scared.”

“One: they’re right, you’re not fat.  Two: this isn’t fat, Pam.”

“I know.”

“And three: it’s okay to be scared.”

“I just don’t want to screw this up.”

“You won’t.  You’ll be great, I just know it.”

“…Thank you.  Thank you for being in this child’s life.  Even though—”

“That doesn’t matter to me.  To be honest, I’m more scared than you are.”

“Could have fooled me.  And I’m excited I’m doing this, it’s just… there’s still so much I wanna do.”

“Likewise.  And don’t worry, we’ll do them together.  All of us.”

“I’d love that… Jim?”


“I wanted to tell you this earlier, but… Roy fully signed over the rights to me the other day.”

“Is he still in Honesdale?”

“Yeah, he’s in a new apartment.  Said he wants to meet him or her but doesn’t think he’d be right for the job.”



“You okay?”

“More than okay.  Let’s get that coffee.”

“Let’s.  Maybe we can stop by Poor Richard’s to meet up with the others.”

“Not tonight, but another night for sure.  Just somewhere in the non-smoking area.”

“Are you sure?  I read somewhere that tobacco is perfectly safe for expecting mothers.”

“Oh, really?”

“Especially when approaching the third trimester.”

“You might want to get a second opinion on that.”

“Whatever you say, Beesly.”

Chapter End Notes:

For those curious, I gave Roy’s mother the name “Joyce” for some reason.

3vasectomies is the author of 18 other stories.

This story is part of the series, Possible Scenarios. The next story in the series is Baby Please Come Home.

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