Singles Awareness Day by NobleLandMermaid
Summary:

Pam finds herself solo on Valentine's Day and attends a "Singles Only" party with Jim. Set pre-cameras.

singles awareness day banner


Categories: Jim and Pam, Past, Alternate Universe Characters: Jim/Pam, Roy
Genres: Drunk Pam/Jim, Holiday, Romance, Weekend
Warnings: Mild sexual content, Other Adult Theme
Challenges: None
Series: None
Chapters: 4 Completed: No Word count: 7547 Read: 4671 Published: February 15, 2018 Updated: February 20, 2021
Story Notes:

This is a canon-divergent extension of the 4th chapter of More Than a Day More Than A Word. Reading that chapter before this is suggested, but here's a quick refresher:

it's Valentine's Day 2005, Pam is not happy about an insensitive comment Roy made regarding their continued wedding delays, but is cheered up when Jim gives Pam a goofy card (mentioned the the S2 V-Day episode). She responds with a card of her own and asks Jim what his Valentine's Day plans are. He tells her his friend is hosting a "singles only" party and Pam inquires about going as she's still irritated with Roy and not interested in spending v-day with him. But when Roy figures out Pam's mad at him and apologizes, her plans to attend Jim's friend's party are scrapped (though she is a bit disappointed and senses Jim's disappointment as well)

oh and disclaimer: Jim, Pam and the Office do not belong to me

1. Chapter 1 by NobleLandMermaid

2. Chapter 2 by NobleLandMermaid

3. Chapter 3 by NobleLandMermaid

4. Chapter 4 by NobleLandMermaid

Chapter 1 by NobleLandMermaid
Author's Notes:
V-Day 2005 was a Tuesday, but we're gonna say it's a Friday 'cause that's just more fun ;-)

It turned out to be a nice Valentine’s.

Pam made chicken cacciatore, Roy bought a decent bottle of white wine, and they enjoyed both at their candle-lit dining room table with his Valentine’s flowers for her as the centerpiece. He surprised her with a slice of chocolate cake from her favorite bakery downtown which she greatly enjoyed, even with his comment that they should definitely get their wedding cake from that bakery “whenever the wedding happens.”

Once they moved to the couch he put his arm around her, pulling her close while flipping through the channels before pausing on a basketball game. For a moment Pam’s mind traveled back to earlier when she drew that silly cartoon for Jim’s impromptu valentine, and she smiled to herself thinking about his reaction, sparkling eyes and big grin. With Roy’s hand loosely gripping her shoulder, she thought of Jim and her leaving the breakroom. Jim stepped aside to let her exit first and his large, warm hand was briefly pressed to the back of her shoulder.

She felt her eyes widened and she looked over to Roy. “Hey, do you think we could maybe find a movie or something?” she said.

“Oh yeah, sorry,” Roy mumbled, lifting the remote and switching until he reached the channels guide. “Ha, The Wedding Singer’s on TBS, wanna watch that?”

Pam chewed her lip, she would rather watch When Harry Met Sally on TNT but she supposed Wedding Singer was more Roy’s speed. “Sure,” she said, nestling into Roy’s shoulder. The movie wasn’t much better than basketball but it also didn’t remind Pam of a certain basketball-loving co-worker.

The phone rang in the kitchen, making Pam sit up. “I’ll get it,” Roy said, his arm leaving her shoulder.

Whoever it was, Roy greeted the call with a loud, “Hey man,” before getting quiet. Maybe his brother, Pam thought. Kenny had a very hot-and-cold relationship with his girlfriend Denise and it certainly wouldn’t surprise Pam if they had yet another fight and this time it was really “it” for them. Pam eyed the remote for a moment before grabbing it and switching to When Harry Met Sally. It was near the beginning with the two characters driving and Harry insisting that a man and woman couldn't be friends since the man always secretly wants to sleep with the woman.

The floorboard creaked and Pam turned to see Roy standing over her with his shoulders slumped. “That was Darryl,” he said in a somber tone. “I guess Justine just left him.”

“Oh my God,” Pam said quietly.

“Yeah, he came home from work late and there was a letter saying she and Jada are in Wilkes-Barre with her cousin and the divorce lawyer will call him Monday.”

Almost instinctively Pam’s left thumb curled into her palm, toying with the band on her finger. “Was this out of the blue?”

“Nah, they've been on the rocks for a while." Roy reached up and rubbed the back of his neck.

Pam lifted her brow, “You seem concerned.”

“I just hope he doesn't hit the bottle too hard. Last big fight with Justine, Lonny and I had to carry him home from Farley’s,” Roy said with a shrug.

“Well, where is he now? Is he alone?”

“Just him at home but kinda sounds like he's already torn into some Jack.”

Pam bit her lip, looking at the spot on the couch where Roy was just sitting. “Why don't you go over there?”

He looked down to her, both confused and worried, “Really?”

She nodded and put on a small smile, “Yeah, I mean it sounds like he could use a friend. Especially one who can stop him from potentially doing something stupid.”

