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Reviewer: MrsKHalpert Signed 1 [Report This]
Date: July 16, 2022 10:15 am Title: Hurry, 'cause no one's gonna be stopped

I saw the update for The Love You Gave and wanted to refresh myself on this one first
So clever how you’ve weaved AU and canon together!!
Looking forward to the next part!

Author's Response: Thank you so much!

Reviewer: darjeelingandcoke Signed [Report This]
Date: May 08, 2021 07:26 pm Title: Hurry, 'cause no one's gonna be stopped

"When have I ever let you down before?" - Jan wrote at least seven draft responses to that before deciding to let it lie.

The moment with the dress is lovely. And also, definitely a risk on Pam's part, of the kind she absolutely fails to take at this point in canon Season 3. Nice to see some growth.

This was truly the reunion they deserved - Pam smooching Jim in front of the entire office the way we all wanted her to, Pam and Karen friendship, Karen still managing to insult Phyllis' perfume. Very satisfying.

I gotta say, I get not thinking Lazy Scranton was funny... but do you miss that it's SUPPOSED to be funny? Tony was not a good fit. Poor guy.

I thought this was a good mix here! Excited to see your next project.

Author's Response:

Many thanks for the compliments!

Jan really did.  I’m very humble of my work but I still take pride in that exchange.

Again, Pam takes far more risks in this story and I wanted it to be for her benefit as well, not just for Jim.  Kicking the “Fancy New Beesly” into maximum overdrive has become fun to write.  I’ll make writing the final story (NGU 2.0) far more interesting as well since, well, she’s gonna love her boring life just like S9 Pam.

I’m glad you enjoyed the reunion!  I wasn’t sure about the kiss in front of the office at first but given the situation it’s certainly feasible.  Pam and Karen hitting it off was hard to execute, too, because the setup in it of itself has a bunch of awkward tension, so I wanted to break that down realistically.  And blending in the canon elements is always a treat and a half.

Tony is like the only Stamford-exclusive characters I can actually understand.  He’s extremely shy and anxious, of course, he doesn’t want to put up with Michael and his antics.  Move on to greener pastures, my dude.

Thanks for all the reviews!

Reviewer: warrior4 Signed 1 [Report This]
Date: February 20, 2021 10:28 pm Title: Surely, you've been going too early

I liked the Monologe as you're calling it. Really fun to see Pam and Jim together like that. All the different 'what if's' bouncing around in her mind seems very appropriate. A lot has changed in a short time. Having thoughts about how it might have gone different seems real. Penny was a lot of fun too.

This AU version of the episode was fun too. Especially when you were able to get the line from The Job in there months early. Loved that. Good for Pam to tell Roy about things. She's getting more steel in her spine and I love that.

All of Jim's thoughts before it's announced he's heading back were really good. His turn to bounce things around. Especially considering the feelings of betrayal you've got him going through here. Great way to expand on the episode.

Now really looking forward to seeing Jim and Pam back together but for S3 this time around. Well done.

Author's Response:

Wow, appreciate the compliments!

Pam overthinking everything is very in-character, so her analyzing the lyrics like this made sense, even though I wasn't sure about it at first.  And Penny!  Loved exploring her and what their dynamic could be like.

I actually planned on Roy learning about them earlier in the episode from someone else, but 1) it didn't fit with the plot here, and 2) I ended up preferring this version because Pam's the one breaking it to him; with Jim coming back, she doesn't feel the need to prevent Roy from knowing and spare his feelings, which is a step forward.

It helped that Krasinski and Esten's acting in that scene gave me so much to work with, on top of the fact that Jim's still pissed about both his and Porter's actions, even after he moves back (that'll be addressed briefly next chapter).  He was already scrambling after the Staples reveal in-canon, but adding a whole new layer of "We're screwed" was fun to write.  Made that ending moment after he accepts the position that much more satisfying.

I've yet to write any of Chapter 8 (neither monologue nor "The Merger").  I have to focus on other priorities at this moment, though I should get back to this soon enough and I'm excited to see where to go with it.

Thanks for the review, as always! 

Reviewer: darjeelingandcoke Signed [Report This]
Date: February 20, 2021 11:58 am Title: Surely, you've been going too early

I liked this monologue a lot! I thought there were good acknowledgements of the history they're still working through, and the what-if scenarios were cute and fun to read.

You're doing some interesting things with Jan's headspace here, which is something I feel like the show never really gives us a good grip at this juncture of Season 3. She ends up coming off a lot more well-rounded and complex here.

