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Story Notes:
It started out as a small idea: to get some newer MTTers together to fill in the gaps of what happened during the writer’s strike in season 4.

Originally, we began to write each chapter on our own, but suddenly those lines became blurred as we pitched jokes to one another, brainstormed ideas, and became each other’s cheerleaders. Our initial little seed grew into amazing conversations and late nights and side-splitting laughter as we explored these storylines together. Friendship grew as the words hit the page and this became even more of a collaboration than we ever thought it would become. So, while these stories may have five different authors, know that we couldn’t have written any one of them without each other.

10 chapters. Filling in the gaps of what we didn’t see after our favorite couple got together. Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and everything in between.

There’s humor. There’s steam. There’s steam on steroids. And there’s a whole lot of fluff. We hope you enjoy reading because we sure as heck enjoyed writing it.

Here is Ultimate.

You've been right in front of me
Everything I need, why didn't I see?

You’re it
You’re the ultimate.


(Because of course a bunch of noobs like us picked a song that Lindsay Lohan sings in Freaky Friday as our title. It’s only fitting.)

Sorry we’re stupid, TPB.
Author's Chapter Notes:
I got the first chapter, but it’s hardly my first.
That’s what she said.
Good luck owning the Office on your $0 a month plus benefits salary, babe. (Because really, I don’t own anything.)

Chapter title taken from Gavin DeGraw's "I Have You to Thank"
Jim squinted up toward the office building and sighed.

“Remind me why we are doing this again?” he questioned.

Pam gently rubbed circles on his back. “Because Michael promised us three extra vacation days next calendar year if we came to his Thanksgiving dinner at the office.”

“It’s nine o’clock in the morning, Pam.”

She shrugged. “So, think of it more as...Thanksgiving breakfast.” She moved her hand down the back of his shirt and into his back pocket. “And think about the three days we can take off together. We can go somewhere fun.” She tiptoed up and kissed his cheek. “Somewhere we don’t even get to see because we never leave the hotel room,” she whispered in his ear.

Jim’s eyes widened and a coy smile spread on his face. “Fine.” He put his arm around her shoulders and kissed her temple. “But I am NOT eating anything Creed brings.”

“Oh, of course not,” she said with a slight shudder and shake of her head. “And we don’t have to stay long. It’s going to be a long day.”

Originally, they had just planned on going to Pam’s parents for Thanksgiving dinner. Then suddenly they were agreeing to a 9am Thanksgiving...something...at the office. And then Jim’s mom had called him in tears two nights ago, upset that none of her boys would be with her for Thanksgiving this year, so he offered to come over for a slice of pie when they finished at Pam’s house.

Jim recalled last year when he had been exiled to the head of the kids table because he was the only one without a spouse or a date. Larissa had brought whatever PoliSci major she was dating that semester, so even though she was the youngest, she got to eat with the adults. Karen had gone to New York to spend the holiday with her family and Jim had been subconsciously relieved she didn’t invite him to come.

So, yes, today would be busy. But he was more than happy to have Pam next to him this year instead of his 9-year-old cousin Connor who wouldn’t stop talking about Halo 3 with a mouth full of mashed potatoes.

The elevator gave a familiar lurch as it stopped at the fourth floor and the doors opened. Jim let out a big sigh before finally willing his legs to propel him forward into the office on a holiday.

“You made it!” Michael boomed as they entered the conference room. He gathered them both into a giant hug, successfully squishing the rolls in Pam’s arms. “Now the whole family is here!”

Jim looked around and sure enough, every one of their coworkers was there. Well, almost every one of them.

“Where’s Toby?” Jim questioned.

Michael rolled eyes. “I said family, Jim. If Toby’s family, then he’s probably the pervy uncle with warts that nobody likes. Also I didn’t invite him.”

He laughed and stood at the head of the table, attempting to get everyone’s attention. “Alright, my little turkeys! It’s time for us to begin our festivities! In front of me, we have some turkey burgers--”

“Turkey burgers?” Stanley droned. “Really?”

Michael sighed. “I went to the store last night to get a turkey and it’s still frozen solid, okay? This is all they had, so deal with it, Stanley.” He glared at Stanley for a few seconds before remembering his task at hand. “Then Jim and Pam brought rolls, Dwight brought the cranberry sauce--”

“Beet sauce,” Dwight corrected.