“He definitely has that potential,” Roy said, shoving his hands in his pockets. “You sure you're not gonna hold this against me? Going to be with Daryl and leaving you alone on Valentine’s day?”

Pam scoffed, “Yeah, I’m that needy.” She paused for a moment, “Besides I don’t have to be alone. A couple co-workers are having a girl’s night, I can go to that.”

Roy nodded, “Alright, if you’re okay with it, I guess I better get there before he drunk dials Justine or something worse.” He leaned over and gave Pam a kiss then headed to the doorway to put on his shoes.

“I'll have my cell if you need me,” Pam called to him.

“Yeah I’ll call you with any updates,” Roy replied. “Love you.” The door shut before Pam could say “love you” back.

Pam looked to her watch, 6:35, if she hurried she could catch Jim at home before he left for his friend’s party. She went to the bedroom to find some jeans and a nicer sweater, telling herself to not feel guilty about fibbing to her fiance just now. Jim was a co-worker and he did say the friend hosting the party was a woman, so not like she lied outright.

After changing into a blue sweater and a pair of dark jeans, she stood in front of the bathroom mirror putting on eyeshadow and mascara. Besides, she thought, what was the alternative, sitting home alone dutifully waiting for Roy to return? If the tables were turned he wouldn’t do that and she wouldn’t expect him to.

She leaned back and studied her reflection. She would never wear this much makeup to work, nor wear this low of a neckline - at least not without a camisole underneath - but that’s only because she didn’t want to get ogled by Michael all day. Jim was not like that. She wished she had time to do something else with her hair, but she really needed to get going.

*****

Pam had been to Jim’s place once before. He hosted a NFC championship party a few weeks back that practically everyone from work attended and got rather raucous as the Eagles ended up winning. She thankfully took note of how to get there, parking just before his driveway where his red Corolla was sitting. A weird nervousness hit her as she got out of her little sedan and walked up to the door, and she took two deep breaths before pressing the doorbell.

The door opened and Jim stood before her in a sweater, jeans and socks. His face was a mix of surprise, excitement, and confusion. “Pam, hey! What’s going on?”

“Hey, something came up with Roy so turns out I can go to that party after all,” she said quickly, chalking her shaky voice to the cold February evening air.

Jim blinked a couple times, then shivered a little and stepped back to open the door wider. “Well you better come in, it’s freezing.”

She passed the threshold, blushing when Jim’s put his hand on the back of her shoulder to gently guide her until she was far enough inside to be out of the way of the door. She paused in the entrance-way to take in the surroundings. The house was clean but it was obvious it’s occupants were young males, with a living room decorated with concert posters and string lights, mismatched furniture and a too large, too expensive television.

“What’s going on with Roy?” Jim said, walking past Pam to the kitchen.

“Oh, he’s fine but Darryl called, I guess his wife left him today,” Pam started, following Jim.

“Shit,” Jim muttered.

Pam tried not to smile even though that was quite possibly the first time she had heard Jim swear. “So Roy said that he was worried Darryl would over-drink and do something stupid, and I suggested he go hang out with him and make sure he doesn’t.” Pam shrugged, “And I mean, no reason for me to stay at home alone watching rom-coms, right?”

Jim gave her a lopsided smile before lifting his brows, “No, definitely not.” He scratched the nape of his neck, “So my friend, Amy, she actually lives nearby so I was gonna walk, but not without a beer in me to try to offset the cold. You want one?”

Pam smiled and nodded, taking off her coat while he grabbed two beer bottles from the refrigerator. He paused briefly when he turned, his eyes falling onto her V-neck sapphire blue sweater.

“That’s, um, that’s a pretty sweater,” he stammered, and Pam would never confess that that was the exactly reaction she was hoping for from him. Jim averted his eyes upwards and handed her a beer, “Alright, what should we cheers to?”

Pam smiled and lifted her bottle, “To Valentine’s Day with friends.”

A look Pam couldn’t quite read crossed Jim’s face before he smiled back, “To Valentine’s Day with friends.” They clicked bottles.

End Notes:
Thanks for reading! I'm thinking this will be 3 or 4 chapters total, look for the next one soon.
Chapter 2 by NobleLandMermaid
Author's Notes:
Party Time!

This is definitely not how Jim imagined Valentine’s Day going.

It was either going to be a low-key hangout at his friend Amy's, or more likely just a quiet night by himself watching basketball since Mark was out with his girlfriend and Jim had been on the fence about going to the party all day.

He definitely didn’t expect Pam Beesly to show up at his door, announcing her fiance was preoccupied and that she was ready to go to a party with him.

He didn’t expect she would have her arm hooked with his for most of the short walk to Amy’s, though he couldn’t help but be grateful for the icy sidewalks.

And he didn’t expect to see her slip her engagement ring off as they approached the front door.

