So, I’m rewatching The Office, because what else is there to do during quarantine, and I got to Lecture Circuit. Pam talking to Karen about Karen’s husband and Jim, and then to Michael about Holly got me thinking about what Pam and Jim would talk about that night. I’m also trying to figure out a multi-chapter fic, but I don’t think I’ve ever written one before so I wanna have a few things figured out before I try lol. And, because I love a good writing prompt, I’m gonna try to sneak this one in here. A lot of it is just recapping the episode(s) with their own comments mixed in, but then we get to some deeper talk. So, enjoy some Jam fluff!
Prompt: “I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”
I don't own anything. All characters, plotlines, references, etc belong to their rightful owners. No copyright infringement intended.
Pam walked into her hotel room, wishing she was home more tonight than she had the past two nights as she laid her suitcase down on the bed. It had been a long day, even longer than she had originally planned for. She knew seeing Karen would tire her out, but then the last-minute adventure to Nashua in order to see Holly made her exhausted. Pam wanted nothing more than to be curled up in her own bed with her fiancée snuggled up right behind her. It was only quarter to nine, but she was ready to sleep. After changing into pajamas, brushing her teeth, and settling in under the covers, she figures calling said fiancée is the next best thing to being held in his arms.
He picks up on the third ring, his voice sounding deep with sleep, “Hey, Babe. How did today go?”
“Did I wake you up?”
“Kind of, I was like half asleep. But it’s okay, I meant to call you anyway, I missed you today. I just wasn’t sure when you would be done.”
She smiles, laying back on the headboard. She misses him even more now that she can hear his voice, hear him standing up and starting to work on something in the background, wishing she was there to help with whatever it was. “I missed you today, too. A lot. How was your day?”
“Don’t even get me started. I wish you were there; you would have been such a big help.”
“Apparently it was Kelly’s birthday yesterday. Or today, I don’t know, she went back and forth. But since Dwight and I are now the only members of the Party Planning Committee, of course we forgot.”
She had to hold back her laughter, knowing full well that Kelly was the worst person to have her birthday forgotten, “Uh oh, that’s not good. How did she react?”
“Well, the first words out of her mouth this morning after I said hi to her were ‘screw you.’”
This time she did laugh, “So, what happened?”
“Basically, we had to throw a last-minute party for her. But we didn’t know how old she was, what kind of theme to have, and then when I got her cake, I forgot how to spell her name.”
“Jim, you can’t be serious. You’ve worked with her for years and you forgot how to spell her name?”
“Oh, I’m serious. I couldn’t remember if there was an ‘E’ between the ‘L’ and the ‘Y.’ And then, Dwight decorated with barely inflated balloons, streamers held up with masking tape, and a sign that said, ‘it is your birthday’ with not even an exclamation mark.”
“Did she tell you to screw yourself again?”
“She wasn’t very happy until we told her the theme.”
“I put a little rectangle on her cake, which, by the way, I ended up using the wrong spelling of her name. I had a 50/50 chance and blew it.” She laughs again before he continues, “We told her that the rectangle represents one hour of TV or a one-hour nap. She loved it. She decided on the nap while we all ate cake at our desks, and then Dwight made her work overtime to catch up on her missed work.”
“Wow. Sounds like you had fun. I bet you can’t wait until the next birthday.”
This time he laughs, “Yeah, you bet. Next time we will just tell them to go home early and call it a day.”
“Sounds like a plan.”
“How about you? Michael driving you crazy, yet?” She can hear clinking in the background and wonders if he’s doing dishes or cleaning up the living room.
“A little, but he hasn’t been too bad. He keeps making jokes to the camera about us, telling them that him and I eloped or robbed a bank and are on the lam now.”
“If you and Michael eloped, that’s a deal breaker for me, Beesly. I can’t marry you if I have to come home to Michael every day.”
She smiles, but tries to sound serious, “Well, sorry, Halpert. It’s not my fault Michael got to me first. I told you I didn’t want a long engagement.”
“Alright, I’m gonna throw up if you say anything else that makes me imagine you and Michael doing anything even remotely close to getting married.”
She laughs again, “Okay, I’ll stop. Trust me, I don’t want to imagine it either. I’m still scarred from when he tried to kiss me during Kelly’s Diwali party.”
“Don’t remind me, we weren’t even together then and I still want to slap him for that.”
“Speaking of that time, though, I talked to Karen today.”