“What the hell is beet sauce--Dwight--I specifically told you no stupid beets--you know what, whatever. Stanley brought...Stanley, what’s in the bag?”

“Mashed potatoes,” Stanley hummed, keeping an eye on his crossword puzzle.

“From the grocery store?”

“MmmHmmm…”

Michael pinched the bridge of his nose and sighed. “Okay, Meredith brought booze, no surprise there...Andy brought stuffing--”

“Family recipe!” Andy interjected.

“Nobody cares...Angela brought a veggie tray...Kevin brought his famous chili, nice work, Kev…”

Kevin looked around the room with a confident nod.

“Oscar brought sweet potatoes even though I told him to bring something more ethnic...and then we have desserts. Phyllis brought homemade apple pie and Kelly brought…”

“Caramel Macchiato Pie. I found it on Pinterest.”

“Wow. And Creed brought whatever gross thing that is. Okay! Dig in!”

The group moved unenthusiastically to the table in the middle of the room to begin dishing up their plates. Once they had their food, Jim and Pam took a seat next to each other in the corner of the conference room.

“He couldn’t have set up a second table for us to eat on?” Pam whispered to Jim.

“Pam, this is Thanksgiving. Maybe you should be a little more thank--” he quickly spit out the bite of turkey burger he had put in his mouth. “Yep, that’s definitely not cooked.”

Pam snickered and nudged him with her shoulder. “Hey. I dare you to eat one of those cookies Creed brought.”

Jim’s eyes went wide with surprise. “Those are cookies?! No way. I think he probably took them out of a dumpster somewhere. And like three of them already have bites taken out of them.”

She glared at him mockingly. “You’re no fun.”

“Maybe. But I also won’t get food poisoning.”

They laughed together as Oscar grabbed Michael’s attention. “So, Michael. Just to clarify: these extra vacation days we’re getting, they are paid, correct?”

Michael started choking on the bite of apple pie he was eating as Dwight immediately appeared at his side and began pounding on his back.

“Dwight! Dwi--STOP! I’m fine!”

Dwight backed away and straightened his suit coat.

“About the vacation days,” Michael began after clearing his throat. “They’re, well...they’re less paid and more...figurative, I guess you could say.”

“Michael…” Stanley warned, standing up.

Michael’s hands shot up in defense. “I mean, they’re paid...you just have to...take them while still coming into the building. I thought we could decorate the annex to look like Hawaii or something! C’mon! It’ll be fun!”

Unanimous groans and the sounds of shuffling chairs filled the conference room as everyone stood up to leave.

“Guys! Okay, fine! I couldn’t get corporate to approve it, alright? Don’t leave! I have like 40 more turkey burgers we have to eat.”

Jim and Pam were the last ones out of the conference room besides Dwight and Michael. Jim put his hand on Michael’s shoulder and shrugged.

“Sorry, Michael. We have to head to Pam’s parent’s house anyway. Thanks for--” he gestured around the conference room. “Whatever this was.”

Michael’s shoulders drooped and he sighed. “Thanks for coming, you two. Want to take a couple dozen turkey burgers or something? For the road?”

“You know what?” Jim responded. “I think we’re probably good. But thank you!”

Pam gave Michael a quick hug. “Happy Thanksgiving, Michael.”

As they started walking out of the office, Michael ran after them. “Wait! I know I can’t give you vacation days but I can at least give you this.” He handed Jim a wishbone.

“Wait, Michael…” Pam started. “Where did you get this? You didn’t have a real turkey.”

“Yeah, I know. It was on the plate with Creed’s cookies. But maybe one of you could hang it on your wall for good luck.”

“That’s not what they’re--or how you--” Pam frowned and shook her head. “Never mind. Thank you, Michael.”

Michael hugged them again as Jim grabbed Pam’s hand to leave.

That had gone pretty much exactly how he thought it would.


***************

He thanked the waitress as she placed their plates in front of them. Since neither of them ate anything at the office (for obvious reasons) they decided they would stop at a diner for breakfast to tide them over until they got to Pam’s parent’s house that afternoon.

“So, have you picked out which wall you want to hang that wishbone on?” Pam joked.

Jim laughed and took a bite of bacon. “You know, I was thinking I could hang it above my bed. Like a dream catcher.”

“Hey,” she said, a little more seriously. “Thanks again for coming with me to my parents house this year. I know your family loves Thanksgiving and you’re kind of missing out.”