The twists on Jim and Pam's reactions in this episode were well-founded. Pam's in a much happier place in her life and thus is a lot less chill about the prospect of having to make a change, and of course Jim ends up getting exactly what she wants.

I thought Jim's reflections on Josh's betrayal were striking - wondering how that might end up getting reflected in his behavior a few years down the line.

I'm also pleased you added some context to how fast they completely flipped the script on the Stamford-Scranton plan. In universe it ends up seeming a little forced, I think, but the reveal that Jan was pushing for that from the get-go makes it seem more realistic.

Author's Response:

Appreciate the compliments!

Yeah, that initial reaction was mostly the first draft, but like I mentioned the whole interpreting the song thing was difficult.  It did feel very in-character for Pam, though.  And I loved writing those what-ifs!  I mean, any revisionist "Casino Night" fic, like this one, is made up of: apologies, a bit of venting, "I love you", plenty of fluff, and "WE ARE SO SCREWED".

Yeah!  That's what I sought to do with Jan, because there's no way she went from "Confident and headstrong executive" to "Heather Chandler" overnight, there had to be some sort of transition.  I was trying to pinpoint what that transition was and, thankfully, this chapter helped me solidify exactly what it could be and how it could happen.  Also, what you described with her pushing for the merger was *completely* unintentional, like your take is precisely right and it didn't even cross my mind.

Exactly, I want them to still get out of DM, but at the very least they'll leave it together.  She still wants to pursue art, but she needs a stable income first, whereas the canon Pam was just so desperate to leave, which can't say I blame her.  And Jim's status as No.2 is really only explored in two S4 episodes (one I love and one I don't), so I'll touch upon that more in this and other material from this AU.

I personally felt that impact of "Casino Night" could have been explored more.  (This is a comedy show, after all, so I understand why all of that was either subtext or ignored.)  He'd be pissed about Josh in canon for the exact same reasons, but me pairing him and Pam up months in advance ended up having a whole new layer of hurt.  It doesn't help that Josh Porter isn't very likable.

Thanks for the review, as always! 

Reviewer: darjeelingandcoke Signed 1 [Report This]
Date: February 07, 2021 06:34 am Title: Hold her, tell her everything's gonna be fine

You touched on some interesting ways in which starting their relationship not too long after Casino Night would've changed things. Pam still has a *ton* to figure out about what she wants from the rest of her life aside from Jim at this moment, and she's still wrestling with the monumental decision she's made to leave Roy. I love this gentle moment of Jim helping her work her way through it. It's nice to think of her having someone there for that breakdown. (And thank you for trolling Ryan here.) I'm looking forward to seeing you explore that more.

The recurring bit of Michael respecting all cultures and walks of life was funny.

I thought you did a good job recontextualizing Jim's actions in this episode - why he's so willing to drink, for instance - and building out the struggles of their long distance relationship. I like that they're trying to work through it together. Her showing up at his door at the end is a really fun new take on the standard Diwali fix-it fic.

Jonathan! He's an old fave. (Girl7 is, as far as I can tell, his inventor, and her stories are well worth checking out if you haven't gotten to them yet.)

Author's Response:

Many thanks!  Yeah, that breakdown would've happened anyway, but having Jim there really does bring her peace.  It's moments like that I'm exploring here, because Casino Night still would've been "The Night That Changed Everything" even if they'd gotten together, and I wanted to explore how.

Don't get me wrong, despite my feelings on the episode, there were some bits I just loved writing, and Michael respecting all cultures was just too good to not reuse.

Since this is just under a week before Stamford's closing (there's a timeline I'm making for this), I wanted to crescendo the long-distance thing with this chapter; they're getting impatient, antsy, and desperate, and when the next Tuesday rolls around, they'll really start to panic.  But it won't last for long.

I'll check some of Girl7's stuff out, since there is *a lot* of this site I have yet to cover.  Thanks for the recs, and the review, as always! 

Reviewer: warrior4 Signed [Report This]
Date: February 06, 2021 07:11 pm Title: Hold her, tell her everything's gonna be fine

Loved the trip to Philly. Reminded me of a time back when my wife and I were first dating that we took a train to Chicago for the weekend. Really like that Jim is just there for Pam when she realizes the date. He doesn't push her into anything she's not ready for, he also doesn't try to disregard her feelings. He has his own feelings but his puts them on the shelf for now in order to look after her. Good job Jim.

