1. Company Policy Requires You To Be Fully Dressed At All Times by dwangela
2. Is Your Hearing As Inferior As The Rest Of You? by dwangela
3. Pillow Fights In Your Underwear Are Acceptable And Encouraged by dwangela
Pam slid the pencil gently across the paper, shaping the sides of Dwight's desk with ease. It was a rather slow Friday morning, and despite the fact that it was ten o'clock, Michael had yet to make an appearance. The office almost seemed normal from her vantage point. Jim was talking on the phone with a client, squeezing in the most important of his calls before Michael's antics would halt his work. Dwight was typing on his computer and had yet to irritate Jim enough to disrupt the peace of the office. Stanley already had his crossword puzzle book out, furrowing his brow as he counted the empty boxes with his pencil. The kitchen door opened, and Phyllis slowly entered with two steaming mugs, one of which she set on Stanley's desk, receiving a satisfactory grunt in response. The ringing of the phone interrupted Pam's scan of the office.
"Dunder Mifflin, this is-"
At that exact moment, Michael burst through the door armed with two bulging paper bags and a devilish grin.
"Employees of Dunder Mifflin!" Michael shouted.
"I'm sorry what was-," Pam began before Michael snatched the phone from her hand and slid it back onto the receiver. "Michael that was-"
"A blah blah blah!" Michael yelled. "I have an announcement! Conference room! 1 minute! Go!"
Upon Michael’s arrival, Dwight’s posture became impossibly straighter. "Michael, as assistant regional-“
"Assistant to the," Jim corrected, his voice dripping with fake sympathy.
"I should know what the announcement is before anyone else," Dwight finished with a flourish of confidence, scowling at Jim who leaned back in his chair and smiled at him.
"Argh, just shut it Dwight. Just go in the conference room like everyone else," Michael groaned before heading into his office. Dwight glanced around awkwardly before sighing and following his sluggish coworkers into the conference room.
Once every seat in the conference room was filled, Michael skipped into the room, dressed in only swimming trunks and a colorful lei. A pair of sunglasses were perched on his head, and a radio was in one hand.
Angela’s hands flew to her eyes. "Ugh, Michael!"
"Michael-," Oscar began before realizing his attempts at rationale would be pointless. This was Michael Scott after all.
"Uh Michael, this is actually very inappropriate. Company policy requires you to be fully dressed at all times, and that includes, uh, wearing a shirt," Toby motioned awkwardly to Michael's bare chest, covered with far more hair than anyone ever wanted to see.
"We'd all like it if you were fully covered too Toby. No one wants to see your ugly face anyway. As I was saying, I have an announcement! As this year's morale building event, we are going to Rehoboth Beach!" Michael took this opportunity to push the sunglasses resting on his head down over his eyes and hit a button on the radio. Everyone stared as he attempted to moonwalk to an island soundtrack. "Come on guys! We're going to the beach! Get hyped! Girls in bikinis! Booze! Wild parties!"
The only sound in the room was that of the radio as Michael's enthusiasm was met with confused expressions. Pam exchanged an amused glance with Jim while Dwight madly scribbled in his notebook. Kelly's eyes lit up as she grabbed Ryan's arm, shaking him as he rolled his eyes, looking like he would rather be anywhere but here.
Meredith smirked, taking a long sip from her suspiciously large cup. "Free booze? That sounds like a party that I'm gonna be at.”
"Hot girls in bikinis?" Kevin asked incredulously, his eyes glazing. over.
Michael’s grin only widened at their misguided enthusiasm. "Yes! Hot beach babes for everyone!"
"I used to go to Rehoboth all the time in the 70s. The girls there are some hot mamas," Creed announced to no one impacticular.
"Wait, is this actually happening?" Pam turned to look at Toby.
"It actually is. Michael proposed it to Jan, and corporate went for it since it was within our budget, but it's intended to be a team building event, and Michael is required to plan events and give lectures and other business related talks-," he responded before Michael cut in again.
"Stop stealing my moment you soul sucker! We're leaving at three o'clock today!"
"Michael, you waited until the day of this trip to tell us?!" Stanley drawled.