He tilted her head toward her. “Are you kidding me, Beesly? I love your family. And it’s not like Tom and Pete will be at my house this year anyway. And we are still going to see my parents tonight.”

“I know,” she sighed. “Penny just really wanted all of us to meet her new boyfriend.” She shuffled her food around with her fork. “My parents always get a little…intense...on holidays, so I just hope they’re fine today.”

Jim ran his hand along the table and laced his fingers with hers and smiled. “It’s going to be great. And if it’s not great, it will at the very least be better than whatever just happened at the office.”

And dinner at Pam’s house was great, for the most part. The food was delicious and Penny’s new boyfriend seemed to fit in. He and Jim were able to talk about mountain biking and the state of Eagles defense that season. Penny and Pam began finishing a puzzle while the guys watched football. Jim also didn’t notice her parents being, as Pam said, intense. In fact, what he did notice was that neither of them had spoken a word to each other since Jim and Pam had arrived.

“Oh, c’mon, McNabb!! Throw the football!!” William Beesly shouted at the TV.

“Bill,” Helene said, approaching the couch. “I could use your help with some clean up before we bring out the pie.”

Pam’s father waved his hand without looking toward Helene. “Later. Maybe halftime.”

“Bill—“

“Helene, I said later.” He took a swig of his beer.

Jim observed Helene as she sighed and muttered under her breath, using at least one audible expletive and walked back into the kitchen. In his periphery, he felt Pam’s eyes on him from the table next to them. He turned to look at her and saw her expression quickly go from concern to a forced smile, obviously trying to gauge if he had picked up on the tension.

He rubbed his palms on his thighs a few times before he stood up. “I’m just going to go grab a beer,” he said casually to Bill.

“Grab another one for me, will ya?”

Jim nodded and headed toward the kitchen, giving Pam a sympathetic smile as he did. He turned the corner to see Helene leaning over the sink with the water running, head bowed.

“Hey,” he offered. “Just wanted to see if there was anything I could do to help.”

Helene turned quickly, wiping her eyes quickly with her sleeve.

“Jim, yes, sorry. It’s just…” she sighed. “Been a long day.”

He smiled and nodded, then walked to the sink next to her. He took the scrub brush out of her hand. “How about you let me do this and you go finish that puzzle with Pam and Penny? They seemed pretty stuck,” he winked.

Helene cocked her head and smiled up at him. “You don’t have to, Jim. You’re our guest today.”

“Little do you know, dishes are my favorite thing. So as far as I’m concerned, you’re being a gracious hostess letting me do this.”

She chuckled. “Bill just gets so--”

“No need,” he smiled with a slight shake of his head and gestured toward the sink. “Now let me have my fun.”

He grabbed a dish as Helene patted his shoulder and thanked him, then left to join her daughters in the living room.

About ten minutes later, Pam joined him on the other side of the sink. “You wash, I dry?” she asked quietly.

“Team work makes the dream work.” He gave her a grin and nudged her with his shoulder. She looked up at him solemnly and shrugged a shoulder to her ear. The corners of her lips dipped into a slight frown and her brows knitted together. He could see nearly every emotion flow through her eyes.

“Hey,” she whispered softly. “Thank you.”

Jim saw everything she wasn’t saying with her words in her expression, so he leaned down and gave her a lingering kiss, nonverbally letting her know that he was more than happy right where he was. She didn’t mention anything else about her parents as they finished up the dishes in the sink, but Jim could feel a slight change in her demeanor, like when summer first turns to fall--nothing drastic, but enough to feel the cool breeze and know something had changed.

On the drive to his parent’s house after saying their goodbyes to Pam’s family, he held her hand tightly, rubbing his thumb over her knuckles.

“Don’t freak out, but...I will let you listen to Christmas music now,” he said to her. “Since we have had the turkey, I guess it’s close enough,” he winked.

Pam’s eyes lit up and she let out an excited gasp, letting go of Jim’s hand to change the radio station. This may have been their first holiday season together as a couple, but that didn’t mean that Jim didn’t know virtually everything there was to know about the woman in the passenger seat. One of the cornerstones of the Pam Beesly infrastructure was her love for Christmas and Christmas music. Jim, on the other hand, only allowed it after Thanksgiving. But she looked so subdued and he hated seeing her anything but happy, so he made an exception. As he saw her smile spread and her head begin to bob to “Last Christmas” he knew he made the right choice. There wasn’t much he wouldn’t do for her and that apparently included listening to Wham.

