“Are we excited?”
“And what do we say when Mommy and Phil get home?”
Jim leaned over and gave Cece a kiss on her cheek. “That’s right. Good job!”
“Hehe! That tickles Daddy!” Cece giggled as Jim’s beard brushed against her face.
“Oh! That tickles does it?” Jim’s eyes grew wide at the nine-year-old sitting on his lap. “Then what about here!”
Cece dissolved into a fit of laughter as Jim gently tickled her sides. They were sitting on the big couch in front of the TV. Cece had insisted on helping set up a card table filled with snacks. Both of the Halpert children were excited. Mainly because their parents were letting them stay up past their bedtime to watch game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals. The promise of also being allowed to pig out on junk food was another reason Cece and Phillip were excited. Of course, they’d had to make sure their toys were picked up and they had their jammies laid out before any chips or soda were set out.
Jim stopped tickling Cece as he heard the door leading from the garage to their kitchen open. He could hear Pam gently telling Phillip to hold on tight to the bags he knew his son would insist on carrying in from the car.
“Ready?” Jim smiled at Cece.
Cece lips curled up in a beautiful cock-eyed smirk that only highlighted the spark of mischief in her eyes. She nodded before hopping off the couch and ran to the kitchen.
“Go Bruins!” She shouted with her arms raised.
Pam looked down at her daughter and then back up at Jim whose face mirrored the Cece’s cocky smirk. She didn’t say anything to the pair. Rather she knelt down next to Phillip.
“Go ahead Phil. Tell Daddy what we’ve been practicing.”
Phillip’s grin grew from ear to ear as he looked up at his father. “Stanley’s going home with Pam tonight!”
Pam gave Jim a wide toothy grin as she wrapped an arm around her son who was now giggling uncontrollably.
Jim’s smirk remained intact though his eyebrows did raise in surprise. He looked down at Cece. “Could you go help your brother pick out a coloring book?”
Cece nodded enthusiastically and the two children departed for the family room. Jim stalked over to Pam and wrapped his arms around her from behind while she was transferring milk from the grocery bags she’d brought in, to the fridge.
“Wow,” he breathed into her ear. “This is how you wanna play this Beesly?”
Pam shut the fridge door and turned in place to face her husband. She brought her arm up around his neck, wide grin still fully in place. She only nodded back to him with sparkling eyes.
“Okay,” Jim told her. “Game on!”
Without warning he ducked his face to kiss her right where her neck met her shoulder. Pam laughed at the tickling sensation his beard caused on her skin and tried to squirm away. Jim held her for a few more moments before leaning back up with a look of triumph on his face.
“Score one for Team Jim,” he said, inordinately pleased with himself.
“The game hasn’t started yet,” she reminded him playfully. “Don’t count your goals before they’re scored.”
Jim didn’t reply. He leaned in for a quick kiss and kept his smirk in place. He helped Pam put away the rest of the groceries. Two items in the last bag gave him pause though. He dug them out of the bag and held them up to his wife.
“What are these?”
“Blue’s jerseys. One for me, one for Phil.” Pam cocked an eyebrow at Jim. “You’re a VP at a sports marketing company. I would have thought you’d be able to identify any team’s uniforms by now.”
“Clearly,” he returned her good-natured sarcasm with his own. “What are they doing in our house?”
Pam fluttered her eyes at her husband. “Whatever do you mean my darling?”
Jim didn’t buy it and kept staring at Pam.
Her face of innocence morphed back into one of smugness. “I couldn’t stand there and just let you steal my old high school colors.” She pointed to the yellow Bruins shirt Jim was wearing. “So, I decided I’d steal yours.” She snatched the blue hockey jerseys back and held them up.
“Now if you’ll excuse me Jamie,” she said with a wink. “I need to go get our son properly dressed.”
“Whatever you say Morgan,” Jim smirked. He did swat her on the behind as she passed.
“That’s my ass,” she said quietly before turning out of the kitchen.
“Nice one too!” Jim called after her.
After putting away the last of the groceries Jim walked back to the living room. Phillip was sprawled out on his stomach. A Paw Patrol coloring book and several crayons surrounded him. Cece was tapping a ball back and forth with a toy hockey stick. Pam was sitting on the couch with her knees tucked under her keeping an eye on the proceedings as she scrolled through the show listings guide on the TV. Cece shot the ball at a small net they’d set up for her in front of their stone covered fireplace. She shouted with delight as the ball rolled into the net and turned to face her parents.
“I scored Daddy!”