Phyllis shifted her concerned gaze to the floor. "Some of us have plans for tonight.”
"Is this mandatory, because I have a test tomorrow for business school?" asked Ryan, crossing his fingers behind his back. He'd never been superstitious, but this seemed as good a time as any to start.
"I have to find someone to watch my cats!" Angela complained.
"You people are SO ungrateful! I get you a free trip for you all, and all you people can think about is where your cats are going to poop!" Michael yelled over the buzz of confusion.
"Hey!" Angela glared at Michael, crossing her arms firmly over her chest.
"Everyone is going! This trip is mandatory!" Michael interrupted. "Corporate said you all can go home at lunch to pack," he added hastily before cranking the volume on the radio and breaking into a series of horrifying dance moves. Dwight took the opportunity to jump up from his seat and join Michael's solo dance party while everyone else filed out of the conference room.
Rather than returning his desk, Jim followed Pam back to her desk and poured some jelly beans into his hands. He had never realized how deep his affection for jellybeans ran until he met the receptionist.
"So, looks like our fearless leader was finally able to get us a trip. How do you feel about this?" Jim smiled as he stretched his arm out toward her as if it were a microphone.
"Well Jim, I think that this will most definitely be the strangest trip of my life, but the real highlight of the trip will be when you and I convince Dwight to wear a speedo. You see, in many cultures, they are a sign of masculinity. Only real men wear speedos.”
"Beesly, I can't decide if you're a genius or just a pervert," Jim smirked. "But I think we may just be able to arrange that. I've heard that bright pink speedos are particularly enticing to women because it reminds them of their time in the womb," he added as Pam dissolved into a fit of laughter.
"That may be more of Dwight than I ever wanted to see, but I think the looks on everyone's faces will be worth it," she giggled.
Michael spotted Jim and Pam laughing, and jogged over to reception to join them, joining their laughter with them even though he had no idea what was so funny.
"You don't even know what we're laughing at," Jim pointed out, turning to face Michael as he leaned against the reception desk.
"You were laughing with happiness because of the trip!" Michael enthused, still laughing despite the fact that Jim and Pam had stopped.
"We definitely were not.”
"Pam-a-laaa! We are all dying to see you in a cute little number on the beach!” Michael announced. Pam's cheeks flushed bright red as she avoided eye contact.
"Uh, I actually have a lot of work to do," Pam told him, turning to pick up the phone.
Once Michael headed over to bother accounting, Jim turned back to her.
"Is warehouse coming?" Jim asked, mentally crossing his fingers.
"Uh um I don't know," Pam stammered, realizing she hadn't even thought to ask. "Michael, is warehouse coming?"
"Nope! Too much of the green stuff," Michael replied, rubbing his fingers together for emphasis.
Turning back to Jim, Pam sighed. "I rode here with Roy. Do you mind giving me a ride to my house at lunch? If it's not too much trouble?"
"No problem at all," Jim smiled. He had no idea where she lived, but then again, she could live three hours away and he would hardly care. For the next three days, he had Pam all to himself, even though the experience would be slightly soiled by Dwight's presence. Because of Roy, he rarely saw her outside of work. As he sat down at his desk, he let his mind carry him away. They would have all day to pull pranks on Dwight and create more inside jokes and go to the beach and just talk. Assuming Michael wasn't too vigilant (which he rarely was), he was sure they could sneak away together at least once. Things finally seemed to be working in his favor. Maybe this would be the trip that would finally change things, maybe he wouldn't be the pining coworker anymore, maybe he would finally summon the courage, and maybe she would surprise him. He had never been so grateful for Michael.
Pam smiled to herself as she returned to her work. Because they she and Roy had been saving for the wedding, she hadn't had a vacation in a long time, unless she counted visiting her parents (which she didn't). The more she thought about it, the less she minded that it would be with her coworkers. Most of them were actually pretty nice outside of work, and at least she would have Jim to joke around with. It would be nice to have a break from work and a break from Roy, but that was to be expected when two people lived together, right?