The episode portions ring true to canon for the most part. It is an awkward episode in the best Office tradition. However it's sweeter this time around knowing Jim and Pam are together.

His drunk voicemail was interesting. Seems there's still some things they all need to work out, but they're on the path to work them out, so that's good.

Thanks for the shoutout there at the end. Glad I could inspire you.

Author's Response:

Aw!  Glad I could take you back down memory lane.  And, again, the inspiration is much appreciated.

I wanted Jim to be extra careful this time around.  He finally has her and because of all the mistakes he's made, he's like "I'm not about to screw this up."  But I also wanted to acknowledge that, yeah, this is a *very* awkward situation for him.

I'm a sentimental person, so episodes that are especially funny or uplifting I love, but I can gel with the especially awkward ones ("Dinner Party").  This one didn't do it for me, but it was mostly Diwali and the Quarterly Report Drinking Game; everything prior to that - plus the Sandler tribute - was hilarious.

Yeah, I mentioned the whole 'Stamford Jim' thing last chapter, and this is the peak of it.  Again, there was no "why" in him drinking, it was just "Cool, let's get drunk during an important task at work".  I'm not sure how well my framing device works but at least it's something.

Thanks for the review, as always! 

Reviewer: warrior4 Signed [Report This]
Date: January 21, 2021 09:21 am Title: Colder, crying over your shoulder

I like that Jim and Pam take the time to really talk things out. They need it. Same with the commitment to stay honest with each other. Sets a good foundation for things.

Fun to get some perspective and thoughts of what people were thinking during the episode portions.

The package, letter, and call between Jim and Pam at the end was fun too.

Author's Response:

Appreciate the compliments!

As I've said, this is pretty much wish fulfillment, and Jim and Pam talking things out is something we've never seen (though it has happened off camera) and I wanted to see that, just make it a year early.  And oh yeah, it's necessary for things to come.

Like I said, I loved writing those perspectives.  I try to not make it too bloated (again, love me some character studies) but right now I'm just setting up for things to come, which is necessary through these sections.

It was a ton of fun.  I enjoyed translating the call in Jim's letter, makes it less sad.  *Less*.

Thanks for the review! 

Reviewer: darjeelingandcoke Signed [Report This]
Date: January 20, 2021 10:07 pm Title: Colder, crying over your shoulder

There's some really cute moments in the monologue - "I love tuna," Jim's first discovery of the glasses. I like the way they're learning about each other alongside dealing with the heavy stuff and their history. Looking forward to their trip!

"She believes this man is an alien." Poor Jan.

I love the Stanley voiced rhapsodic description of pretzel day

This is an interesting take on Ryan's fatal flaws. I tend to think of him as working hard but not smart. Intrigued to see where you go with it. I like the idea of this particular experience reverberating with him, because you're right, there's a lot in this episode that intentionally or unintentionally foreshadows what happens down the line with him.

It was fun seeing this very different version of The Call playing out, and exploring the challenges they're facing a little more. Starting a relationship long distance ain't easy.

Hope everything's going okay!

Author's Response:

Everything's going good, actually!  Just woke up to find that one of my issues was resolved, and I appreciate the kind words, and the feedback!

This next monologue is gonna be my favorite out the first eight, I think.  Haven't started writing the last one but I really do like 6.  But yeah, slowly becoming closer despite their insecurities.

Jan... Poor woman does needs a hug.  During the merger, she'll need that, an aspirin, *and* Xanax.

I honestly think Ryan has a lot of potential, it's just his worldview is centered around instant gratification.  He has a Masters, sure, but he doesn't understand (or rather appreciate) the value of hard work.  That means failure after failure after failure until something works out which, if that happened, then we wouldn't have his downward spiral.  And yeah, sometimes that means dealing with crazies like Dwight, but there were still things he could've picked up on.

(BTW Dwight you miss Jim don't lie)

I wanted to present how challenging it is, because by this episode's date it's month *five*.  They've been going at this a long time and it's difficult, and I wanted to show just how difficult it could be, especially considering their complicated history.

Thanks for the review, as always! 

Reviewer: darjeelingandcoke Signed 1 [Report This]
Date: January 13, 2021 09:24 pm Title: You're so... You've been waiting in the sun too long

I love the banter here about going steady and Jim’s eagerness about the prospect of her having brought an overnight bag. Too bad the moment is interrupted by cruel, CRUEL reality.