He nearly asked what she was doing, but the expression on his face must have asked the question for him when she looked up after dropping the ring into a pocket in her purse. “Didn’t you say your friend was very serious about tonight being singles only?”

“I may have overstated that, I don’t think she would actually kick you out -”

Pam shrugged. “It’s fine, I mean, this is an easy way to avoid any prying questions, right? ‘Where’s your fiance? Why is he with a friend and not you?’ Et cetera.”

“Fair enough,” Jim said, knocking on the door.

Amy was a friend from Jim’s previous job, a brief stint at a cellphone kiosk in the Steamtown Mall. He was only there for half-a-year before leaving for Dunder Mifflin but he and Amy had become good buddies in that time. It was a little like his relationship with Pam. Well, save a few key differences.

“Hey Halpert!” Amy exclaimed as she opened the door. There were two consistent things about Amy’s appearance: she always wore dark-rimmed glasses, and her hair was always a new color whenever he saw her. Tonight, perhaps in honor of Valentine’s day, her hair was the color of red wine.

“Hey Amy, this is Pam,” Jim said after Amy had shut the door behind them.

Amy shot Jim a small look and a little smile before shaking Pam’s hand, “Great to meet you, Pam, Jim’s mentioned you before.” Jim was grateful for that understatement. “Decided to join our ‘Singles Awareness’ party?”

“Yes and I’m definitely in need of it this year since I’ve just broke it off with my fiance,” Pam said without hesitation, and Jim thought his eyebrows would shoot up right off his forehead.

“Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that,” Amy replied, her eyes darting over to Jim again.

“It’s okay, it was a long time coming." Pam slipped off her jacket, revealing her sweater (oh God, that sweater) and looked to Jim, “I think Jim would agree. He probably got tired of me complaining about my never-ending engagement, didn’t you?”

What is this, he tried to ask her with his eyes, but she tilted her head and silently begged him to go along with it. “I can’t say I was too surprised,” he finally replied.

“Well, you came to the right place,” Amy proclaimed, leading Pam and Jim to the living room where half-a-dozen people sat. “We were about to start a round of Telephone Pictionary.”

“I like Pictionary but I’m not sure what ‘Telephone Pictionary’ is,” Pam said.

“You’ll love it, Pam, it’s all the awkward doodles of Pictionary mixed with the hilariousness of Telephone,” Amy said, pulling a couple chairs up for Jim and Pam to sit at the coffee table. “Jason, you want to explain how it works?”

Amy’s friend Jason started passing out papers and went over the concept of Telephone Pictionary, where everyone wrote out a phrase or scenario at the top of a long, skinny piece of paper, pass it clockwise to the next person who would attempt to draw the scenario, then would fold the top part over so then the next person has to guess the phrase from only the drawing.

Jim was seated as such so he had to pass his papers to Pam, and as the round progressed he apologized for his poor doodles that she had to guess the scenario from. She simply smiled and tried to assure Jim they weren’t that bad, but when it came time to unfold the paper and present how skewed the original sentence had become, Jim couldn’t help but notice the disconnect was coming from his area of the circle. Still all of Pam’s drawings were very skilled, and she somehow managed to get something meaningful out of his chicken-scratches, even if his attempt to draw Dorothy and Toto on the Yellow Brick Road turned into Pam guessing that a farmer was walking his pig up the side of a brick wall.

The next game was Fictionary, which was more up Jim's alley. Amy refreshed everyone on the rules; come up with a plausible definition to an obscure word and earn point by having people pick that made up definition. Then the rounds proceeded with very interesting definitions (it seemed Amy couldn't not make her made-up meaning of every word into something sexual, such as saying "operose" meant "to be aroused by the opera") and with at least two people every round picking Jim's meaning.

This round the word was "paludal" and Amy's friend Rebecca was going around asking everyone to pick what they thought it meant.

Pam was the last to pick. She was a couple beers in and Jim could help but find her cute sitting there with her brows knitted seriously thinking about the different options. "What was the flute one again?"

"The second to last hole on the flute made slightly bigger for quicker air flow," Rebecca read off the card.

"That just sounds right, I'm going with that," Pam said. Jim turned away so she wouldn't see him smirking.

"Okay, everyone's answers are in and the correct definition is - Paludal: living or occurring in a marshy habitat." There was a mix and laughing and groaning and Rebecca started announcing points allotted. "Jim, you get three points for selecting the right meaning and getting two people to select yours."

"Which was yours?" Pam asked, leaning towards Jim.

"The flute one," Jim said, stifling a laugh when Pam's jaw dropped.

"Oh my god, how are you coming up with these definitions? I've picked yours like three times now," Pam almost shouted. "I totally fell for the rubiginous one also."

"Not originating or occurring naturally in a particular place, alien," Jim rattled off.

"See you even write it like a - a dictionary writer person," Pam said, the beer clearly starting to kick in.

Jim grinned, "Pam, you don't get to where I am at Dunder Mifflin without being an accomplished bullshitter."