"Oh my gosh Ryan this is such perfect timing! I just bought a new bikini online last week, and it arrived yesterday! I totally look hot in it! Oh my gosh, did I mention that Jennifer Aniston has this exact same swimsuit?! I mean, how cool is that?! We're totally twinning! Do you want me to tell you what it looks like now, or do you want to be surprised?" Kelly rambled. Ryan didn't look up from his nonexistent work, sighing in response. "Oh my gosh, you probably want it to be a surprise, right?! I mean I obviously won't look as a hot as Jennifer Aniston but its so cute! I'm going to tell you anyway! It's a white lacy low cut bikini, but it's so much more than that! The top has this adorable little design on the top, and bottoms have the cutest cut out, and I'm on of those few people who looks really good in white and....," Kelly's voice finally trailed off as Ryan managed to lose himself in his thoughts, which were definitely not of Kelly in a bikini. He had hoped that she would be a fun one night stand, but instead he had somehow managed to convince her, without using any words or actions, that she was his girlfriend or something. She was definitely cute and had a nice body, but he definitely wasn't looking for a relationship. Even if he was, he would never date her. She was very high maintenance, clingy, obnoxious, and had so little self awareness. Unfortunately, there was nowhere to hide in such a tiny office. He imagined she had probably changed topics by now, but he figured it didn't really matter anyway.
In the breakroom, Dwight was intently staring at a vending machine full of food that he had absolutely no intention of buying. Angela was seemingly very interested in her fingernails, facing the adjacent vending machine.
"You know you can't act any different around me during the next few days. We have to be careful," Angela said in a low voice.
"I know Monkey, but what if I want to be with you?" Dwight whispered.
"It's only three days..," she trailed off.
"I'll be extra cautious. We can meet in secret like we do here," he urged, moving slightly closer to her.
Angela sighed softly. "Fine, but absolutely no PDA," she whispered before turning on her heel abruptly and exiting the room. Dwight looked crestfallen. This was going to be a long three days.
The drive to the beach was anything but comfortable. For the trip, Michael had rented two run down vans with noisy air conditioning and broken seat belts. Jim was wedged in between Kevin and Dwight, courtesy of Michael's attempt at a 'boy's van'. Behind him, Ryan sat between Stanley and Creed. He had never ridden in a car with Michael to prior to this trip, but he was hardly surprised to discover that he was a less than competent driver. Every few minutes, the tires would squeal and the whole van would lurch forward as Michael hit the brakes without warning or attempted to beat a changing stop light. He could almost hear Angela yelling when the speeding tickets inevitably ended up at the accounting department. The combination of body heat and a strange smell wafting from the back of the bus only made the ride worse. Jim attempted to scoot further away from Dwight without cuddling Kevin.
"Uh, what's that smell?" Jim asked.
"Mung beans," Ryan responded with disdain.
Jim turned to see Creed with his head tipped back and mouth open as he dumped a cup of mung beans into his mouth, stray beans landing all over his jeans. When Creed made eye contact with him, he shrugged and extended the cup toward Jim.
"Want some? They smell like corpses but they keep me feeling like I'm twenty," Creed offered.
"I'll pass...," Jim said quickly, exchanging a glance with Ryan.
"Mung beans are overrated and for farming amateurs. Beets take far more skill to cultivate and grow properly, as well as having far more health benefits," Dwight interjected.
"Argh! Can you guys talk about something less boooooring?" Michael groaned.
"Agriculture is not boring Michael. You said that you wished you knew how to-," Dwight began.
"Just, just shut it Dwight. No one cares about your beet farming," Michael interrupted.
"Uncultured swine," Dwight muttered.
"What was that?" Jim raised an eyebrow.
"Is your hearing as inferior as the rest of you?" Dwight smirked.
The sound of a phone ringing interrupted them.
"Kelly," Ryan offered meekly, holding up his phone before lowering it to his ear.
Jim cringed as Ryan abruptly pulled the phone away from his ear; he could hear his coworker's exasperated bubbling from here, and she definitely wasn't on speaker phone. The van fell silent as Ryan vigorously clicked the volume button.
"That's great... Wow... I am excited... You don't have to yell... No, I'm... Okay I'm going to hang up if you don't... We're not going to talk about that!.. You agreed!.. It was one time Kel... No I'm not saying it... Can we please talk about this... Whatever...," Ryan finished before turning off his phone, causing an awkward silence to ensue.