The trip to Jim’s parent’s was relatively quick. Larissa had already left to camp outside of Target for Black Friday so it was just the two of them with his parents and some key lime pie. Jim loved seeing Pam and his mom talk, as if they had been friends for years. He was close with his mom and in his heart of hearts, Jim knew he was her favorite child. She had been there for him the day after he first confessed his feelings for Pam in the parking lot, as well as the day he came back to Scranton, confused as ever about what he wanted. She never told him what to do or how to think, but she listened. She let him feel what he needed to feel. She supported his decisions to leave as well as his decision to come back. She never had any hard feelings for Pam and was the first to suggest that Jim bring her over right after they started dating. And from that first meeting, his mom and Pam had hit it off. Nothing prepared Jim for how that would make him feel--the two most important women in his life growing close. But he knew he loved it.

He basically had to pry Pam away from her conversation with his mom, but the day was catching up with him and he wanted nothing more than to climb into bed and sleep off the copious amount of food he had consumed. They said their goodbyes, Pam promising to bring the book next time that she and Betsy had discussed, and got on the road around 10:00 pm.

“We going to your place?” he asked her through a yawn.

She chuckled. “Do you even remember what your apartment looks like, Halpert?”

He shrugged. “What? You buy nice sheets and your mattress is softer and it smells like you there and not like...dudes. We can sleep at my place tomorrow.”

She smiled at him as the street lights illuminated her face through the car windows every few seconds. “I don’t mind, you know. It’s nice to have you around.”

He kissed the back of her hand. “It’s nice to be around.”

He pulled up to her apartment and they both dragged their feet up to her second story apartment. Jim stood behind Pam when they got to her door and rested a sleepy head on her shoulder as she found her keys. When they got inside, Pam immediately collapsed on the couch and Jim sauntered to the refrigerator to put away the leftovers Pam’s mom had sent home with them. He walked over to the couch and plopped down next to Pam. She put her hand on his leg, eyes closed.

“Let’s never attempt three Thanksgivings in one day again, okay?” she mumbled.

“Roger that.” He turned his head to look at her. “We should go to your bed or I’m going to fall asleep right here.”

“Roger that,” she nodded, groaning as she got up off the couch and grabbed his hand to pull him up. Jim changed into the plaid pajama pants he had left at Pam’s the night earlier and pulled his sweater over his head, leaving his white undershirt. They brushed their teeth in silence and then simultaneously slipped under the covers with satisfied sighs, shifting and setting in.

“I do buy nice sheets, huh?” she said sleepily.

Jim pulled her closer by her waist and spooned her body against his. “You do.” He placed a kiss against her shoulder and within minutes sleep overcame both of them.


**************

Jim shuffled his feet across the floor and rubbed his eyes. He wasn’t sure what caused him to wake up, but now he was squinting one eye into the light of Pam’s refrigerator for something to eat. He muddled around for some leftovers, then pulled out a plate and a knife, smiling to himself as the realization hit him that he knew Pam’s kitchen as if it was his own.

As he started assembling his food on the plate, he heard the familiar pattering of footsteps down the hall. A smile spread up his cheek as he felt small hands creep around his waist and a chin against the middle of his back. Her voice was raspy with sleep as she kissed between his shoulder blades and then rested her cheek against him.

“How in the world does turkey sound the slightest bit appealing to you right now? It’s 2:00 in the morning,” she mumbled against his back.

Jim set the knife down on the counter and twisted in her arms to face her, her hair sticking up in every direction and pillow marks streaked across her cheek. He loved when she got dressed up to go out, or even just her work attire, but this—this was his favorite look. This meant he finally got to be the one to see her when she first woke up.

“You,” he leaned down to kiss her, “obviously have never had one of my famous leftover turkey sandwiches.” He reached for the sandwich and held it up to Pam’s mouth. She took a bite and after a few chews, raised her eyebrows and nodded happily.

“Good, right?” he chuckled.

“Very. Make me one and bring it to me on the couch?”

He gave her a quick kiss. “As you wish, m’lady.” He turned back around and finished assembling.

He handed her a plate and took a seat next to her on the couch. Pam took another bite. “Why is it so good?!”

Jim laughed. “Well, part of it is that it’s 2:00 in the morning. But the real secret is Dijon mustard. Makes all the difference.”