The pro-cons list was very sweet and felt like the sort of thing Jim would do. And it is nice to see them TALKING about these things openly and honestly for a change, especially with the burden of a long distance relationship ahead of them.

One thing I would say – on the ground rules list, it’s a little unclear who is saying what at times? It’s understandable, but it definitely took a little work. This is an area where it might be worth doing a little more formatting to set off different people “speaking.”

Oh, Toby. Could’ve been worse, I guess – a lot of potential for embarrassment with him having that conversation with Pam with Jim not present.

This is an interesting twist on Grief Counseling, because obviously Pam’s in a MUCH different place here and the Pam-Roy storyline is presumably headed in a very different direction – the underlying sense of grief has been shifted from one of them to the other.

Oh, poor Karen. Tough day. Although good news for her: her days isn’t nearly as tough as the day of the person whose dialogue she’s giving, and she’s probably a lot better off with Jim disappointing here in Grief Counseling than in The Job. Kinda catching a break there.

I appreciate how supportive David Wallace is here!

Author's Response:

Yeah, life's a bitch.  But they'll be fine!  I figured if I'm gonna have this whole long-distance thing be the central theme, them keeping anything from each other would mean them falling apart again, and this story ain't about that life. Glad you enjoyed the list, it was a joy to write.

Valid point on the formatting.  It was difficult to find fonts that were distinct enough so you could tell them apart AND are available with this software.  I'll see what I can do.  Maybe add some more dialogue at each bullet point like I did the others.

Yeah, poor guy.  He'll gain some perspective, though.  I have a plan for him (which is basically just his monologue).

Exactly, and that's what came to me as I was writing this.  Roy's inability to let go is intimidating to Pam, and it makes her uncomfortable because *she's* letting go, and is getting closer to completely letting go as well.  He's trying to pull her back in, and considering he doesn't know about Halpert yet, that makes things worse.

I look at it this way: This isn't Jim leaving Karen heartbroken at a fountain.  This is Jim politely telling her the truth.  This, in turn, doesn't make her hate his guts like in canon, because 1) they don't start dating and *remain* dating, and 2) it makes her respect him a lot more as someone that is both honest and faithful.  This story has a lot of that: rippin' those Band-Aids off nice and quick.  Now that she's free to go her own journey, it'll be better for her in the long run, and I have big plans for her.

My boy David out here being a kind-hearted and understanding person.  He's always been a sweetheart, and I'm glad he's at least supporting them, despite his reservations.  (Y'know, because of what happens later this season.)

Thanks for the review, as always! 

Reviewer: BlindManCassidy Signed 1 [Report This]
Date: January 13, 2021 09:32 am Title: Baby, you've been going so crazy

So I definitely should be studying for exams, but I’m a great procrastinator and decided to read some MTT fanfics.

I read all four chapters of this immediately. I cannot express in words how much I love it; I love how the scenes are still almost the exact same and sometimes with different characters (ex. Parking lot conversation with Karen) or sometimes just the exact same (ex. The bird funeral).

I’ve been reading way too many stories where Jim and Pam aren’t yet together and I was pleasantly surprised that they did start dating within the first chapters.

Lastly, I would like to applaud your ability to show the truly raw, vulnerable sides of these characters. This is one thing that I don’t think happened enough in the show. Sure, there was CN, Beach Games, and such, but I’ve always been left to wonder how they were able to resolve their issues and get together. Of course, this is what Mike Schur and Greg Daniels almost certainly intended; that fans of the show would come up with their own stories; but yours seems like it would actually fit into an AU.

Well done. Looking forward to reading more.


Author's Response:

Goodness, high praise!  Thank you so, so much!

Like I mentioned, it's similar to my other story Never Give Up (currently on hiatus, should put that in the description) because I do love reinterpreting episodes through my prose.  And I think that's the hardest part for me: sometimes switching characters and putting them in different circumstances is easy, but other times really hard because I'm attempting to replicate both the characters' dialogue/personality and their respective actors' performances and delivery.  I'm thinking I'm improving on that here from NGU, which is getting a MAJOR overhaul once I end its hiatus.

Yeah, not a big angst person, need a happy ending for these two.  There is plenty of potential with them being together by the start of Season 3 (which many fics here have already touched on) and I wanted to do one where he's *still* in Stamford (for now), just to see how it plays out.