"Gal probs! Am I right?" Michael broke the silence.
"Yeah!" Dwight chimed in.
"You don't even have a girlfriend," Jim pointed out, to which Dwight simply smirked. "Neither do you Michael."
"But he and Jan had sex," Kevin giggled.
"They just made out," Dwight interjected.
"Well I heard they made out and had sex," Kevin said, drawing out the last word.
"What about you Jimbo? How's Katy these days? Having lots of hot sex?" Michael asked.
"Oh, uh we actually broke up a few months ago," Jim muttered.
"Was it the sex? I mean with those bodies-," Michael began.
"No! We just didn't really have a... connection,"Jim interrupted.
"That was one hot girl. If she's not your type, then what are you looking for?" Ryan asked. If Jim hadn't known Ryan, he might've mistaken his tone for sincerity.
"So how are things with Kelly?" Jim countered, letting sarcasm infuse his words.
A loud snort from Stanley caused everyone to turn to face him. Head back against the seat, he was sound asleep.
"Man overboard! Code blue!" Michael yelled. "No sleeping on the party express!"
"Oh Samson here has been dead for three years," Creed announced, prompting confused glances from everyone else.
"What? Anyway who wants to play some games?" Michael enthused.
"I vote spin the bottle," Jim responded.
"You're so gay," muttered Dwight.
"No! Gay is not a declaratory term to be thrown around," Michael defended.
"I think you mean derogatory," Jim offered.
"How about I Spy?" Ryan suggested.
"I spy the girls bus," Jim pointed.
"There's the gals!" Michael yelled, leaning on the horn.
"Hey girls!" Dwight yelled out his now open window.
"Dwight! Close that window!" Michael yelled, turning to look back at Dwight with his whole upper body out of the car.
The van swerved violently as Michael jerked the van back into their lane.
"Eyes on the road Michael," Jim insisted. "Dwight, get your head in!"
"Dwight! What are you doing?!" Michael turned around again.
"Stop light!" Kevin exclaimed, the whole van came to a screeching halt, throwing everyone against the seat in front of them and Dwight further out the window.
"What the hell Dwight!" Michael yelled.
A series of honks chorused around them.
"The light's green Michael!" Ryan called.
The van sped forward abruptly, throwing everyone back in their seats.
"Dwight! Put your head in! There's a policeman right beside us!" Michael yelled.
"I'm stuck!" Dwight hollered.
"Jim! Get him back in!" called Michael.
Jim reached around Dwight to push the window further down, but it wouldn't budge. He grabbed onto Dwight's waist and pulled as hard as he could, but to no avail.
"Oh no no no!" Michael yelled as he spotted the blue and red lights flashing in his rearview mirror followed by a siren.
"Hey Kev, can you give me a hand?" Jim asked, wiping sweat from his brow.
The two positioned themselves on either side of Dwight.
"1, 2, 3!" Jim and Kevin pulled as hard as they could.
Dwight went sailing onto the bus floor.
"Michael, pull over!" Ryan called.
"I can outrun him!" Michael insisted.
A car flew past their drifting van, and Michael swerved violently onto the side of the road where the police car was waiting. Seconds later a policeman tapped on their window, which Michael rolled down.
"I've got you down for speeding, fifteen miles over the limit as well as reckless driving and some guy hanging out your window. Let me see your driver's licence," he demanded.
Jim sighed as Michael began to protest. He only hoped that Pam and the other women of the office were having a ride more smooth than his own.
Toby rummaged desperately through his backpack in hopes of finding the noise cancelling headphones that he was positive that he had packed, but appeared to be missing. Kelly constant blabbering had not ceased since they had set foot in this man almost two hours ago. Despite all the hassling he recieved from Michael, he quite liked most of his coworkers. He and the guys of the office actually had a lot in common and he got along well with the women of the office, but he couldn't help feeling upset when he and Oscar were banished to the girl's bus for being 'a pathetic excuse for a man' and 'basically a girl.' He liked the women of the office, but it was just demeaning. Plus, it meant he was stuck listening to Kelly ramble about whatever her heart desired. It was amazing to him how little she thought before blurting anything that came to mind. At this point, he was starting to wish for Michael's insults.
