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Author's Chapter Notes:
Jim and Michael have a fun night out. Pam finally confides.


"Get ready for a taste of the nightlife at Boulder, Jimbag, it's gonna rock your world…" Michael told Jim as their cab dropped them off at the Hotel Boulderado, "Get it? Rock because we're in Boulder?"


"Yeah, great one," Jim replied with a hint of sarcasm that mostly went unnoticed, "But this place actually looks amazing…and really expensive. Are you sure you wanna get drinks here?"


They entered a bar called License No 1. It was a dimly lit place with evenly spaced tables and music just loud enough to enjoy but not too overpowering that people would not be able to hear each. They situated themselves at the counter.


"James, I took a three day vacation to show my best friend around the city and he deserves nothing but the best," Michael said, "Also, the margarita here reminds me of the ones at Chili's."


"You know we passed by a Chili's on the way here, right?" Jim asked


"Yes, Jim I know that. But I've hosted like a million Dundies at Chili's back in Scranton. It just won't feel the same being there without the old gang, you know?" Michael laughed as he started reminiscing, "Has Pam been allowed back there since she fell off a stool and almost broke her neck?"

"Nope, funny story, we actually tried going back there a year ago, just after Phillip was born, her face was still on the wall. The staff probably wouldn't have noticed her but she was too embarrassed so we left," Jim remained deep in thought as he looked through the bar menu, "You know? That night of the Dundies was the first time we actually kissed?"


"No way? Really?" Michael was astonished at the revelation, "I never knew that. While she was with Roy?"


"Yeah, I mean well it was just a peck on the lips and she was really drunk. But yeah, it happened there. She doesn't consider it as the first one but that day always meant something special to me," Jim had a huge grin on his face as he asked, "Remember how I told you to stop giving Pam the 'Longest Engagement' award?"


"Yeah, I remember that, you called my jokes lazy. I had to order another trophy last minute thanks to you."


"Well, she was feeling bummed about it, so I just wanted to cheer her up, you know?" Jim fiddled with his menu as his thoughts went back to that night. 


"What?"

"Nothing."

"Okay."

"What?"

"I don't know, what? Oh my God! You are so drunk! Did you get that? Please tell me you got that"


"Wow, you must have been really in love with her," Jim was transported back to reality as he heard Michael's voice.


"Yeah, I mean, I think we pretty much established that seven years ago. I think it says a lot that we're married."


"I mean, yeah, I know you told me that. Hi, excuse me," Michael raised his hand as he called for the bartender, "But I just didn't realize you did those things for her because of love."


"Yeah…I guess I did, didn't I?"


"So why'd you leave her?"


"What?" Jim gave Michael a peculiar look upon hearing the question, "Michael, I didn't leave her. I'm coming back to Scranton in two days."


"Eh, you did just impulsively book a flight on a work day, while your wife is back there taking care of two kids. The Jim I know would probably never do that in a million years. So, there must be something up, if you felt like you needed to do this."


Jim fell silent as Michael signaled for the attention of the bartender once again, "Is it because she started wearing glasses again? I mean God you should tell her to throw those things away."


 "I…Michael,' Jim almost choked up trying to let the words out but calmed himself as realized he was in a public place, "I just don't know how to talk to her anymore. I mean, we had to end up going to couples' therapy to try to fix our marriage. I usually know what to say to her but now…I don't know what she wants to hear. I told her I'm giving up my dream job to be with her but she doesn't believe me, man. How do you respond to that?"


"Why doesn't she believe you?"


"She thinks I'll have regrets, if I leave the job."


"And you won't?"


"I won't."


"Really? You won't?"


"I really won't, Michael."


"… You are a hundred percent sure you won't?" Michael could see Jim covering his face, clearly getting frustrated with his questions, "Look Jim, I think we've been best friends for a long time, right?


"Yeah, sure."


"Ok, so I know you also love this job. And you don't share my love for paper. And that's why I don't believe you when you say you won't have any regrets leaving it. And maybe that's why Pam doesn't? And maybe that's why I think even you don't completely believe it?"


