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Author's Chapter Notes:
Michael takes a hungover Jim hiking. Pam after Jim drunk dialled her.

"Really, Pam? A giraffe? Isn't Jimmy Halpert supposed to be a bear?" Jim asked Pam as she held out a stuffed blue giraffe in front of him.


"Yeah, but we've gone to three stores already. No teddy bear, it's kinda ironic if you think about…besides, it has a long neck so it's kind of like you in a way."


"Hmmm, a long neck? That's kind of a stretch. Pun intended."


"C'mon Jim," Pam said as he whacked the giraffe on his head. "I think he's perfect. Plus, he's blue so we have that radioactive—,"


"Wait, hold on one second," Jim interrupted as his phone started to ring, "Hello? Hey Wade, what's up? Yeah, I have time…."


As Jim continued his discussion, Pam walked away disappointed and headed to the cashier to make the purchase.


After finishing his call, he realized Pam was already ahead and quickly rushed to her side, "Oh wait…Pam, wait up! Pam!"


"Pam? Earth to Pam?"

 

Pam was then startled by Erin waving her hand in front of her. "Oh Erin, yes? Do you need anything?"

 

"Yeah, I'm just out of jellybeans, Pete keeps on finishing them. Sometimes I wonder if he's really in love with me or is just in it for the jellybeans? Anyway, I can I get another bag?"


"Yes of course, I keep 'em right here," Pam obtained a pack of multi-colored jellybeans from under her desk. "And for the record, I don't think he's in it for the jellybeans"


"Oh, cool. Maybe he’s more of a gummy bears type of guy, maybe you shouldn’t purchase them,”


“…Okay, I will take a mental note of that,” Pam said in a sarcastic manner. She didn’t mean to sound rude, but it didn’t seem to phase Erin. Pam then wondered if Erin had ever been aware in almost eight years of being a receptionist.


“Alright then, thanks Pam!” As Erin moved back to the kitchen, Pam immediately saw Pete coming out of the kitchen and headed straight to reception.


“Man, he just keeps going there everyday,” Clark spoke as he looked at Pete and Erin having on their regular conversation, “I mean, I know they're dating and all but don't they get sick of each other?"


"I think it's really sweet," Pam looked at the happy couple and was brought back to the days when she and Jim would spend countless hours, goofing off at reception. She remembered getting conscious of how everyone in the perceived them when Angela revealed that she played a game called "Pam Pong", tallying how many times Jim would get up from his desk to talk to her. Now thinking about it, she realized how much time she wasted not being honest about her true feelings to Jim.


Although it had been a few hours, she couldn't erase from her mind the voicemail that she listened to upon waking up.


“I just love you so much… so please don't give up on me… don't give up on us"


Jim had been somewhat consistent in reassuring her that everything will be okay. Even when thing would take a turn for the worse, he always seemed to know what to say. But hearing him that morning at his most vulnerable made her realize that maybe he was just as scared at the possibility of their family being torn apart.


"Have faith in him, in his love for you. Okay?"

She then recalled her mom saying the night before that Jim had always and will always love her no matter what. Him calling her that night made her hopeful that the cracks will heal and they will come out of this situation stronger as a couple.


"Hey I know it's none of my business, but…I really think starting Athlead means a lot to Jim and it's a shame if he doesn't see it through."


Darryl's words then reentered her head. She began to wonder where she stood in the grand scheme of things. She pondered on how his trip to Colorado would affect his perspective and what exactly he would tell her when comes back.


The rest of the day went by as normal. Dwight continued to keep her company by engaging in small talk. While she was appreciative of his efforts, she was understandably frustrated as after three days, she could still not get him to say Cece's name correctly.


"I don't know Pam, it always goes back to Peepee for me. Maybe it's because your name starts with a P…" Dwight said as he fiddled with his pen while reclining on his chair, "Hey, Jim is coming back tomorrow right?"

 

"Yes, he is. You also asked that this morning. My answer hasn't changed," It was clear to Pam that Dwight also missed having his assistant to the regional manager in the office.


"Okay, good," he replied, "You know, you're lucky I haven't fired him. I've had to run this office by myself with him being absent, do you know how much nonsense I had to eliminate without his help?"


"Dwight, doesn't this conversation technically fall under nonsense?" Pam asked.


Dwight paused for a bit and answered, "Yes, you're right. Get out of my office."

 

"No problem," Pam turned around and smiled at the camera as she exited the room. She then saw Angela by her desk, standing as if she was waiting for her to return.


"Hey, Angela. What's up—,"


"The girls and I are hanging out at Poor Richard's tonight," she quickly interrupted her question, "and we want you to be there since Jim is coming back tomorrow so this might be the only time we get to do this since Bob will also be late at work. They told me to ask you since I would be the least likely one to look like I feel sorry for you and your failing marriage. Plus, they said I could cry about my failed marriage if you said no."


Pam stared at her, not knowing whether to be amused or offended by her invite, "Alright, I'll just tell my mom that I'll be out for a bit."