"Oh my gosh Pam! How excited are you for your wedding? Only four more months! You must be, like, so excited! I'm so psyched just thinking about it! You and Roy are, like, so romantic! Michael's kind of an idiot, but he was so right! You guys are like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie! You guys have been together forever and now you get to marry him! On a scale of one to ten, how excited are you? 'Cuz I'm, like, an eleven!" Kelly rambled.
Pam shifted in her seat. "Yeah, it's been a long time coming."
"Are you registered anywhere yet?" Phyllis leaned forward from the back row to ask.
"Um, no. I'm still waiting for a free weekend when Roy and I can go together, but there's not really a point sending until we send out all the saves the dates and stuff," she responded.
"You are inviting all of us, right?" Kelly asked.
"Oh yeah," Pam glanced over at Angela, "Of course."
"Thank God because I totally already bought a dress because there was a super cute one on sale and I totally knew you'd invite me anyway because you're, like, a really nice person," Kelly smiled.
"Thanks Kelly," Pam said, letting herself smile lightly.
Pam had been a bit disappointed that she and Jim wouldn't be riding together, but the ladies of Dunder Mifflin were nice enough and she got along with all of them. It wasn't bad, since she had learned to look past Kelly's bubbling. Her only concern was the large styrofoam cup resting in the cup holder beside the driver's seat, which Meredith leaned over to sip frequently.
"I don't get all the fuss about weddings nowadays. When I got married, it was basically just an excuse to get off the charts drunk, and no one could say anything 'cuz it was my wedding," Meredith added, taking another long sip.
"I'm not surprised that it didn't last," Angela muttered under her breath, quietly enough that only Pam could hear.
"So, how are things with you and Bob?" Pam turned to face Phyllis, eager to change the subject.
"Better than ever, sweetie," Phyllis' demeanor seemed to light up at the mention of his name.
"Well, I'm glad you two are happy," Pam smiled.
"We are. Just between us girls, I think he's the one," she blushed.
"Oh my gosh! That is, like, so romantic!" Kelly squealed clapping her hands together.
"Blah, blah, blah. What's he like in bed?" Meredith hollered.
Phyllis flushed bright red. "I'm pretty happy in that aspect too," she giggled.
All of the women laughed while Angela looked at them in disapproval and Oscar shifted uncomfortably.
"Aw guys we're leaving out poor Toby and Oscar over here. Why don't we play a little game? I know a few that could be fun!" Phyllis suggested.
"Something appropriate," Angela added.
"Yeah! I always beat Ryan at road trip games! It's almost like he doesn't even try!" Kelly bubbled.
Pam exchanged a knowing glance with Oscar.
"I was thinking Never Have I Ever?" Phyllis suggested.
"Nothing dirty," Angela interjected.
"Shut up Little Miss Priss! Let's get our freak on!" Meredith hollered.
"Ooh I'll go first!" Kelly volunteered. "Oscar, would you rather date Michael or Creed?"
"I'm going to have to go with Creed. He wouldn't be that hard to get away from. Michael on the other hand...," Oscar answered. "Okay, Toby, would you rather have hands for feet or feet for hands?"
"Hmm, I don't think hands for feet would be too bad. I could probably get used to it I guess," Toby responded. "Uh, Pam, would you rather... honeymoon in Europe or Mexico?"
"Europe for sure. Roy wants to go to Mexico, but I would choose Europe if it was within our price range. I've always wanted to see that part of the world," Pam said, her face lighting up. "Um, Angela, would you rather have to get rid of all your cats but have them replaced with twice as many or just keep the cats you have?"
"I would keep the cats I have now. My cats and I have a special, irreplacable bond," Angela said with smile.
"That's what all the lonely ones say," Meredith retorted.
"Hey! Meredith, would you rather go sober or give up your life of promiscuity?" Angela asked.
"I would give up alcohol, Angela, because you know what's more intoxicating than vodka? My org-," Meredith began.
