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Story Notes:

A little thing I've been thinking about for a while, and it seemed appropriate to post today, given that YB is turning 23 today. So Happy Birthday.

Based on What's My Age Again? by Blink 182. 

Thanks to RD, I think. Sorry I've been working you overtime. I promise to stop soon. Maybe.

I don't own anything here. I can't even remember being 23.

Author's Chapter Notes:
Set in March 2002

"Ok, what happened this time dude?" Mark asked as he passed Jim a bottle of beer. 

"I don't know man," Jim replied dejectedly, slouching down into the couch and taking a swig of his drink. "I took her out for a nice dinner and she said she never wants to see me again."

"So what really happened? Did she choke on all that cologne you were wearing?" Mark sniggered.

"Hey!" Jim protested, his eyebrows shooting up under the mop of hair on top of his head. "I was trying to look good!

"Alright, so then what went wrong?"

"I just don't think she's the right kind of girl for me," Jim shrugged, taking another sip.

"Because..." Mark prodded again.

"We went back to her place after dinner, and we were making out and stuff, but then I realised it was 9pm and," Jim began but Mark cut him off.

"Please tell me you didn't put Jackass on?" he groaned.

"What?" Jim whined.

"Dude. Come on. That show was funny when it came out. But you're twenty three now. You gotta grow up. Seriously man," Mark replied, shaking his head as he took a drag from his own bottle of beer.

"You know it's my favourite show. I want a girl who's gonna laugh at it with me. Not someone who's gonna sit there and roll their eyes and huff."

"No girl is gonna like pranks the way you do," Mark said as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. "You gotta let that shit go."

"Whatever," Jim replied, clearly annoyed at Mark.

The pair sat in silence for a moment. "So that was it? You just watched TV and she said she didn't wanna see you again?" Mark tentatively asked, unsure if he should still keep pushing. Jim was silent, instead taking a long drink from his beer. Mark ran his hand through his hair. "What did you do?"

"I just thought I'd do like a little call to her mom on the way home," Jim trailed off, his voice getting quieter with each word.

"Jesus," Mark whispered.

"It was just a prank call," Jim protested, "but her mom must have told her and she called me and screamed at me."

"You're not fifteen anymore Jim, you gotta get it together man." Mark downed the rest of his beer and slammed the bottle down on the coffee table. "Alright, well, I gotta get up for work in the morning man," he said, pressing his hands to his thighs and standing up. He watched Jim reach for the remote control. "Don't stay up too late. Maybe try looking for jobs again tomorrow, alright?" 

"Yes dad," Jim replied sarcastically with a roll of his eyes as he turned the TV on.

--

"So how's the job hunt going?" Gerald asked his son the following weekend as they sat in the Halpert's living room.

"Slow," Jim drawled, grabbing a chip from the bowl that his mother had placed out on the coffee table as a pre-dinner snack. 

"Any leads at all?"

"Couple," Jim shrugged, taking another handful of chips. His father looked at him expectantly with raised eyebrows. "Just a couple of sales positions. One is for a paper supply company." He shoved another chip into his mouth. "Kill me now," he mumbled to himself around the chips.

"James," Gerald warned. "This is your future. You need to take it seriously son."

"I know, I know," Jim replied, trying his best not to roll his eyes.

"Do you?" his father asked. "You've been out of college for almost two years and you haven't had a steady job yet. You're twenty three Jim. You've got to start thinking about what you want in life. Do you have any thoughts on that?" 

"Well yeah," Jim whinged.

"Like?"

"Well, like a house and a family obviously. You know, regular stuff," he shrugged. "Like you and mom."

"What about me and your father?" Betsy asked as she walked into the living room carrying a glass of iced tea. She sat down and took a sip from her glass, then promptly spat it out. 

"What was that?" Gerald asked, wiping the side of his face.

"Try this," she said, pushing the glass towards Gerald, who pushed it right back at her. "Taste it, it doesn't taste right." 

"Then why would I want to try it?" Gerald asked, sitting as far back into the couch as he could. 

Betsy tried a sip again before spitting it back into the glass. "No, something's definitely wrong." She went to get up, and that's when she noticed Jim trying to bite back his laughter. "What did you do this time?"

"Nothing," Jim tried to say innocently.

"You switched the sugar for the salt again didn't you?" Betsy asked, shaking her head. 

"James, you've got to grow up," Gerald boomed.  

"Come on, it was funny!" 

"Sweetheart, it was funny when you were eight. It was funny when you were fifteen. But honey, you're twenty three now. You're not in freshman year anymore," Betsy said, looking at Jim sadly. "When are you going to act your age?" 

--

The next morning, Jim sighed as he walked into the dreary looking building on Slough Avenue. After speaking to the security guard, he made his way up to the second floor and pushed open the door to find an empty reception desk. He glanced around unsure of what to do, so awkwardly hovered in the entrance, just peering around the corner into the main office. Then he noticed a young woman hunched over one of the desks closest to the door. She seemed to be gathering up all the pens and pencils from the desk, her arms overspilling with the writing utensils. She started to drop them, and Jim rushed over to help her with them. "Here, let me help you," Jim offered, catching the pens as they were falling onto the desk. 

"Oh thanks," she giggled, finally looking up at him. "Oh um, sorry," she said, suddenly much more sober and flushing red slightly. "Can I help you?" 