“Yeah, she’s pregnant. Like, really pregnant. She’s due next month.”
“Wow, I wasn’t expecting that. Well, congrats to her.”
“Michael asked if it was yours.”
“Oh my God.”
She giggled, “He even started doing mental math in order to figure out when the last time you and Karen might have had sex was.”
“Okay, I really don’t need to hear every detail, Beesly.”
“What? You don’t think it could be yours, even though it’s been almost a year since we’ve been together? Michael certainly thought it was possible, he probably still does, actually.
“I’m teasing. But, no, it was good, actually. She’s married to a dermatologist and she’s really happy. We got along way better than we ever had while she worked in Scranton. She was even really happy for us when I told her that we’re engaged.”
“Do I have to be concerned that you’re gonna invite Karen over for dinner sometime?”
“No, no… we got along and she’s really nice, but I don’t think I could ever handle hanging out with her.”
“Good. I’m glad she’s happy but that chapter of my life is long gone. I’d like to stay in this chapter.”
She smiles and starts playing with the ring on her finger. “Me too.” She hears a door open and then sheets rustling. “Are you getting into bed?”
“Yeah, but I’m awake now. I want to hear what happened at Rochester.”
“That’s actually one of the reasons I called. That, and Karen, and just missing your voice and being tired of Michael’s.”
He chuckled, “I can imagine. I get tired of Michael too and I only spend up to 9 hours with the guy. Three days straight? You deserve a medal. But what happened with Rochester?”
“We didn’t go.”
“Yeah, we ditched it. After we left Utica, we started heading over to there. But Michael was moping because I said how I was glad to have had closure with Karen, and he wanted closure with Holly. So, we called up Nashua and changed our meeting to their office instead.”
“Wow. So, what happened? Did he see Holly?”
“No, she’s away on a business trip for a couple of days. He was devastated, but then he was outright miserable when he found out she has a new boyfriend.”
“Yeah. To give you the highlights, he ended up insulting Holly’s boyfriend, having a mental breakdown and crawled out of the meeting, and next thing I knew I was holding a chainsaw.”
“I am so glad that the documentary chose us to film, I cannot wait to see this unfold.”
She smiled, but then her voice grew a little quieter. “Yeah, but it was what happened before the meeting that really made me want to call you. It actually made me want to come home, but I knew I couldn’t do that.”
“Why, what happened? Is everything okay?”
“Yeah, no, everything is fine. It’s just…” she took a deep breath, trying to remember her and Michael’s conversation, “after we got to Nashua and Michael found out that Holly has a boyfriend, he got really upset. He went outside and I followed him, and he was just so sad. He couldn’t believe that she had a new boyfriend, that she moved on so quickly.” Her voice was shaking a little now and she paused in order to get it back under control.
“Are you okay?”
She wipes a stray tear from her eye and sits up, “Yeah. It just really reminded me of us. Of how I felt when you came back from Stamford and you were with Karen. Seeing Karen earlier didn’t help, I guess, even though I knew that she was happy with someone else. But, I told Michael this, and I know we’ve talked about it some, but when you came back and you two were dating, I was miserable. I hated coming to work each day, because I knew I would see you two together. I wanted to quit so bad. I even wrote out my resignation a couple times and printed it out once, the day after beach day. After I confessed to you. I thought maybe it would be easier to be friends if we didn’t see each other all the time, but really, I just knew I couldn’t handle going to work and watch you be with someone else. It broke my heart.”
“No, I’m fine. Just listen.” She thought she heard him getting up, but figured he was just adjusting his position. “I just missed you a lot more after bringing that up. But Michael needed me, so I stayed with him, even though all I wanted to do was drive home and kiss and hold you. It makes me sad to think about all the time we wasted with other people, but it also makes me happy because I realize that we wouldn’t be where we are now if it hadn’t of happened. I just realized how extremely happy I am with my life right now. When I was in high school, and dating Roy, I thought I had it all. I was in love with a great guy, I was doing well in school, I was pretty sure I knew what I was doing with my life. But then after graduation, it kinda all started going downhill. Roy and I weren’t as in love as we used to be, I wasn’t doing well in college, I started a receptionist job even though I wanted to be an artist. I was content, even if I knew my life wasn’t what I thought it would be. And then I met you, and my life got better. Like, significantly better. You were what I always wanted my life to be, even if I didn’t figure that out until casino night. This is gonna sound really lame, but it’s true. My life didn’t turn out how I thought it was going to when I was a teen. I didn’t go in the direction that I intended on going, but now I know that I’m where I need to be, where I want to be. I don’t know, I just wanted to say I love you, a lot.”