"Okay then."


"Wait, Angela. I have a question," Pam asked before Angela got a chance to head back to her desk, "Do you still have a tally on Pam Pong?"


"No, I stopped tallying after you guys started dating, for obvious reasons. I already threw my notepad."


"Oh…alright then, thanks"


"But if you're looking for an estimate, Jim would go up to reception around three times a day, four times a week for two years, even when he was dating Karen, funnily enough, no wonder they broke up. Anyway, do the math."


————————————————————


Jim was exhausted from hiking up the Wonderland Lake Trail in Colorado. Although it was still snowy and the weather was cold, he felt his insides burning as an effect of their decision to finish an entire bottle of tequila. Had he known that Michael's plan for his journey in getting Jim to find answers would involve walking after a night of drinking, he would not have boarded on the plane from Pennsylvania. 


He was also embarrassed at drunk dialing Pam the night before, and thought about how she still had not replied to him. He began to wonder what was going through her head and why she was taking long to make her presence known to him.


"C'mon Jim, you party animal, we're almost there, just a few more steps." Michael shouted at him. 


"How do you still have so much energy today?" Jim remembered how drunk Michael was the night before and he was still somehow upbeat.


"I was a lot more sober than you thought," he replied as they continued walking, "…Okay, no, I really thought I would not remember a thing but I still do. And I threw everything up the night before so I feel good now. Alright, we're here"


They arrived in what seemed to be an isolated spot in the trail. Jim felt at peace upon staring at the view i front of them. The frozen lake surrounded by nothing but white gave off a serene atmosphere. If he had all the time in the world, he would spend a long time in this very spot in deep reflection. In that moment, he was happy to have been able to get away from everything that was happening.


"Here, you might need this," Michael said as he handed him a big bottle of energy drink.


"You had this the whole time and you didn't tell me?" Jim quickly grabbed the bottle and drank slowly, pacing himself so as to not vomit if all back out.


“Yeah, I thought it wouldn't be for your body you know? You needed to sweat it out, having hydration would not help," Michael smiled innocently as he stared at the lake, "It's beautiful isn't it?"


"Yeah, it's actually great Michael. Thanks for bringing me here, I can just... look at it all day,"


"Okay, it's time to continue your journey to self-discovery my young Chewbacca, I want you to close your eyes."


"I think you mean—,"


"Nope, Jim. Just close your eyes,"


Jim relented and closed his eyes. He concentrated on his own breathing and felt calm throughout the entire duration of Michael's request.


"Okay, now open them? Do you feel different?"


"Uhh, no. I'm still seeing this very beautiful lake in front of me. I think I already told you how nice it was,"


"Hmm, I thought that would work. Okay, let's try this. I want you to close your eyes,"


"Michael, I swear, you better not have a bat or a—,"


“Jim, just do it…okay?” 


Jim closed his eyes for a second time, he tried to go back to the same headspace that he was in before, “Okay, good. Now Jim, I want you to imagine your perfect scenario, let's say five years for now. Where are you? What do you see yourself doing? Who are you with?”


“Thank you everyone for coming here tonight. I hope you’re enjoying the food and the champagne because those are insanely expensive,” Jim imagined himself onstage giving the introductory speech to Athlead’s five year anniversary. “Five years ago, I was still working as a paper salesman in Scranton. I didn’t know where my life was head but then my friends and I took a leap of faith from an idea that we had in college. Granted, we had no idea what we were doing when we first launched our business. Wade? Is Wade here? There he is, I still remember that day we lost a huge investor. I really thought it was over, but we persevered and never gave up, and now… We’re growing stronger than ever. Thank you so much to my source of inspiration, my wife, Pamela Morgan Halpert who believed in me every step of the way."


His eyes connect with Pam who looked as beautiful as the first day he had laid his eyes on her, "Without her and our two children, who unfortunately can't be here tonight because they have homework, none of this would be possible. Thank you everyone," he stepped down from stage and immediately went to his wife. She wrapped her arms around his and laid her on his shoulder as they headed to the balcony to get some fresh air.


"How is it?" Michael's voice pulled Jim away from his running imagination.


"It's beautiful, Michael"


"Is Pam there?"


"Yeah, definitely."


"How old would she be in five years? Thirty five? Man, I hope she doesn't drop from a seven—,"


"Michael..."


"Okay, not the point. Now I want you to close your eyes again."


"My eyes are still closed,"


"Oh right, I didn't really get a good look. Okay, open them first," Michael said as Jim as opened his eyes, facing the frozen lake once again, "And now close them again."


Jim said "God…" under his breath, as he closed his eyes for a third time. "Okay, are they closed? Let me take a look. Can you see my hand? No? Okay, good. Now Jim, imagine the same scenario without Pam.