"Ahh, nope, nope, you're not going to... okay good answer Meredith! Why don't you just go ahead and ask someone else," Pam interrupted.
"Angela, would you rather have hot, filthy sex all night with Michael or Dwight?" Meredith sneered.
"If I was married, I would rather sleep with Dwight," Angela answered quickly.
Pam thought she saw her blush.
"Phyllis, would you rather have a large wedding or a small, intimate one?" Angela asked.
"I know a lot of people say they want a small wedding, but I've always dreamed of a big, extravagant one. Bobby and I have a lot of friends that we would have to invite, and I love planning parties and weddings!" Phyllis smiled.
"Oh my gosh! You're totally going to marry Bob! Is marriage really in the cards?" Kelly squealed.
"I would like to think so," Phyllis blushed.
"We're here!" Meredith announced.
As they pulled up to the hotel, everyone looked up.
"... Oh my gosh," Oscar whispered.
Much to the employees' surprise, their hotel sat along the coastline with only a boardwalk separating it from the sandy dunes. The boardwalk and beach extended several miles to the south, leaving their hotel situated on the northernmost point of the boardwalk, making it the last building on their side of the shore. However this was the furthest things from their minds as they gazed up at their home for the next two nights.
"I am not staying in... that," Angela announced as she slid out of the cramped van, stretching her legs.
The building was four stories high and easily the oldest building on the boardwalk... by a few decades. The hotel was encased in dark, decaying planks of wood from top to bottom, the only gaps reserved for dirty windows with faded drapes. Shrubs and greenery that encircled the base of the building that had potential for neat landscaping were overgrown, reaching high enough to touch the window panes.
"Maybe it's not as bad inside?" Pam offered.
"Yeah, this is just the back of the building," Phyllis added, as the other van pulled up beside them.
"Home sweet home!" Michael shouted, jumping out and waving his arms wildly at the luxurious resort just down the road.
"Michael, these directions say that the one right here is our destination," Dwight pointed out.
"What? No, no, no that's not right," Michael muttered, snatching the map from Dwight's hands. "Must be a mistake."
"Actually, these directions are correct. We're staying in this hotel. You insisted on beach front, so this was all we could afford," Toby interjected, pointing at the ancient looking building.
Michael turned to glare at Toby with an Angela- style fury.
"Well, if we had left you at home, we'd have a lot of extra money and we wouldn't have this problem, now would we Toby," Michael spat. He took the map in his hands and began ripping it into tiny pieces which he promptly dumped over Toby's head before heading around to the front of the building. "Ryan, get my things!" Michael called back before disappearing around the corner.
The employees' slowly unloaded their luggage while Pam helped Toby pick the pieces of trash off the ground. Ryan lifted one of Michael's suitcases from the van and immediately dropped it, muttering under his breath as he struggled to pick up the bag before settling on dragging it.
"So the highlight of my journey here would have to be listening to Stanley's snoring," Jim smirked, following Pam to the hotel.
"That bad? Thought you were tougher than that," Pam smiled.
"Did you not see Dwight get stuck in the window? Or see Michael get us pulled over?" Jim asked.
"Wow," Pam laughed. "Sorry I missed the show! I still have Kelly ringing in my ears."
"The juicy gossip, obviously. Kelly is quite the fountain of knowledge. Where else would I get my information from?"
"So have you always been a twelve year old girl, or is this a new development?"
"Halpert 2.0," Jim joked as Pam dissolved into a fit of a laughter.
The employees of Dunder Mifflin gathered in the lobby of the rundown hotel. A few antique looking couches created an arc around a massive stone fireplace with ashes spilling from beneath the metal grate covering it. On a table, there was a stack of books with dust gathered on the top and a vase of dead flowers with dried petals littered around it. The most ominous part of the hotel were the pictures hanging on the walls, paintings depicting bloody, mangled people and gore filled scenes surrounded by rusting metal frames. The pictures were big enough to cover the entirety of the walls. Everyone looked around uncomfortably as Michael checked them in at the front desk.
"This place is definitely haunted," Kevin spoke first, his voice echoing off the walls.