Jim looked at Michael with his mouth agape, speechless at the brutal honesty that Michael was showing to him, "Michael, I—"


"Excuse me?"


Both Michael and Jim looked to the booth and realized that the bartender was standing in front of them, "Are you going to order anything?"


"Oh my God, I'm so sorry. Wait how long have you been standing there?" Jim asked.


"About five minutes," the bartender replied, "but you looked like you were in the middle of something. I was gonna come back but I thought to myself, why not just listen in? Anyway, are you going to order anything?"


"Okay, Danielle? That's a pretty name," Michael said as he looked as the bartender's name tag, "Okay, we will have your finest bottle of tequila."


"Really, Michael? Tequila?" Jim laughed as the tension that he was feeling in their earlier conversation was beginning to ease away.


"Well, you know what they say Slim Jim, ninety-nine problems and a drink ain't one of them. We are going to get you so plastered that you won't even remember you have a wife," Michael laughed for a while but stopped when he saw Jim with a stoic look on his face. "Okay, that came out wrong. That's what she said. No, no. You have a wife Jim, he has a wife Danielle and her name is Pam and she is—"


"Okay," Jim interrupted to stop the conversation from getting any more awkward, "just the bottle of tequila please."


As the bartender left, Michael and Jim started snickering, "I miss this, Michael. Really."


"I know," he replied, "okay, Jim. I'm not saying you don't love Pam and I'm definitely not saying that you don't love Pam more than you love that job, but…just cut the crap and be more honest with yourself. And be honest to Pam."


"…Okay, maybe I will" Jim replied. He was at a loss for words as he was half-expecting Michael to come up with a hundred cliched ways to win Pam back. He was taken by surprise at the tough love that he was getting.


"Alright then," Michael smiled as he gave Jim a strong pat on the back, "let's get this shindig started. All aboard the S.S. Partay!"


——————————————————


Pam spent the night having dinner with her mom. When she arrived home, Helene had insisted that they have a conversation because in her words, "I just miss getting to talk to people who are older than Phillip," but Pam knew of the underlying reason behind the request


As they put Cece to bed, they sat down together on the couch, each carrying a glass of wine. They remained in silence for what seemed like five minuted before Helene finally spoke, "So Phillip has been a bit fussy lately, but he seems to really enjoy it when—,"


"Okay, mom," Pam interrupted her, "you know I love you, but we both know why you wanted to talk. So what do you want to know?"

"Sweetie, it's just, I see you and Jim every time you come home. There's obviously something going on that neither of you want to tell me. I thought to myself, 'Maybe it's none of my business', but I just can't keep quiet it about anymore. And now, he's in Colorado with Michael Scott? I mean what the hell is that? Is he having an affair Pam?"


"God, no. Mom, he is not having an affair…why does everyone keep thinking that?" Pam wondered, "We've just hit a rough patch. We got into a huge fight before he left for Colorado actually. I said things that I really shouldn't have said and yeah, we're working on it?"

Helene glared at her, "You're working on it? In different time zones? Pam, what's the problem?"

Pam contemplated on how much she would confide in her mom, "Okay, Jim told me that he was giving it all up for me. Everything mom, his dream job."


"Isn't that what you wanted him to do?"


"Yeah, I want him to stay but… I just feel like he's on this road to success, and I've been playing catch up to him. He can say he's willing to give it all up now, but what about in the future? I'll always be the one who forced him into this decision. I don't want to think it, I've been trying hard not to think it, but maybe…" she hesitated to say the next few words, "Maybe mom, this is the end for us. He's too far ahead and I'll just be better off being left behind."


Pam took a chug out of her entire drink, realizing that she had just admitted to herself that divorce might actually be an option. Tears started flowing down her face as she refilled her glass and took another sip.


"You know Pam," Helene said at a loss for words as she comforted her daughter. “Hey, do you remember when you called me after Jim told you he loved you?”