Pam burst out laughing, leaning forward and resting her forehead briefly on Jim's shoulder. Jim watched her with a big smile on his face, despite seeing in the corner of his eye Amy looking at them and smirking.

There was a faint ringtone and Pam sat up to pull her cell out of her pocket. "I better take this," she said standing up and Jim tried to pretend he didn't know who it was.

"Charades is next, Pam," Amy called to her.

"I'll be two minutes, do not start without me," Pam said emphatically.

Jim watched her disappear down the hallway, then his eyes fell again on Amy and her smirk. He smiled, shook his head slightly and finished off his beer.

* * * * *

Closing the bathroom door behind her, Pam highlighted Roy's name on her phone and hit call. Please don't ask me to come get you, she thought.

"Heeeeey babe," Roy answered and Pam could hear Darryl snickering in the background.

"Hey, you called, how is everything," Pam asked.

"Oh, cool cool." Roy said with a slight slur.

"Roy is about to get his ass beat in Madden," Darryl shouted. Pam rolled her eyes when Roy and Darryl started trading insults and checked herself out in the mirror. She still wished she could have done something nicer with her hair but her makeup looked good and the blue sweater was a good choice, form-fitting without being too tight.

"So Darryl's okay?" Pam finally said.

"Yeah," Roy let out a puff of air like he was getting up and then after a moment started again in a lower tone, "I'm keeping him pretty distracted, and I've hidden his car keys and mine also. So, you know, definitely don't wait up." She heard a clang and a soft thud that she imagining was him getting another beer bottle out of the refrigerator. "You don't care, right?"

"No, I think it's good you're there with him-"

"Oh you did not make the Cleveland Browns my team, you restart right now," Roy hollered at Darryl then spoke into the receiver, "What's that Pammy?"

"Nothing, go have fun." She took a short breath then added an obligatory, "Love you."

"What? Yeah, love you too. Ha, oh you are dead, Philbin-"

The phone went silent, and Pam took a deep breath. Maybe if she was still at home by herself she would start analyzing what irritated her about that phone call. Not tonight, she thought. Tonight was about having fun with friends and that's just what she was doing. In fact this is maybe the most fun I've had in years, she thought straightening out her sweater. The telephone pictionary was a great laugh, and she marveled at how well Jim did at Fictionary; at least one person - often her - would choose his fake definition of a word every round.

She left the bathroom and turned the corner by the kitchen, where she could see Jim and Amy grabbing beers.

“Hey Jim,” Amy started in a low tone, “why didn’t you tell me Pam broke up with that lugnut?”

Pam eyes widened and she took a step back, right next to the end of the hallway where Jim and Amy couldn't see her.

“Oh, um,” Jim stammered, “It really just happened.”

Pam felt a little guilty, both for eavesdropping and also for Jim having to lie for her like that. She really should make herself known -

“Well, you’re gonna ask her out, right?”

Pam’s mouth went dry, “ask her out”? Jim wanted to ask her out? On a date?

“Um, I’m not sure if I should. Feels kinda soon”

“What do you mean ‘not sure’? Jim, you have been pining for her for over two years now.” Amy said, sounding indignant. “And I mean, I finally get why, she’s cute as hell, and really sweet and funny.”

“I just, I think I need to play it by ear,” Jim stumbled, and Pam would have felt bad if she wasn’t feeling completely blindsided. Jim wanted to ask her out, he had been “pining” for her for years. He had seen her coming into work looking tired with clothes wrinkles and hair barely brushed but apparently liked her, to the point that he was talking about her to his own friends.

“You don’t have to be scared, she’ll say yes. She clearly likes you too.”

“You don’t know that,” Jim said in a defeated tone and Pam’s heart suddenly ached a little.

“Part of the joy of being your friend for so long is I’ve witnessed many-a-lady fall for the Halpert charm and she’s smitten with you.”

“Smitten?” Jim said sarcastically.

“You heard me.” Amy’s voice grew closer and Pam panicked. She spun around and all but ran to the bathroom again and shut the door behind her.

Pam leaned against the door, her heart racing for reasons she knew had nothing to do with her quick dash just now. She jumped a foot when Amy called her name from the other side of the door. "Pam, you okay? We're itching to get our charades on."

"Yeah, be right there," Pam said a octave higher than usual. She took three deep breaths and made her way back to the living room.

Taking her seat, she wondered how it hadn't occurred to her until now how close she had been to Jim all night, sitting right next to him, laughing at every halfway funny thing he said, relishing every word of encouragement he gave her during the party games. And Amy was sitting just across the table, no wonder she thought Pam was 'smitten'.

"Great, now that we're all here let's get started," Amy said, shuffling some cards. She looked to Pam, "Have you ever played charades with Jim before?" Pam shook her head and Amy grinned, "You're in for a real treat."

"We might have to make Jim do Mount Saint Helens again just so Pam can see," Rebecca said and everyone started laughing.

"C'mon guys that was-" Jim pretended to think and then nodded, "That was an award winning performance if I may say."