“Well, you certainly know how to make me love you even more, even though I thought that was impossible.”
She giggles quietly while she lays back on her pillow, resting one hand behind her head while the other still holds the phone close. She hears something clinking again in the background, “What are you up to?”
“Oh, um, nothing. I just needed some water. So, are you still in Nashua?”
“Yeah, we got out of the meeting late since it was last-minute, Michael had his breakdown, and I didn’t know what I was doing. Afterwards, we stopped at a diner so Michael could get some pie, and then we found the closest hotel and settled down for the night. We have one more meeting tomorrow morning then I’ll be home. I can’t wait.”
“Me neither. What hotel are you at?”
“The Radisson in Nashua.”
“That’s fancy.” She hears a door close, figures he’s back in their bedroom.
“Michael insisted on it. He said if corporate is paying for everything, he’s gonna get the best he can get. I didn’t argue because I didn’t want to stay in a motel and, again, it was the closest hotel to the diner.” She can’t hold back the yawn that escapes her lips, though she tries.
“Are you tired?”
“A little. It’s been a long day.”
“Well, how about I let you sleep? I’ll call you in the morning before I go into work.”
“Okay. I love you.”
“I love you, too, Pam. Sleep well, I’ll see you soon.”
“You too. Goodnight, Baby.”
She hung up the phone, plugged it in to charge, and turned off the lamp. Turning on her side, she fidgets with the ring on her finger for a moment. She was so glad to hear his voice, to hear his stories about his day and Kelly’s party. She couldn’t wait until tomorrow when she could jump into his arms the moment he got home.
Next thing she knew, she was woken up by a knock on her door. She blinks slowly, trying to figure out what was going on. She glances at the clock on her nightstand, it’s almost three a.m. She groans, Michael is probably depressed over Holly again and wants to go get some more pie, even though it’s the middle of the night. She wonders if she ignores him long enough, if he’ll go away. When the knocking continues, this time slightly harder and faster, she swings her legs over the edge of the bed, puts on her glasses, and marches over to the door.
She swings it open, ranting to him before her hand even touches the knob, “Michael, I swear to God, if you don’t let me sleep, I’m going—” But then she looks up and it’s not Michael. “Jim?”
He’s standing there in his pajamas and coat, a duffel bag next to his feet, holding a single flower, and grinning at her like she’s the best thing he’s ever seen. “Hi, Baby.” He hands her the flower, “This is for you, but don’t let the front desk see it, I stole it off of one of the bushes.”
She takes it, looking down at it, then back up to him, her face filled with confusion. “What—what in the world are you doing here? Don’t you have work tomorrow? It’s three in the morning! How did you even know where I was?”
“You were upset, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep without seeing you and making sure you were really okay. Plus, I just missed you. I texted Dwight and told him I’ll be in tomorrow afternoon.”
“Okay, but that still doesn’t explain how you found me.”
“Well, you told me yourself you were at the Radisson in Nashua, so I just came here. Then when I got here, I realized I didn’t have your room number. The lady at the front desk said she couldn’t give it to me because of security reasons, but I told her you were miserable and sobbing up in your room, I drove five hours to get here, I swear I’m not a serial killer, and I just had to see you. She bought it, so here I am.”
She rolled her eyes but couldn’t help the grin that spread across her face. She couldn’t believe he was there in front of her, five hours away from where she thought he was. She starts to tear up just a little. “You’re amazing, you know that?”
He pulls her in for a hug, holding her tight against him. “So I’ve heard.”
She wraps her arms around him as he kisses the top of her head. They stay like that for a minute, and though she wishes they could stay like that for the rest of eternity, she pulls back and kisses his lips softly, then whispers, “You want to come in?”
“I’m actually staying in a room down the hall.”
“Shut up.” She kisses him again before pulling him into the room and shutting the door behind them. No, her life isn’t what she thought it would be when she was sixteen. As they make their way to her bed, unable to keep their hands or mouths to themselves, she realizes her life is way better than she thought it would be.
This also satisfies my needs of what might have happened if Jim did drive to Pratt to surprise Pam during “Crime Aid.” I really wish he would have, I was so upset when he turned around. Edited to add how Jim found out Pam's room number. Thanks for reading, reviews are always appreciated!!