"Oh, uh, yeah. I've got an interview with Michael Scott. I'm Jim Halpert." 

"Oh right, of course. Sorry," she said, shaking her head slightly, but trying not to let the pens fall as she straightened up. "Want to take a seat and I'll let him know you're here?" 

"Sure thing," he said, grabbing a pencil as it fell. "Here you go," he smiled.

"Thanks," she beamed back. "Sorry, I'm Pam by the way. Pam Beesly."

"Nice to meet you," he grinned, automatically holding his hand out towards her, forgetting her arms were full of pens and pencils. "Sorry, that was stupid," he groaned, pulling his hand back. 

"Good to meet you too," she said, holding out her elbow for Jim to shake. She smiled with her tongue poking between her teeth as he shook her arm gently so as not to disturb her armful. Pam walked over to her desk and let the pens and pencils fall onto her desk, looking around to see if anyone had noticed. Jim watched her curiously and then followed her over to reception. The phone started ringing and Pam picked it up. "Dunder Mifflin, this is Pam."  

Jim waited patiently, smiling awkwardly at Pam as she spoke to the person on the other end of the phone. He watched her place the pens into her open drawer one by one, and was desperate to ask her what she was doing. But suddenly a door opened and Jim turned around at the disturbance. 

"Jimbo!" A man shouted coming out of his office and walking towards Jim with his hand outstretched. Jim just stood there, eyes wide, staring at this man. "Jimothy Halpert? Here for the interview?"

"Oh right, yeah, that's me," Jim said, finally shaking the man's hand.

"Michael Scott. Regional Manager." The two shook hands vigorously. Well, Michael shook Jim's hand vigorously. Jim kind of let it happen. "Follow me," Michael said, ushering Jim into his office.

Fifteen minutes later, the door to Michael's office opened, and both Jim and Michael came out smiling and shaking hands again. "Thank you so much," Jim gushed. 

"Welcome to the family Jiminy Cricket. I'll leave Pam-a-lama-ding-dong to show you the ropes around here," Michael replied before heading back into his office.

"Congratulations," Pam smiled as Jim walked over to her desk. "Welcome to the family," she giggled, mocking Michael. 

"Thanks," Jim blushed. "Um, he said you'd be able to show me around?"

"Sure thing." She walked around her desk, but quickly doubled back on herself and picked up two large packets of crayons. Jim eyed her suspiciously. "Follow me," she smiled with a nod of her head as she walked over to the closest desk to reception. She paused and turned back to him. "Enjoy this moment, because you're never going to go back to this time before you met your desk mate Dwight," she beamed at him, her tongue back between her teeth.

"Ok...?" he tried to laugh. Jim put his bag down next to his new desk and was about to sit down, when Pam thrust a packet of crayons at him.

"Here, quick, help me," she whispered as she ripped into the other packet of crayons and started filling up the pencil cup that she had emptied twenty minutes ago. 

"What's going on? What are we doing?" he quietly asked back as he opened the packet.

"Just hurry," she urged him, holding out her hand. Jim passed her over the crayons and she quickly filled up the desk drawers with it. Once she was done, Pam took the empty packet from Jim and started to head back to her desk. "I'll come over in a minute with your forms ok?" 

Jim nodded with a smile and took a seat at the desk, wondering what to do while he waited for Pam to come back over. But before Jim had a minute to stare awkwardly at the desk, a tall man in a brown suit strode into the office, walked behind him and sat down at the desk the Jim had just been helping to fill with crayons. 

"Who are you?" the man asked suspiciously as he sat down. He seemed to be groping under his desk for something.

"Uh, I'm Jim Halpert, the new salesman here," Jim replied, hovering slightly in his seat and leaning forward, offering his hand.

"Says who? You weren't here this morning."

"I just had my interview and Michael told me to start straight away," Jim explained. 

"He didn't tell me. I'm the Assistant Regional Manager," he began to say. 

"Assistant to the Regional Manager," Pam shouted from her desk.

"Assistant Regional Manager," Dwight said more loudly over her. "These things have to go through me. So until I approve you, you are not fully employed at Dunder Mifflin."

It suddenly clocked what Pam had said to him as she brought him over to his desk. "Ah, you must be Dwight," Jim said, a smile creeping over his face. 

Dwight sat back quickly in his chair looking shocked. "How did you know that? Who told you?"

"Just a feeling I had," Jim smiled, turning round to glance at Pam who was hiding the lower part of her face with a small pile of papers as she peered at the scene before her. 

"Mich-" Dwight began to shout, but then noticed his pencil cup. "What," he trailed off, upturning the crayons all over his desk. "What have you done with my stationery? Where are all my pens?" He started opening his drawers, but found more crayons. "Michael!" Dwight shouted fully this time before striding towards Michael's office. 

Jim turned around to see Pam giving him a wide smile, her eyes sparkling at the childish prank that they'd just played together, and matched it with one of his own. He saw a yoghurt pot sitting on her desk that he was pretty sure had expired, given the promotion that was printed on the side he knew finished sometime last year, and decided to go over and tell her. As Jim walked up to Pam, the smile still stuck on his face, he thought that finally, finally, someone liked him just the way he was at twenty three.



MrsKHalpert is the author of 38 other stories.
This story is a favorite of 1 members. Members who liked Nobody Likes You When You're Twenty Three also liked 991 other stories.
This story is part of the series, Jam's Jams. The previous story in the series is Marley's Chains.

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