The laughter continued and Pam smiled to herself, picking up her beer bottle and finding it empty.

"Oh hey Beesly, I grabbed you another one," Jim said, reaching for an opened bottle and handing it to Pam. "Unless you wanted a different kind-"

"No no, this is great, thanks," Pam said with a small smile, wondering if her cheeks looked pink at all.

Jim titled his head and his smile faded a little, "Everything okay?"

Pam blinked, before putting on a big smile, "Yeah, everything's good." She took a drink of beer, "Let's see these amazing charades I'm hearing so much about. Unless it's all talk."

Jim's mouth dropped a little, and a round of laughs and "oooohs" went around the group. "Well since my skills are being questioned," he stood and grabbed a card from Amy to act out, "it's on." He gave Pam a little nod and she took another sip of beer, knowing this time her cheeks were definitely crimson.

End Notes:
Thanks for reading! Reviews are welcome and look for the next chapter soon!
Chapter 3 by NobleLandMermaid
Author's Notes:
Heading back to Jim's after much drinking and Pam eavesdropping ;-)

"Oh my gosh, Jim, no, you cannot do that," Pam said between laughs after Jim unlocked his front door and stepped aside to let her in. It was past midnight and neither were ever without a beer at Amy's the entire evening.

He stood next to her in the doorway and hung up his coat, "But Dwight would fall for it so hard."

"He would and then you would definitely get arrested. I am not visiting you in jail." She had her head turned while walking into the living room and as a result she ran straight into the arm of the couch and crumpled over in a fit of giggles.

"I cannot believe how drunk you are," Jim said, also stumbling to get to her and help her sit upright on the couch.

Once she was situated, Pam sighed, "Yeah, I'm definitely crashing here tonight, if that's okay?"

Jim nodded slowly while taking a seat, his drunken brain overloading at that thought. "Yes, of course," he answered after a long delay, but Pam was already fussing with the remote.

"These things have too many buttons now," Pam half-shouted, then started laughing when Jim took it from her.

Jim felt like he had to pour all of his concentration into the remote, Pam occasionally appearing in his periphery with an exaggerated scowl on her face. "Stop it," he said, grinning at her laughter. He finally got the television on and flipped the channel to TNT.

"Oh, When Harry Met Sally, I love this movie!" Pam said.

"I do too," Jim replied, turning up the volume.

Pam turned to him and giggled, "Really?

"Well yeah, I mean it's a Rom Com but it's classic, the Pictionary scene, the split-screen convo with their friends, that karaoke scene which actually kind of happen to me once."

Pam raised her hand, "Hold on, what do you mean 'it kind of happened to me once'?"

"I mean in college, I may have once drunkenly sang my heart out at bar karaoke only to realize when the song was over an ex-girlfriend was in the audience the whole time," Jim said, feeling his cheeks redden at the memory.

"What song?" Pam said, an oddly serious look on her face.

Jim crinkled his nose, "Careless Whisper."

"Oh no!" Pam howled, doubling over.

Jim was just drunk enough to start belting out lyrics, "Guilty feet have got no rhythm."

Pam sat back up and starting fanning her face with her hands, she was laughing so hard tears were in her eyes. "Stop, I can't-" she said, trying to catch her breath.

Jim sat back, smiling while Pam exhaled slowly and regained her composure. Their eyes met and soft smiles spread across their faces before Pam looked back to the television.

"Oh man it's the scene!” Pam gasped. Jim chuckled and turned his attention to the screen and the quintessential scene of Meg Ryan writhing and pounding the table as she moaned in the middle of a dinner.

"'I'll have what she's having',” Jim and Pam simultaneously said with the older actress and both erupted into more laughter.

"Oh wow, tonight's been so much fun," Pam mused once they had both stopped laughing. She glanced over to Jim, "I really don't remember the last time I've had this much fun."

Jim smiled in reply, but felt it fade when she looked back to the television. Just stay quiet, his mind screamed, just enjoy watching the movie with her, but his mouth wasn't listening. "Hey," Jim softened his voice and waited for Pam to look at him, "Why ... why did you lie about being broken up with Roy?"

Pam chewed her lip and looked to her hands, "I don’t know, I just - I’ve been with him since I was 16 years old, we’re always together. I figured at a party with a bunch of strangers it was okay to pretend for one night I’m single."

Jim nodded, "Okay." There, brain, elephant in the room addressed, he told himself. A loud commercial came on and Jim turned down the volume.

"It’s not okay though," Pam said quietly after a moment.

Jim waited equally long to reply, "Why not?"

"Because, I liked it. I liked not wearing that ring and I liked complaining about my dumb ex and I -" Pam looked to Jim, "I liked the way you looked at me when I took off my coat."

Jim blinked. "How did I look at you?" he said in a low voice.

"Like ... I'm more that some frumpy girl you work with." Pam said.