“This looks like one of those places that white people walk into right before they get killed in horror movies!” Kelly shrieked, grabbing a handful of Ryan’s shirt in her hands.
Michael rushed over with a handful of room keys and papers.
"Gather round all ye in need of adobes!" Michael summoned.
"I think you mean abodes," Pam offered.
"No, that's a type of brick," Michael insisted.
"I think you mean abodobies," Jim interjected.
"Thank you Jim, for being the only helpful one here," Michael praised as Jim bit back a smile. "Okay, in Room 414, we have Pam, Angela, and Kelly, and let me see... you guys are sharing a queen bed. That's hot."
"Absolutely not," Angela cut in.
"Oh my gosh we can totally have a slumber party!" Kelly enthused.
"Pillow fights in your underwear are acceptable and encouraged," Michael added.
"I will not be sharing a room with those hussies.” Angela crossed her arms firmly across her chest, glaring at Kelly from across the room.
"I'm not a hussy!" Kelly cried.
"One bed Michael?" Pam asked meekly.
“Niiice.” A lecherous smile stretched lazily across Kevin’s face, and Pam turned to Jim with widened eyes.
"Just- shut it okay let me finish," Michael interjected. "Phyllis and Meredith are in Room 415, Kevin, Oscar, and Stanley are in Room 416, Creed and Toby are in Room 417, and Dwight, Ryan, Jim, and I are sharing Room 418. Direct your complaints to Toby and your enthusiasm to me."
"You and me can share a bed Michael!" Dwight exclaimed.
"Blech, no. I'm sharing a bed with my buddy Ryan," Michael frowned as Ryan cringed.
"Question. Does that mean I have to share a bed with Jim Halpert?"
"Fact. Jim is a frequent sleepwalker and could kill us all in our sleep.”
"Where did you... gah then you can protect us or something. Not my problemo," Michael sang the last syllable.
"Sleepwalking murderer? What's that from?" Pam whispered to Jim.
"Two years ago, I tried to convince Dwight that I needed him to investigate a murder I thought I committed while sleepwalking. That's the longest it's taken a prank to come back and bite me in the...," Jim began.
"Ass," Pam finished with a laugh.
"Was that a profanity from the mouth of Pam Beesly? I'm disappointed to say the least," Jim quipped.
"Suck it Halpert," Pam laughed.
"So you want to explore the hotel? We have an hour until Michael wants us back down here. Or are you excited to settle in with Angela and Kelly? Get in on some of that pillow fight action?" Jim quipped.
"A self guided tour sounds great actually.”
Michael, Dwight, Ryan, Kelly, and Angela crowded into the hotel's one rickety elevator that creaked every time they went up a floor. As soon as Angela and Kelly reached their room, Angela made a beeline for the shower, muttering something about washing off the sin, while Kelly began to unpack her pink, bejeweled suitcases into the dusty wooden dresser in the corner of the room. She had an outfit for every possible occasion and had enough clothes to change outfits every hour if she so desired. This was her first official trip with Ryan since he had become her boyfriend, and she was beyond excited. This was, like, totally a milestone in their relationship!
In Room 418, Ryan dumped Michael's hefty luggage onto a bed and switched on the television, discovering quickly that they only got seven channels.
"What's in the bags Michael?" Dwight asked.
"None of your beeswax. Stop being so nosy," Michael scoffed. “Ry Guy! How ‘bout you and me get some room service food and go through some of this business material? Just a lil man o’ man time.”
“Actually,” Ryan interjected quickly, “I’m pretty tired from the drive, probably just gonna take a nap.”
Ryan hopped onto the bed closer to the window, mashing a pillow over his head to block out the noise that Michael would inevitably create.
“I think it’s time to do a spring test,” Michael said, a grin creeping over his face as Dwight’s face contorted in confusion.
“It’s called a bed bug test. Bed bugs are the hidden enemies, so small and yet able to wreak so much havoc upon their victims in such a short amount of time. Truly a brilliant specimen.” Dwight threw back the covers on the bed closer to the wall and pulled the mattress up, struggling to peer at the underside.
“No, no, no, a spring test! Follow my lead!”
Michael leapt onto the bed that Ryan lay on, Dwight joining him seconds later.