I applaud Gervais and Merchant for making a comedy out of something so *real*, and Daniels and Schur followed through with that.  The Jim and Pam arc is compelling to viewers because it's more than will they/won't they; they're depressed, lonely, and want to be with each other but can never express it.  That's why people were so happy with S4 (my personal favorite season) rolled around, because JAM finally got the resolution they deserve and are happier as a result.  But there were a whole host of unresolved emotions/reactions after "The Job", especially in regards to Roy, which is what I want to focus on.

Again, appreciate all the compliments!  And thanks for the review!

Reviewer: warrior4 Signed 1 [Report This]
Date: January 13, 2021 07:20 am Title: You're so... You've been waiting in the sun too long

Nice way to get their relationship off to a good start I think. Rather than just forge ahead blindly they have clear expectations of everything. That was nice to see.

The episode plotline was refreshingly similar to the show. Nice job in including a lot of those kinds of things. However the changes were nice to. Jim not realizing he's being charming seems to fit. Good for Pam have him talk to Karen. Yes probably kind of a pain for Karen, but better that he's honest about things now before anything else happens.

I liked the email from David too. Nice to see that they've made a good impression with him. Espeically his Post Script lines there.

Thanks for the shoutout at the end. Nice to see favorite fanon characters come around again like that.

Author's Response:

Much appreciated!

Again, the reasoning of him staying in Stamford was originally very flimsy, but it got me thinking about what could happen with these various scenarios.  There needed to be a game plan.  Plus, no, Pam's not having him leave again.  She's his, dammit.

Again, the episode isn't my favorite so far, but the *theme* is perfect for the central conflict, and I love the fact that three characters (one beloved, two not so much) undergo their own stages of grief.  Roy: Denial, Michael: Anger, Karen: Bargaining, all going through Depression throughout the story and, down the line, Acceptance.

It seems in the past that Jim's pretty unaware of his own charisma (though it doesn't always work, just ask Charles), so of course Karen would fall for him, like Katy.  And Pam, no longer being jealous and longing for Jim, sees her in a whole new light, just someone who fell in love.  Like her.  Yeah, Jim, best to rip that band-aid off now for her sake, she'll become stronger because of it.

David's always saw potential in Jim, and I'm sure his brief interactions with Pam (given her position) have warmed him up to her, so he'd definitely let it proceed, but with caution.

And thank you for the inspiration!  Like I said, the character is so general that one can do a lot with him, so in a couple of chapters we'll know more about him (but we won't find out until a while).

Thanks for the review, as always! 

Reviewer: warrior4 Signed 1 [Report This]
Date: January 13, 2021 06:45 am Title: Solo, why do you have to get so low?

I liked the conversation Jim and Pam had there at the start. There certianly were a ton of big emotions to work through. As nice as it would be to have them throw themselves in each other's arms, the way you portrayed it felt real. Anger, hurt, frustration, and forgivness. It all worked really well.

Nice to get some more internal thoughts during the episode portion. Pam's thoughts on the shirt were nice to read. Espeically that Roy's attempts at anything aren't going anywhere.

Sorry Karen, he may be nice but good luck.

Interesting bit there with Jan. Lots of ways that could go. We'll just have to see going forward.

Author's Response:

I really enjoyed writing it.  This next chapter will have the standard JAM interactions we love, but yeah, there was a lot that needed to be addressed.

Roy's attempts make it harder because she knows how he can be, but she's a sweetheart so she doesn't wanna fall back into that trap.  And yeah, once again poor Karen's fallen for someone and it's not even her fault.

It'll all be resolved fairly quickly, but it's an interesting idea that sprung right outta nowhere.

Thanks for the review, as always! 

Reviewer: Once Signed [Report This]
Date: January 13, 2021 04:17 am Title: You're so... You've been waiting in the sun too long

As a former HR Manager, let me address DM's Love Contract and David Wallace's follow up letter.

No company would ever have a Love Contract. That is disallowing future plausible deniability in case of a third employee filing a toxic workplace law suit. While some companies take a more tolerant view of workplace romances, it is discouraged in all companies. Revealing a workplace romance, if it was revealed at all before coworkers got a wedding invitation, is most often handled with a meeting with both parties' direct supervisors (In my entire career, I have never known a supervisor as crazy as Michael Scott) who would do the yadda yadda about not allowing the relationship to interfere with work. The direct supervisor might contact a trusted HR Rep who would keep documentation in their offsite, unofficial Pearl Harbor file or not. Since Jim is not Pam's direct supervisor at this point being in different branches as well, more tolerant companies would shrug their shoulders UNLESS Monday and Friday absences became a regular occurrence. There would be no follow up letter, ever. See plausible deniability for future lawsuits.