His mind flooded immediately with thoughts like "Of course you are, you always have been" and "How can you possibly not see?" but none reached his tongue. Instead he felt himself lean forward until his lips were on hers. It was less a passionate kiss and more two sets of dry lips mashed against each other, and he quickly pulled away. Her eyes were wide and he knew he had completely misinterpreted everything. "I’m sorry," he whispered, shaking his head.

But then her lips met his, her thin fingers weaving into the hair behind his ears. Without breaking the kiss she somehow sat up on her knees and then turned to straddled his lap, letting out a small moan when his tongue touched hers. One of his hands was in her hair gripping her curls while the other roamed down her side to her waist. A little further and he felt the skin exposed above her hips, then the waistband of her jeans. She kept her arms draped around his neck until one hand was stroking his jawline, then moving slowly down his chest. It felt surreal, he had thought about this practically every day for two years and now it was happening and her lips were so supple and willing and her skin was so soft and .... and this wasn't right.

"Pam," he said, letting her lips still touch his, "What are we doing?"

"Kissing," Pam said with a breathy giggle.

"We can’t," he said, his body still not really making much effort to stop her or push her away.

"But we are," she said, "we are currently kissing." The hand that had been moving down over his sweater had reached the button of his jeans, where just a centimeter past that he could feel the denim was already getting tight.

"Pam, please," he sat back and dropped his hands away.

He turned his head slightly but could see her facial expression morph from confusion and surprise to embarrassment and nervousness. "Oh, oh my god," she said to herself as she crawled off his lap.

He looked over to her sitting on the edge of the couch with her face buried in her hands, her breath unsteady. "We’re really drunk," he said, unsure if trying to blame it on alcohol was more for her benefit or his.

She finally lifted her head and nodded, though she didn’t looked at him. "Yeah."

"I, um, I’ll take the couch," Jim said.

"No Jim, I can take --"

"It’s really fine," he insisted. "You know which one is my room, right? And there should be new toothbrushes in the bathroom drawer upstairs."

"Okay, thank you." She stood slowly and had her eyes lowered when she walked past him. He kept her in his periphery while scratching the back of his neck. "Jim," she called to him from the bottom of the stairs.

"Yeah?"

She was far away and a little blurry in his drunk, tired eyes but he could see a small smile on her face. "I really had a lot of fun at Amy's."

He weakly smiled back, "I did too."

"G'night,” she finished, slowly making her way up the stairs.

Once she was out of view, Jim stared ahead at nothing at all and took several deep breaths.

End Notes:
Well that took a turn, stay tuned for more soon! Thanks for reading and reviews are <3
Chapter 4 by NobleLandMermaid
Author's Notes:
The morning after

Pam opened her eyes to a scene that was both familiar and new, a guitar in the corner, a framed watercolor on the wall. She struggled to remember when she painted the watercolor, and definitely couldn't recall when he got a guitar.

A pair of lips kissed her shoulder and she looked up. She didn’t see the face she expected, eyes were a warm green instead of blue, hair dark and floppy instead of closely cut. But it felt totally normal, right even.

“Hi,” Jim uttered, his voice low and husky and his smile wide.

She smiled and reached up to his cheek, “Hey.” Without much prompting he leaned forward and their lips met. Her fingers traced his jaw then neck then chest and only then did she realize he was naked and she was as well. He rolled her gently towards him and started his own exploration with his fingers, tracing her dips and curves until they were circling her navel, inching closer to where she most needed and wanted them to be.

Pam’s eyes popped open and she nearly sat up straight. She was disoriented for a moment before remembering where she was; in Jim’s bedroom. A guitar sat in the corner and seeing that made the images of her dream rush back: the strange yet familiar bedroom, the kiss on her shoulder, the face above her that was definitely not her fiance, his fingers making their way to her...

Just as she was processing the fact that she had an almost-sex dream about Jim, a different set of images returned to her mind. Only these were most definitely real, memories of Jim kissing her and her kissing back, not just kissing back but crawling onto his lap and full on making out with him. Stopping only when Jim hesitated. 

“Oh God,” she muttered, burying her head in the pillow. It smelled like Jim and the fact that she knew what Jim smelled like made her feel even worse and she threw the covers off and got out of the bed. She was still in her sweater and blue jeans and before she could wonder where her coat and purse was, her eyes fell on Jim's desk chair where her coat was folded and draped over the arm and her purse, scarf and mittens were neatly arranged on the seat. Her cheeks warmed at the thought of Jim quietly coming in with her things and placing them nicely. Roy would, at best, have just thrown everything in a pile.

Pam's eyes then widened and she fumbled to find her phone in her purse. But when she saw no calls or messages, she figured Roy was still at Darryl’s. He certainly wasn’t concerned about where she was. Putting the phone back in her purse, a glint caught her eye and she let out a gasp, her ring. She took it off at the party because she thought it would be easier, make it so she didn’t have to answer awkward questions about why she was alone on Valentine’s Day and attending a party with a male coworker, make it so Jim didn’t have to answer equally awkward questions about why he brought an engaged woman. But it only made everything complicated. Pam put the ring back on but not before she held it in her hand for a moment.