“Thank you everyone for coming here tonight. I hope you’re enjoying the food and the champagne because those are insanely expensive,” Jim imagined himself onstage giving the introductory speech to Athlead’s five year anniversary. “Five years ago, I was still working as a paper salesman in Scranton. I didn’t know where my life was head but then my friends and I took a leap of faith from an idea that we had in college. Granted, we had no idea what we were doing when we first launched our business. Wade? Is Wade here? There he is, I still remember that day we lost a huge investor. I really thought it was over, but we persevered and never gave up…" 


Jim paused for a bit and looked at his bare finger. He could still the mark from where his wedding ring used to be, and mumbled the next part of his speech. "And now… We’re growing stronger than ever. Thank you so much to my source of inspiration, uhh, Darryl, Darryl Philbin. Is he here? We left Scranton together and now, we're here, living the life am I right? Alright, thank you everyone, enjoy your night."  Jim stepped down from the stage and as people are crowding and congratulating him, he was smiling but his eyes were absent-mindedly looking for that one person whom he knew was not present at a momentous occasion in his life.


Jim quickly opened his eyes and although it was only in his head, he was saddened by the thought of being successful in his career but without his wife beside him.


"You know Jim," he looked beside him and saw Michael staring nonchalantly at the lake, "my dream was always to grow old in Scranton with you guys. Probably go on a lot of double dates with you and Pam. You'd probably be the one burying me. Or Ryan, it was always between you two."


Jim remained in silence as Michael continued, "When I was on the cab ride to the airport, I still had second thoughts about going. It was just, it was crazy, everything I thought I knew, I'd be leaving it for good. But then I thought about Holly, she became everything to me, Jim. I just love her so much and nothing in my life would make sense without her in it."


They remained quiet for a minute or two, before Jim finally smiled and spoke, "Thank you, Michael. Really, you're… the best."


"I know, best boss ever right?", Michael look at Jim gave him a pat on the shoulder and stood up, "Alright, let's go. I'm freezing. Let's get you something to eat,"


———————————————————


"So girls night out was fun," Pam told the camera crew as she waited outside of Meredith's van, "God, where do I begin. Nellie was going on and on about how creepy Toby would get. Erin was so hammered, she started conversing in Dothraki to every guy that would come to us. They just smiled politely and left. Angela, well Angela's in the van right now like she took a lot of shots. I thoughts she didn't drink? And she kept calling out some girl named Esther's name. Who is that?"


"It's Dwight's new girlfriend, and Angela has been quite a mess since that whole thing started," Meredith said as she unlocked her car.


"What happened to your wig?" Pam said upon noticing that Meredith was sporting her bald look.


"I really don't know, I was hooking up with this guy in the toilet and the next thing I know, it's gone."


The drive to Pam's house was a quiet one. Meredith's radio was broken so they couldn't play any music to break the silence. Occasionally, Angela would move around in her seat and screech out her frustrations, either about Esther or the non-existent conversations that Pam and Meredith were having.


Pam was thinking of how to start the conversation but then heard Meredith say, "Jim's coming back tomorrow, huh?"


"Yeah, he is,"


"Have you thought about what you'll do?"

"No, not really. I'm just glad he's coming back. It's been a while," Pam had been trying to avoid thinking about Jim's return. While she was glad she was finally going to see Jim's face, she was not entirely sure what the day would bring.


"Word of advice," Meredith spoke again, "don't get divorced."


Pam was shocked at the sudden mention of the topic. At Poor Richards, they seemed to avoid the topic of her marriage and concentrated instead on letting her have fun. Pam could not think of what else to say and asked, "How come?"

"Well, for one, Jim is total eye candy. I mean, he had that goofy charming look seven years ago. But now, wow, I would scoop that up if I had the chance," Pam noticed Meredith seeming lost in her thoughts before she continued, "And let's face it, we cannot have two single redheads in the office again. Remember when Jim was dating Karen, I got hit by a car during that time."


"Oh, well, we actually—," Pam contemplated on whether to tell Meredith that she and Jim were already dating when the incident occurred, "Never mind, I'll think about it."


"Okay, good. And really, everyone in the office would just be devastated if that happened. We love you guys, even if we don't show it a lot."


As they stopped in front of her house, Pam gave Meredith a hug, "Thanks Meredith. See you tomorrow, bye Angela!"


Pam entered the door and after saying goodbye to her mom, she entered Cece's room. She was on her bed, soundly asleep with her night light on. Pam then opened her drawer and took out a blue giraffe. She then lightly grabbed her daughter's arm and quietly placed the stuffed animal on her. After taking a picture of Cece with her phone, she kissed her goodnight and closed the door.


As she lied on her bed, she reopened her phone, sent the photo to Jim and typed, "To keep her company tonight. See you tomorrow."


After she had sent the message, she placed her phone on her side table and went to sleep.

Chapter End Notes:

I was contemplating having a full scene about the party but I just skipped it to Pam talking about what happened because I didn't want for the chapter to be too long. 

I'm at the last stretch of Jim's trip in Colorado, which means he and Pam will finally reunite. No, I don't know how it will end.


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