I adore David Wallace; I wish I had worked with more like him. At DM, he operated as more of a Chief Operating Officer than CFO. I could see Wallace having a private conversation with Jim when they next saw each other or perhaps a phone call in lieu of the follow up letter. Let's face it, even for his slacker reputation in Scranton, Jim was considered by Wallace an up and comer.

A Pearl Harbor file is your own contemporaneous notes on situations where you may/should protect yourself.

Hope that helps.

Author's Response:

...Goodness.  This helps EXTREMELY.

Bear in mind, I know nothing about this sort of thing, so reading this has been great. I'll probably edit the story accordingly, in this case.

Oh, and Wallace DEFINITELY saw something in Jim.  I think it helps with him being an audience surrogate; the audience finds him charming, so does Wallace.  David's role was certainly expanded from the confines of a CFO, but I have my own theory about that.

So yeah, I'll look into editing Chapter 4, then, since this seems much more interesting since I was planning on Michael to *not know* until "The Merger" (who'll react accordingly).

Thank you! 

Reviewer: darjeelingandcoke Signed 1 [Report This]
Date: January 12, 2021 10:32 pm Title: Solo, why do you have to get so low?

I like Pam packing an overnight bag to bring with her. She's not fooling around this time.

I also appreciate that even with a somewhat narrower timeframe, they've still got some stuff to work through here - Pam's still growing, Jim's still frustrated with himself. They need a moment to be upset and be honest with each other, and I'm glad you gave it to them.

I like this interpretation of Dwight's actions during this episode - I feel like in canon it comes off like she's sort of shamed him into it, and here it's a little more of him wanting to do right by her. And Angela's genuine pride in him is sweet.

I like this glimpse into early S3 Jan's head here - poor woman. She has no idea what's coming.

I'm intrigued by the thought of taking that workplace dynamic a little more seriously. Looking forward to seeing what you do with it.

Author's Response:

Yeah, I made sure she was like "I know my mistake, I'm not screwing up this time".

As I've always said, the main problem here is communication.  The moment they reach out is when their true feelings begin to shine.  And, yeah, they do have a *ways* to go before the story's over, but they're much better after this talk.

Yeah, she was definitely shaming him, but I'm also looking at it through the lenses of S9.  She does care about the man, despite everything, and Dwight is a man of honor and pride, and he does love his Monkey.  The discussion the previous chapter further cements this in my eyes.

Yeah, I consider Jan an antagonist of this story (alongside Roy and Ryan).  She does good things, plenty of them, but she has so much crap that she doesn't address that it sparks the downward spiral.  It's very tragic, and paves the way to "Dinner Party" (which, oh yeah, IS canon in this).

It won't be that much more seriously (it'll be resolved like the next chapter), it's just something that sparked intrigue.  Plus, given Pam's 1) privy to Dwangela and 2) knows the company and its history, nether of them want to raise any red flags.

Thanks for the review, as always! 

Reviewer: darjeelingandcoke Signed 1 [Report This]
Date: January 10, 2021 09:30 am Title: Lately, nothing seems to be going right

I’ve always thought that Jim would be pretty fed up with this part of his life in the early Stamford period, and I like the way you’ve portrayed Jim’s frustration at his choices and with himself. It is hard to read a Jim who just… doesn’t seem to like the people around him, but it feels true. And I’m glad you acknowledged his shoddy treatment of Katy.

It’s always fun seeing people’s take on their pre-series history, and I thought you made some interesting calls here in embracing the Jim-sat-with-Toby deleted scenes and pushing back his falling in love with Pam until noticeably later in their history. Maybe less romantic, but it feels more natural that he fell a lot more slowly.

Yay for more of this braver, more honest Pam! She should be more careful though – she slipped up with the no first date in four months bit – if they hadn’t already known, that would’ve raised some alarm bells.

Reusing the Branch Wars dialogue between Jim and Pam about the Alan date was a nice touch. As was Pam’s description of Kelly as a sweet summer child.

Jeez. The camera uses some *deeply* creepy tactics in this one. I’m happy we got to see this very sweet Skype convo, but wow. She’s not gonna be happy with you when she finds out about this, Brian.

Author's Response:

Appreciate the compliments!