Pam nodded as she continued as staring at her wine glass, trying to avoid looking at her mother.


“I was worried when you said you thought you were also in love him. I was even more worried when you told me you broke off your engagement with Roy. You were with the guy for God knows how long,” Helene paused as she took a drink, “but you know, when I got to know Jim, and this is not me as your mom speaking to make you feel better, I don’t think I can meet anyone else who could be more in love you.”

“It hasn’t felt that way lately.”


“I know. I know that, but maybe it’s because you have stopped believing in how much he truly loves you. And I think he does. More than anything. You just have to believe that you are capable of being loved. I honestly think you’ve stopped. Just…” she tried to formulating the right words in her head as she was close to finishing her wine, “have faith in him, in his love for you. Okay?”


“…Okay,” Pam had finished her second drink and she leaned her head on Helene’s shoulder. She had always avoided talking to her mother about her marriage problems, but at that moment, she was grateful for her presence.


—————————————


“So….we finished an…entire bottle of tequila,” Jim chuckled as he told the cameraman on the cab ride home. He had a glossy look on his eyes and could barely form a sentence without laughing. Michael was leaning on his shoulder sleeping heavily. “Yeah, we definitely uhhh… we got wasted. Like really, wasted. The funniest thing was like uhhh…three different women hit on me tonight. I'd flash my ring on them but... I uhhh … wasn't wearing it."


Jim paused with a sad look on his face then started giggling again, "No I'm totally kidding," he said as he flashed both his hands in front of the camera, "see… married! But yeah, I was going to tell them but all Michael had to do was say a few words and an Adam Sandler impression and *poof* they just disappear….Hmm, maybe I didn't need to wear the ring…maybe I just needed Michael…"


Before Jim could continue, Michael's head slipped from his shoulder and went to his lap, sending him into another laughing fit, "You have got to send me a copy of this night"


As they reached Michael's house, Jim woke him up and after paying for the ride, they clumsily walked to the front door and rang the doorbell. Holly then opened the door and was amused at what she saw, "Wow, midlife crisis much?" 


She then kissed him and Michael hugged her heavily, almost putting them off-balance. "Honey, Jim's watching us"


"I know…." Michael replied, "Jim just needs to see what a happy marriage looks like. This is happy."


"Thanks, Michael," Jim laughed as Michael made fake kissing noises to his wife, "Okay, Holly why don't you bring him in and I just need some air. Might throw up a bit…kidding"


"Okay, if you throw up, just don't do it on Pam Beagsley. I know it's an absurd warning but, Michael...it's weird that the dog still loves him…Anyway, good night Jim."


As Holly and Michael entered the house, Jim sat down on the steps and took out his phone. He then dialed Pam's number and waited for her to pick up but was met with a, "Hey this is Pam. Leave a message."


"Hey Pam…are you awake? Well, I'm talking to your voicemail so…probably not. As you can hear, I….am….drunk," Jim laughed as he continued his message, "Michael and I finished an entire bottle of tequila and….it's a miracle I'm still standing…well sitting, I'm sitting right now….We got talk to for a bit and… I just…I miss you Pam…I really do."


Jim started sniffling and wiped the tears from his eyes, "I miss you everyday … and I've missed you for the past few months… I just love you so much… so please don't give up on me… don't give up on us. I'm begging you…" he stopped to compose himself but he could no longer control his sobbing, "Oh man, I'm a mess…sorry about that. Uhh, hey could you do me a favor… can you make sure Cece sleeps with her stuffed giraffe tomorrow night, you know.. Jimmy the Giraffe? I know I'm coming back in two days, but I just don't want her to miss me too much. It sounds stupid… Ok, I will hang up now before I say anything stupid…I love you"


Jim then took a deep breath, calmed himself down and vomited on the  grass beside him.

Chapter End Notes:

I was initially planning to have a conversation between Jim and Pam but thought a voice message will be better.

The past two days were hectic so I didn't get to update. Reviews are highly appreciated, like Professor Copperfield's Miracle Legumes. 


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