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DISCLAIMER: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners.  The original characters and plot are the property of the author.  The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise.  No copyright infringement is intended.

WARNING: Contains spoilers for the hit PBS historical drama Downton Abbey.

It’s the Monday before Andy is supposed to return and Nellie walks in to find that precisely half of the office is missing.

“So,” Nellie explains to Brent, “Most of the salespeople are at a conference, Angela is with the Senator, Darryl’s in Philadelphia, Pam’s home with Jim and the tots, and Andy should be back on Friday, but who are we kidding?” she said through a laugh, “So, with half of the office m.i.a. and with no manager, A.R.M. or Dwight, I have decided to make an executive decision.”

The camera zooms out to reveal her sitting at the Regional Manager’s desk, the ransom-note style desk nameplate back where it was nearly a year ago, her smile widening.

“Attention everyone, attention!” she announces to the room of eight people, “Due to Dwight’s absence, who basically took Andy’s job as I did,” Oscar nods in agreement, “I have decided to take over once again as the manager for the day!  Yay!” she begins a celebratory clap, with only Erin joining her because of Nellie’s enthusiasm.

“Uh, Nellie,” Toby pipes up from the kitchen entrance, “you do realize that you have absolutely no authority to do this, right?”

“You’re right, I don’t,” Nellie affirms, “But I’m doing it anyway.”

“...Alright,” Toby responds apathetically with a shrug and walks back into his office.

“Y’know,” Toby later tells Brent, “there are times when you just… you just gotta throw in the towel.”

“Wait,” Clark asks, “you were the manager here?”

“Yes,” Nellie confirms, “For exactly two months.”

“Can we get raises like last time?” Kevin asks.

“Nope,” Nellie confirms, “Couldn’t if I wanted to.”

“Y’know I was manager once,” Creed pipes up, “Maybe I could give you some pointers.”

She grimaces behind a smile.  “Oh… God, no.  Appreciated, but no.”  Creed nods as he accepts her brutal response.  “Now if anyone needs me,” Nellie points to the door, “I’ll just… be in here, then.”  With a wave, she walks back in.

“I’ve lost the drive and vigor to be manager long ago, but y’know, someone has to steer this ship to keep it from sinking.”  She realizes that she just sounded like Andy.  “Oh God, Nellie”.

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