S2 Jim can be outgoing and friendly with his coworkers when he wants to be.  But most of the time his frustrations are hidden by snark and apathy, only broken when Pam rejected him twice; it can also indicate how he's simply annoyed with his coworkers for who they are, with only one of them being cognizant of his actions and deserving to be put down (while another he's just weirded out by).  That's what makes him like Tim Canterbury in my eyes: their lives suck and they're annoyed with the people around them because of it.  In Jim's case, as his life improves, so does his outlook.  And yeah, Katy deserved better.  Won't say anything else, but she does show up in this briefly.

The Annex Jim thing was something I've heard from the grape vine, since I thought it was actually on the show but, I find it to makes sense.  I mean, how else would Toby trust Jim to take care of his own daughter?  And him being put back there when Michael's carpet is being clean makes it make sense as well.  And yeah, the whole "instant connection" thing is sweet, but I think it'd be more fun for them to establish a rapport for a couple of years before getting the crushing realization.

Fancy New Beesly indeed!  You'll see a LOT more of that next chapter but, suffice it to say, she's slowly gaining a voice.  And that was certainly a flub on her part.

Not the biggest fan of "Branch Wars" as a whole (Had some amazing lines and great Dwight moments), but that deleted scene was cute and I wanted to incorporate it with a date that's not taken seriously.  I liked writing Pam's description as well; considering how much she brands herself, it'd be a perfect alias.

Oh yeah, the doc positions were purposeful for that reason.  JAM are somewhat self-aware, as I'm about to reveal; they don't know the lengths of what the doc is filming, nor are they changing their lives to suit whatever the show-runners want, but they're privy to the fact that PBS wants ratings.  Everyone else is pretty ignorant of this.  (Not that they're dumb, just that they don't pick up on it.  Hell, I wouldn't.)  But there'd certainly be a confrontation between JAM and Brian (et. al.) before it's done, basically "Promos" but earlier. 

Thanks for the review!

Reviewer: warrior4 Signed [Report This]
Date: January 09, 2021 05:16 pm Title: Lately, nothing seems to be going right

I'm not sure you really need the brackets around someone's dialoge when they're talking through the phone or computer. You mentioned both devices so as a reader I get what kind of conversation they'd have. Just my take on that.

Really glad we got to hear Pam's message and Jim's reaction to it. The heartache he was feeling before that seemed very real as well.

Kind of fun imagining that Pam and Jim are together through everything else with the episode. I really liked the conversation they had there at the end. Really fun to see them reconnect like that.

Author's Response:

Appreciate the compliments!

Yeah, I understand with the brackets.  I just felt like there needed to be some way to distinguish who's at a certain location and who isn't.  I didn't wanna use italics again (since I use that for a lot of things), and I was gonna have several types of brackets signify different devices ({ } are gonna be texts).  I'm considering adding more types of signals for different methods of communication as to not have both audio and video be [ ].

Yeah, writing Jim's emotional roller coaster was a treat since we never got to see it.  He's usually a really chill guy and they never had him go beyond raising his voice.  Raising the stakes that he finds out the truth within a week and it gets even more intense.

I loved writing that ending bit!  I wanted to show off the one strength that got developed over time in the show that I immediately established here: *talking*.  The fact that they're able to communicate this well in a long-distance relationship means they're built to last.

Thanks for the rerview! 

Reviewer: aggressivemagpie Signed 1 [Report This]
Date: January 09, 2021 12:02 pm Title: Lately, nothing seems to be going right

I really liked Never Give Up, and was a little saddened when I read your update pertaining to its status, but I'm super happy to see this story! I really enjoy how it's started off so far - the ending of Gay Witch Hunt was so cute, and I like how it's continued through The Convention. I'm really looking forward to seeing how the rest of this alternate universe plays out, mainly, I am really curious to how people will react if/when they find out J and P are together now, instead of months down the road in season 4. Will Karen still be an interference to their relationship? Will Roy try to get back with Pam at Phyllis' wedding? Anyway, I hope this isn't too off track and full of rambling, just wanted to let you know I'm enjoying it so far and can't wait to see more! :)

Author's Response:

Why thank you!

And yeah, my apologies on NGU.  The whole Peacock thing kinda messed up my plans trying to get it done (again, don't blame them at all for taking it all down).  I'll also say that it's getting a MAJOR overhaul; It will certainly remain the same plot-wise, but I'm wanting to improve the writing from how it is now down the road.

The "GWH" ending was really fun to write, the original scene was my favorite part of "Fun Run".  "The Convention" was even more fun because of how well the halves clicked.