After a visit to the bathroom where she straightened out her hair and swished some mouthwash to get rid of the taste of sleep and a few too many beers, she made her way down the stairs. A small part of her considered heading straight for the door, just go home and pretend last night didn’t happen. Work would be awkward for a week, maybe two, but eventually she and Jim would be friendly again and they could maybe avoid any talk about the kiss and her dream and what Amy said about Jim “pining over her for years” and all that.

But at the base of the stairs, she was greeted with the smell of cooking that almost involuntarily drew her to the kitchen. She stood watching Jim for a moment, dressed in flannel pajama pants and a faded Eagles tee-shirt. He gently pushed eggs around a skillet, whistling some song Pam didn't recognize until he noticed her. “Hey” he said warmly. “Take a seat on the stool there, I'll serve you some of my guaranteed hangover cure.”

“Guaranteed cure huh?” Pam teased, pulling up the stool to the counter,

“You will get relief from your hangover or your money back.” Jim spooned some eggs onto a plate with a piece of toast and then handed it to her. “Scrambled eggs, buttered toast, and the secret ingredient,” he pulled a small plastic bottle out of his pocket, “aspirin.”

Pam laughed and took the two small white tablets he handed her before digging into the eggs, which were perfectly fluffy and delicious, and chewing on the toast, which was just the right amount of crispy and generously buttered. “This is so good,” she said with a mouthful and Jim smiled back at her and nodded. After scarfing down most of the food, Pam looked to Jim, standing on the other side of the counter with his eyes on his own plate. “Thanks for bringing up my stuff, by the way.”

Jim swallowed his bite of food, “I figured you might want your purse and everything.”

Chewing the inside of her cheek, Pam debated bringing up the kiss or not, before deciding she needed to say something to clear the air. She kept her eyes on her plate and took a deep breath. “Um, so last night -”

“Pam, about last night -” Jim started at the same time. They both jerked their heads up and laughed nervously.

“Sorry,” Pam said. “What were you-”

Jim motioned towards her. “No, please, go ahead.”

“Okay,” Pam took another breath. “Last night, when we … it shouldn't have happened and I’m sorry. I just, your friendship means a lot to me and I really hope that doesn’t affect it.”

Jim looked back at her silently with an expression she couldn’t make out. He shook his head, “Yeah, no, I agree.”

“Can we just forget it?” Pam pleaded. He still had that expression she couldn’t quite discern, his eyes looked worried? Hurt, almost? But then he gave her a half smile and a shrug and Pam let out a relieved sigh. “Okay, good.” She picked up her fork and scooped up some more eggs then let out a small gasp, “Oh my gosh, I’m so rude, you were gonna say something.”

He shook his head, “No it’s fine, it was pretty much the same thing you said.”

“Okay,” Pam replied, not quite believing him but also not wanting to push the issue anymore.

They went back to eating and soon Pam’s plate was clear. Jim pointed at it with his fork, “So what’s the verdict?”

Pam patted her stomach, “It totally hit the spot and my head is no longer pounding so I say you have a new believer in the Halpert Hangover Cure.”

“Can I add that to my testimonials?” Pam giggled and nodded and Jim grinned. “Awesome.”

Once her laughter faded, Pam chewed her lip and looked to her purse and coat on the stool next to her. “I should, um, I should probably get going.”

“Yeah, of course.” Jim reached across the counter, took Pam’s empty plate and put it in the sink. “Let me walk you out.”

She slipped on her coat and followed Jim down the entrance hallway. When they reached the door, Pam turned to face him, “Thanks again, for breakfast and letting me crash here.”

He looked at her with his lips parted, and Pam felt her a nervousness in her stomach as he took a couple deep breaths. “No problem,” he finally said, putting on a smile.

Pam let out a breath she didn’t know she was holding and smiled back. “Okay, see you Monday.” Her hand only started turning the doorknob when Jim spoke.

“Actually, I do wanna say something about last night.” 

Now Pam’s stomach was in knots, and she slowly faced him hoping her expression wasn’t as nervous looking as she felt. “Yeah?”

Jim’s eyes were on the floor and he breathed deep again. “You said last night you’re just some frumpy girl that I work with, and I wanted you to know you’re so much more than that.” He met her eyes, which she was sure were as big as saucers. “You’re really funny and sweet and talented. You make me actually wanna come to work and I...” his breath grew shaky and he looked away for a second. “I want you to be happy.”

Pam was frozen in place, part of her wanting to ask what he was really going to say at the end there and part of her already knowing (plus a not-small part of her that saw those parted lips and wanted them to be on hers again). “Thank you, Jim,” she stammered as she turned the doorknob. She mumbled good-bye and wasn’t sure if she actually heard him say good-bye back as she quickly shuffled down the walkway to her car.