“Go!” Michael yelled suddenly, launching himself into the air, landing back on the bed. Dwight sprang into action, throwing his weight against the mattress and watching in amusement as Ryan’s body flew a few inches off the bed. Ryan groaned in protest, twisting in a futile attempt to move out of the way as Dwight came down hard on his legs.
“Woohoo!” Michael screeched as he bounced off the edge of the bed before collapsing onto Ryan.
“Stop!” Ryan yelled, sitting up abruptly. The sudden motion sent Michael flying backwards and crashing onto the cracked wooden floor.
“ARGH!” Michael shrieked, covering his head with his arms and whimpering like a wounded animal. Dwight was at his side instantly.
“Michael, what’s wrong? Can you hear me? Blink once if you need mouth to mouth, blink twice if something is broken.”
“Nose bleed,” Michael hollered, removing his arms to reveal blood dripping down his face and Hawaiian t-shirt.
Ryan groaned and pulled the pillow back over his head.
In Room 416, Toby opened the door to find Creed sitting on the single twin bed in the center of the room, legs crossed Indian style, hands pressed together, eyes closed, and face turned upward, as though he was praying.
The older man didn’t respond or show any sign of having heard him. Toby sighed and tossed his duffel bag onto a couch, sending up a wave of dust. Once his coughing has ceased, he headed over to the air conditioning unit in the corner, only to find the switches and knobs ineffective.
“Fantastic,” he muttered.
“Twenty bucks a gram.” The voice seemed to come out of nowhere. Toby whirled around on his heels, startled to find Creed, still in position, with a small plastic bag clasped between his hands that definitely had not been there before.
“What is that?” Toby took a step closer.
“You know darn well what this is, now pay up or never see it again.” Toby stared as Creed spoke without once moving his lips.
“I have no idea what that is, Creed,” Toby said.
Creed’s eyes slowly opened, darting from side to side before focusing on him.
“Some local marijuana,” his voice was a whisper, “Now are you in or out?”
“That’s... not marijuana. It looks like… kale?” Toby reached out to touch what was now obviously a vegetable, only for Creed to jerk it away.
“Kale’s a myth. Not falling for that one again, nice try.”
Toby stood, dumbfounded.
In the lobby, Jim and Pam wandered down a hallway.
“And here,” Jim motioned to a painting depicting a headless man holding the head of the headless horse that he sat on, “This one is called… ‘Headache’, named for the emotions that it draws out of viewers.”
“‘Headache’? That’s the best you’ve got?” Pam laughed.
“You’ve got something better?”
“What about ‘In Over My Head’?”
“I stand corrected. Let it be known that the correct name of this painting is ‘In Over My Head’.”
“Let it be known that Pam is way better at this game than Jim.”
“Let it be known that Pam, an accomplished artist, has an advantage over Jim, the lowly paper salesman,” Jim countered, grinning at Pam’s sheepish smile.
“I’m not an accomplished artist.”
“You could be. You’re so much better than you give yourself credit for,” Jim said as Pam’s cheeks flushed in the dimly lit hallway.
“Thanks,” she mumbled, fidgeting with her ring.
“So are we going to continue naming paintings, or are we just going to continue to bask in the glory of ‘In Over My Head’?”
“Let it be known that these horrible paintings won’t name themselves, and that Pam is up for the challenge if Jim doesn’t mind getting his butt kicked.”
“Let it be known that Jim likes making up names for paintings, even if Pam is way better at it than he is.”
“Let it be known that it is officially weird that Jim and Pam are still talking about themselves in third person,” Pam giggled. Jim couldn’t help noticing how nice their names sounded together when she said them, almost like they completed each other. He smiled at his shoes.
“Let it be known that Pam is a dork.”
“Let it be known that Jim is a dork.”
Jim wondered if she could tell, see it on his face, hear it in his voice, how much he liked her. He knew he should stop, focus on the fact that she was engaged, but they were alone in a dim hotel hallway in Delaware on a Friday afternoon naming horrible paintings and Scranton felt a million miles away.
“Let it be known that Jim likes dorky.”
“Let it be known that Pam likes dorky too.”