You're not rambling at all.  Heck, just read my endnotes for evidence of that.  Here's all I'll say: There'll be a buildup to a "Dunder Mifflin Infinity" style announcement.  Karen WON'T be a roadblock, going on her own journey.  And Phyllis' wedding will have a *major* impact on Roy and Pam's dynamic.

I'm glad your enthralled with it so far and I'll be sure to keep progressing with it; it's already had a smoother start than NGU initially did so that's certainly a plus.

Thanks for the review! 

Reviewer: darjeelingandcoke Signed 1 [Report This]
Date: January 08, 2021 10:55 pm Title: Baby, you've been going so crazy

This was an interesting approach having Pam be so honest with Roy about Casino Night. There are some really strong elements to this, acknowledging that Pam still has strong feelings for Roy and how much that’s played into that relationship’s survival as opposed to just letting it be fear or passivity. There’s a lot going on, too – this is a complicated conversation at the end of a long-standing relationship, and I like that we get a taste of both Roy’s explosive anger and jealousy and his hurt, and her sorrow and guilt and also that she kind of hates him. You feel bad for Roy and also totally understand why Pam’s done with him.

So, then we hit the turning point… and Pam calls him.

I thought the subtle hints of what’s ahead worked – Pam not looking for Jim as much and being happy for Roy, Jim looking in slightly better condition in Stamford. And I liked the Season shou-outs, and the clever remix of Fun Run and The Job at the end.

I’m interested to see where you go with this! Feels like there’s a lot to do with them playing out a long-distance relationship at the start. And Ryan as a secondary antagonist? Yes.

Author's Response:

Appreciate the compliments!

Like I said, I see Roy as a tragic yet unsympathetic figure (personally I consider him the main """antagonist""", at least in this half of the series).  His feelings are completely rational here, but his approach goes to show that he's truly broken and needs help if he wants to be happy again.  All three of the triangle have made mistakes, and will grow from them as a result (it takes Roy a lot longer than JAM, but I like to consider that instance of S9 canon in this AU).  And yeah, to me, I always sensed there was some sort of strong connection there between Pam and Roy, it's just not built to last (Andy and Erin are another great example, imo).  She didn't wanna dump the guy because she still loves him to an extent, but that love can only go so far, especially when you have a co-worker who relates with you far better and there's no real mature or growth in the relationship.

All I'll say on the turning point is, next chapter.

Yeah, like I said, I wanted all of those little changes to Jim and Pam's looks/attitudes to be hinted at that direction, but not explicit.  And, yeah, that final moment was *really* fun to write.

They're technically four months in at this point in the tale, but I have plans for the final two leading up to the merger itself.  They have a set plan, yeah, but of course the canon will get in the way.  As for Ryan?  Basically planting the seeds for VP Ryan earlier.

Thanks for the review!

Reviewer: warrior4 Signed 1 [Report This]
Date: January 08, 2021 08:11 pm Title: Baby, you've been going so crazy

That was a very intense fight between Roy and Pam. I do think it's believable. She had some very charged emotions that night and that came through. Roy acts like how I would expect him to. He's comfortable in the relationship so this new threat is out of the blue and what with a few drinks in his system yeah, I can see that he'd react like that. However Pam standing up for herself like that was great. Loved to see her grow all that steel in her spine.

Nice job with the episode portions. Nice to get into some of their headspaces. I was kind of wondering what would come of that message Pam left for Jim. Lovely to see something really good seems to have come of it. Nice use of her talking head from "The Job" in there too.

Ryan as a secondary antagonist? That could be interesting for sure.

Author's Response:

Appreciate the compliments!

I really tried to channel into Roy's *worst* qualities here, because I find him to be an unsympathetic yet tragic figure, and that'll be made more clearer with them separated.  And yeah, I wanted the whole Fancy New Beesly switch to be triggered by "nine years of regret" there, since that goes to show how long she hasn't been happy.

The episode was a fun ride, so developing it into text was just as fun.  As for "The Job" monologue, it was actually going to be the one from "Fun Run, Part 1" instead, but this fits much better here.  And yes, they're together!  The message will actually be covered next chapter.

Also, I consider three "antagonists" in Season 3 (which is more of just a label, they're just bad people) are Roy, Ryan, and Jan.  Ryan not so much, but his role will be extended here and it'll plant the seeds for VP Ryan Howard.  Roy and Jan are both broken messes, but IMO inexcusably so.  Didn't add Karen, because she has flaws, but she was a fun addition for the season; she only got a bad rap for being the JAM roadblock.

Thanks for the review!

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