She was lucky she didn’t get into some kind of accident, as distracted as she was driving home. Turning onto her street, Pam exhaled in relief when she saw there was no pick-up truck in the driveway. Inside, she quickly changed into some sweats and a tee-shirt, and started a load of laundry that she threw the blue sweater and jeans into. There was still no sign of Roy so Pam walked to her purse on the kitchen table, pulled out her cell and sent a quick “how’s it going?” text. She slipped her cell back into her purse and walked over to the sink still full of last night’s dishes. Drying off the final plate, her cell dinged with a message.

“OMW” was all it said and Pam felt her eyes roll a little. She set the phone back down and something in her purse caught her eye. She had grabbed some of her favorite telephone pictionary drawings from the party last night and she pulled out the small stack of note paper filled with doodles, smiling at Jim’s stick figure attempt at Dorothy and Toto on the Yellow Brick Road. She blinked and her mind was back in Amy’s kitchen, or rather around the corner from the kitchen overhearing Jim and Amy talk about her.

“You’re gonna ask her out, right?”

“Um, I’m not sure if I should.”

”You don’t have to be scared, she’ll say yes. She clearly likes you too.”

“You don’t know that.”

She blinked again and was back in Jim’s doorway, him telling her he thought she was sweet and talented and made him wanna go to work. And then there was that pause, before he said he wanted her to be happy where he so clearly was going to say something else. 

The front door creaked open and Pam stuffed the papers back into her purse and crossed the kitchen to where the dishes she dried were still sitting on the counter. “Hey Babe,” she called to Roy in the doorway.

“Hey,” he muttered back, kicking off his shoes and hanging up his coat.

She looked to the crumpled fast food bag in his hand, “Breakfast?”

“Yeah, I hit the drive thru on the way back.” He paused and stared at the bag for a moment, “I didn’t get you anything, sorry.”

Of course he didn’t. “That’s okay, I ate already,” she said with a smile. She turned to the cupboard to put the dishes away, the smile falling from her face immediately. “How’s Darryl?”

“Not too bad, we played Xbox until late, then shot the shit for a while.” A yawn came over him, and he looked at her with heavy-lidded eyes. “How was your thing?”

“Good, played some games, watched movies, had beer.” Heard my coworker has a crush on me, made out with him, slept in his bed and had a near-sex dream about him. “It was a good party.”

Roy nodded, hardly listening to her. “Cool, cool. I’m glad you had something to do,” he said with another yawn.

Pam arched an eyebrow, “Did you sleep at all?” 

Roy chuckled, “Not much, in fact I’m thinking of just heading back to bed for a while. Still got a pounding headache too.”

“Yeah see if you can’t sleep some more.” Roy nodded and started down the hall to their bedroom. “And take a couple aspirin,” she called after him. She pushed the images of scrambled eyes and a faded Eagles tee-shirt and Jim’s face so clearly desperate to say something out of her mind.

After doing every quiet chore she could think of, Pam peeked in on Roy to find him still passed out, and made her way to the coach. She turned on the television, put it on a low volume and started clicking through the channels. She got to a familiar scene with Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal at a New Year’s party and chuckled at the fact they seemed to be playing When Harry Met Sally on a loop.

Her phone dinged in her pocket and her breath caught when she saw it was a text from Jim. She opened the message finding a friendly “Hope you got home okay and everything’s good.” She started typing a reply saying everything’s fine, thanks, then saying When Harry Met Sally was on again. But then she remembered him leaning into her, how soft his hair was when ran her fingers through it, and she deleted the 2nd part before sending.

He was so sweet to her, too sweet even, getting her a beer before she asked for it at the party, bringing up her things while she was asleep, checking on her after she got home. Roy couldn’t even be bothered to order a second egg mcmuffin, because she probably honestly never crossed his mind.

I want you to be happy, she heard in her head. Maybe it wasn’t what Jim really wanted to say but she believed he meant it. She looked to her left hand and studied her ring, she was so happy the day she got this ring, but there had been many unhappy days since then. With her right thumb and index finger, she started twisting the gold band.

The bedroom door opened Pam heard Roy start to lumber down the hall, “Oh man,” he groggily said. “Ol’ Jack Daniels sure makes you pay the next day.” 

She didn’t look up when he passed behind her and headed into the kitchen, just kept her eyes on her hands. She pinched the ring with her fingers to pull it off. It slipped off so easily. Three deep breaths later, she stood and rounded the couch.

“You wanna make some lunch?” Roy called to her, head in the refrigerator. “I would but my head is still kinda killing me, and you make better lunch anyway.” 

She was standing at the kitchen table, nervously fussing with the ring at her fingertips. When he shut the fridge door and turned to her, his brows met.

“Pammy?”

She took a shaky breath. “We need to talk.”

End Notes:

It lives! I wanted to get this finished on Valentine’s Day but still February works, right? One more chapter to finish this up. Thanks for reading and reviews are <3 

This story archived at http://mtt.just-once.net/fanfiction/viewstory.php?sid=5493