“Good job kiddo!” He beamed at her as he settled on the couch next to Pam. Draping an arm across Pam’s shoulders, Jim was rewarded as Pam scooted sideways to sit closer to him. He couldn’t help but smirk as she set the DVR to record a show they’d miss while watching the game.
“Great British Bake Off?”
Pam didn’t look embarrassed in the slightest when she turned to look up at him through her glasses. “They’re doing breads this week. I’ll watch it tomorrow and see if there’s anything I’d like to try out for next time.”
“I’m sure it’ll be great,” Jim told her before leaning over to kiss the top of her head.
Pam hummed with pleasure before turning the channel to catch the pre-game show. She set the remote down and reached for a glass of Coke she’d poured for herself. “You know what this reminds me of?” she asked after she’d taken a sip.
“What’s that?” he replied.
“Back in ‘04. When you, Kevin, and Michael were all rooting for the Red Sox and me and Phyllis were rooting for the Cardinals.”
Jim laughed at the memory. “I thought it was me, Ryan, and Michael?”
Pam shook her head. “No, it was Kevin. Ryan didn’t show up till the next spring when the doc started up.”
“That’s right. Back in floppy haired slacker Jim days,” he chuckled.
“Hey, that’s the Jim I fell in love with,” she reminded him.
He turned to face her and met the smile she was beaming at him. Jim leaned in to kiss Pam. Almost as soon as their lips met a piercing shriek came up from the floor.
Phillip had a look of disgust on his face. Cece, looked up from her hockey stick and ball to see what was going on. She parroted her brother’s face.
Pam and Jim broke their kiss and looked down at their children for a moment before turning back to each other. Pam gave Jim a wink and a smirk. He smirked back at her before they brought their hands to each other's faces and proceeded to kiss each other again with much over exaggeration. Both children covered their eyes and let out high-pitched squeals at their parent’s antics. Jim and Pam only laughed when they broke their kiss.
The pizza delivery guy showed up just after the National Anthem ended. Jim and Pam helped their children put slices on paper plates along with some chips and cookies. Cece and Philip sat on the floor with a short tray table between them. The two children dug into their dinner with gusto. Pam reminded Philip to use two hands when he picked up his cup of soda. Jim had to caution Cece to be careful and not knock the tray over when she jumped up and down.
Jim had his arm still tucked neatly over Pam’s shoulder as he glanced down at his children. Philip’s attention was back on his coloring book while Cece’s eyes were only for the hockey game unfolding on the television.
About halfway through the first period Cece turned around to look at her father. “What’s a power play Daddy?”
“That means one of the players broke a rule so he has to sit down for two minutes.”
“Like a time-out?” Cece asked.
Jim nodded back at her. “Exactly like a time out. So, the team that doesn’t have a guy in time-out get a better chance to try and score a goal since they have more guys playing.”
“Ohhh,” Cece drawled out while turning her attention back to the screen.
“Not like anything’s going to help your guys,” Pam whispered to Jim.
“Boston’s outshooting your Blues so far,” Jim countered.
“And yet they still can’t find the back of the net,” she retorted.
Jim carefully ignored Pam when she clapped her hands loudly next to his ear after St. Louis killed the power play without letting Boston score a goal. However, there was no ignoring her when less than a minute later St. Louis scored the first goal of the game.
“Yeah!!” She roared and shot up from the couch to pick up Philip. She started bouncing up and down in the middle of the room with Philip giggling in her arms. “That’s right! We scored! Uh-huh! You know it! We did it!”
He could only roll his eyes at her when she set Philip down after her impromptu dance number. “Happy with yourself?”
“Extremely,” she grinned back.
Jim couldn’t help the second eye roll when St. Louis scored again with less than ten seconds to go to the end of the first period. Pam and Philip repeated their dance, this time with Cece joining in the fun.
“Traitor,” he grinned under his breath as he got up from the couch to throw away some garbage that had collected.
Pam settled back down on the couch grinning widely at him as the first intermission started. Cece bounded back up and started tapping her ball around again. Philip moved on from the Paw Patrol coloring book to Power Rangers. Jim sipped his soda as the second period got underway. He almost choked when at the loud shout Pam let out.
“Wait, pause it!”
Wiping his chin with a napkin, Jim fumbled with the remote. Pam snatched it from his hand to pause the show. “What Pam?”
She’d hit the rewind button and had hit play again her attention supremely focused on the screen. She hit pause again and pointed at the image on the TV. “That’s Roy!”
Jim furrowed his eyes and looked at the screen. “What? No way!”
“Yes way,” Pam exclaimed.
“Are you sure it’s not that actor who was in that movie ‘13 Hours.’ The one you said looked just like Roy?”