He watched this woman, who he had loved for years, devour a turkey sandwich he had made in the middle of the night. He had woken up in her bed, in her apartment, and suddenly the entirety of it felt so surreal. He was here, after years of longing for moments exactly like this one, and the realization consumed him. He put his plate down on her coffee table and laid his head against the back of the couch, smiling at her.

Her eyes shifted around the room and she looked at him. “What?” she said through a mouth full of food. “Do I have mustard on my face?”

He chuckled a breathy laugh through his nose and stroked her cheek with his thumb. “I love you.”

She smiled and reached up to grab his hand, bringing it to her mouth to kiss it gently.

“I love you too,” she said tenderly. She put her plate next to his on the coffee table and turned her body toward him, now tracing circles on his palm in her lap with her forefinger. “And I wanted to thank you again for what you did at my parents house today, with the dishes and my mom.”

“Pam, you don’t—“

“No,” she interrupted. “I do. It meant a lot to me. My dad’s not a bad guy and I love him so much. But I’m not an idiot. I know their marriage isn’t perfect. It just...it meant a lot that you could pick up on it and that you tried to help. Roy never...he just...he probably wouldn’t have done what you did.” She sighed. “I guess I just want to thank you for reminding me all the time that you’re not Roy,” she laughed softly. “And for being so attentive and wonderful and...I’m...I’m just sorry it took me so long.” She glanced up at him. “To get here.”

This wasn’t the first time she had apologized. They had had many discussions in the last few months about all their missteps and stumbles. They both had admitted faults and felt a sense of remorse for the all lost time they could have spent together. But he stared at her now, bed head and mustard peeking through the corners of her mouth, and he didn’t care one ounce about the past because now he was looking at his future.

He pulled her onto his lap facing him and ran his hands down her back, landing on her hips. “Hey,” he said softly. “We’re here, and that’s all that matters.”

She leaned down and kissed him and he pulled back to smirk up at her. “Hmmm, turns out you go pretty well with Dijon mustard too.”

She laughed against his lips and kissed him again, more urgently this time, running her hands through his already messy hair. He parted her lips with his tongue and pulled her even closer into him by her hips, releasing low groan into her mouth. She moved her lips down the rough stubble on his jaw and settled them right under his ear, making him lean his head back and breath out her name as he ran his hands under her pajama shirt, needing to feel every part of her under his fingers. She pulled back to look at him, eyes darting back and forth between his own, her lids heavy and pupils dark with something deep and intense that lit every fuse in his body. He crashed his lips against hers again, desperate to show her just how much he loved her—every part of her, past, present, and future.

********

They laid together on the couch, clothing decorating the living room floor, and Jim pressed his lips against Pam’s bare shoulder. He looked at the half-eaten sandwiches on the table in front of them.

“You know,” he hummed against her skin. “I think of all the Thanksgivings we had today, this one was definitely my favorite.”

She let out a soft chuckle and ran her fingers down his arm that was around her waist then reached behind her to put her hand on his cheek. “I’m thankful for you, you know.”

He pulled her closer and put his lips to her ear.

“You have no idea, Beesly.”

She gasped quickly and sat up, wrapping herself in the throw blanket they had draped over them. “I almost forgot.” She walked over to her purse by the door and rifled through it. Sitting back down, she held up a napkin to Jim’s face.

“What is that?”

“Michael’s wishbone. We need to break it!”

He shook his head. “I’m not touching that thing.”

Pam’s lips formed a perfect pout as she looked at him puppy dog eyes.

Fine.” he smiled and rolled his eyes. “But I get to use that napkin.”

She grinned and wrapped the napkin around one side of the wishbone, grabbing the other side with her pinky finger as Jim reluctantly threaded his own finger around the napkin.

“So, how does this work? The person with the bigger piece gets a wish?”

Pam nodded and gave him a competitive stare. “You ready?”

They pulled and *SNAP*

Pam raised her hands in the air and cheered, holding the bigger side in her pinky. “Suck it, Halpert!”

Jim shook his head and laughed and how seriously she seemed to take it. He glanced down at the short piece of wishbone in his pinky and it occurred to him that it didn’t even matter.

He had made a wish a long time ago, assuming at the time that it was just a pipe dream. But now he was here, living that dream in full color. And no wishbone could promise him any better.
Chapter End Notes:
We all really hope you enjoy reading these stories because believe me when I say we had fun writing them.



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