“Jim,” Pam gave her husband a look of long suffering. “Beard or not I think I know what Roy looks like. And that’s him.”
“Maybe,” Jim said cautiously, while tapping his finger to his chin. “Then again you did say that the other guy in ‘13 Hours’ looked like me and look where that got you.”
“Yeah, it got you off your butt and back into the gym.” She cast an apprising eye over Jim and the toned physique she knew was under his t-shirt.
He only laughed again and pulled her close to him as she pushed play and then fast forward on the DVR to get them caught back up to the game. With just over half of the second period played it was Pam’s turn to roll her eyes as Jim clapped his hands at her after a particularly dramatic diving save from the Boston goalie. The second period ended with no change in the score. By now Philip had fallen asleep on the floor. Cece was showing no signs of fading and jumped up to resume her hockey practice.
Pam brought Philip up to bed while Jim stood in front of Cece’s net and played goalie for her during the second intermission. While he did stop a few of her shots, he let more in and cheerfully sent her air fives from across the room every time the ball rolled into the net. As the third period got underway Cece squished in between her parents on the couch. She rested her head against Jim’s side she watched the Bruins and Blues skate up and down the ice.
“She’s such a Daddy’s girl,” Pam whispered after glancing down at her daughter.
“Mmmhmm,” Jim smirked while rubbing Cece’s hair. “Good thing Phil takes after his Mom.”
Pam was about to reply, but the action on the screen diverted her attention as St. Louis scored for the third time. “Whoo!”
“There’s a child sleeping upstairs if you don’t mind,” Jim chided her. Though the tone in his voice revealed he was just teasing.
“Oh, he’s fine,” she remarked as she let go of the hug Cece had thrown her way. “If he could sleep through that thunder storm we had last week, this should be no problem.”
Three minutes later Pam and Cece bounced up from the couch again as St. Louis sailed the puck into the net again. Jim could only sigh heavily. He did get a brief moment of reprieve when Boston finally scored their first goal of the game a few minutes later. But by then it was too little too late.
Even with an empty net for the last minutes of the game Boston couldn’t mount a come-back. The clocked ticked to zero and the Blues skated onto the ice to celebrate their first Stanley Cup victory. Pam and Cece did their dance number again while Jim watched from the couch.
“Happy now?” he asked.
“You bet!” Pam answered. “My turn for once.”
“Sure, sure,” Jim replied with a bemused grin on his face.
Jim looked down at Cece who was standing in front of him. “What is it kiddo?” he said with a smile.
“I’m sorry your team lost. Wanna have these to make it better?”
He looked down at the hand Cece was holding out to him. In her small palm rested five jelly beans she’d taken off the snack table. Jim looked up at Pam who had her covered her mouth with her hands to hide the grin now on her face. Jim looked back at Cece with his own grin on his face.
“Thank you Cece,” he told her as he took the candy from her hand. He popped them in his mouth and rubbed her head fondly. “Jelly beans have always made me feel better.”
Cece grinned and held her arms out for a hug which Jim gladly gave her. He scooped her up with one arm as Pam came over to where they were standing.
“Cece sandwich!” Pam called out with a laugh as she threw her arms around her husband and daughter.
Jim joined in Cece’s laughter as he and Pam gently squished their daughter between them. He kissed both Cece’s and Pam’s foreheads before stepping back from the embrace.
“Time for bed kiddo.”
After he’d tucked Cece in for the night, Jim came back down the stairs. Pam was finishing clearing the snack table away. She had a triumphant glint in her eye, but didn’t say anything as Jim put the bottle of soda in the fridge.
“Go ahead and say it,” he said wearily.
“Say what?” she demurred with a tight-lipped smirk to her face.
Jim just looked at her and raised his eyes with a look he had so often given the documentary cameras.
Pam couldn’t stop the smile that bloomed on her face as she walked over to put her arms around his neck. “Suck it Halpert.”
He grinned back at her. “That’s my Beesly.”
Her grin didn’t fade, even when he leaned down to claim her lips with his.
The next morning found Jim scratching his head and yawning as he walked into the kitchen to start a pot of coffee. He came up short as he entered. Pam was already awake. She had her back to him but looked to be working on something on the counter. Turning at the, sound of him entering she had a wide grin on her face.
“Sing Gloria,” she beamed as she showed him the cake she’d just finished frosting with the song lyric prominently displayed in yellow frosting in the middle of the blue cake.
Jim only chuckled as he walked up to her. He wrapped his arms around her waist and kissed her sweetly. “I was never a big fan of Boston Cream Pie anyway.”