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Story Notes:
So this will be a collection of probably mostly pretty short fics based on Jim and Pam and company celebrating (or not celebrating) various holidays. Some real, some less real, some almost entirely sprung from the mind of Michael Scott.

I was forced to write this through a peer pressure campaign led by Maxine Abbott (particularly once I realized we had actually had this conversation before in the reviews section), and a number of these will be based off the holidays identified in the final chapter of New Year’s in New Jersey. So if you’re mad, blame her and Agian18, who reminded us all that it was Grilled Cheese Day.

Title is based on a Styx lyric. Fight me.

DISCLAIMER: “It's performance review day, company-wide. Last year, my performance review started with Michael asking me what my hopes and dreams were, and it ended with him explaining to me that we are all publicly recognizable characters in a publicly recognizable setting that is the property of our actual owners, and the authors of any fanfic about us aren’t in any way associated with those owners or the owners, creators or producers of any media franchise, and don’t intend any copyright infringement. (beat). So, I don't really know what to expect.”
Author's Chapter Notes:
I did not have a grilled cheese for lunch today. I should have.

We open with a quick scan of the front of the bullpen, where everyone is stationed at their desks and working away. The SALES TEAM is on the phone with clients. OSCAR crosses to MICHAEL’s office with paperwork. We land on PAM at the reception desk, writing something on a pink message slip.

We hold on PAM a beat. She looks up and politely smiles at the camera, then returns to whatever she’s writing.

We continue to hold on PAM, who eventually looks again and is a little startled to find them still there.

PAM (perturbed):

We cut to the conference room for a talking head.

PAM (in recognition):
Ohhhhh. Yes, actually, I have heard of it!

Quick cut to suggest a question was edited out. PAM rolls her eyes.

PAM (bemused):
No. Believe it or not, Jim refuses to observe. (beat) He’s a conscientious objector. (beat) To National Grilled Cheese Day.

We cut to the conference room again, this time for a talking head with JIM, who is giving a perfectly wiseass JIM smile.

I just think it’s become very commercialized, you know. (faux serious) People have forgotten the true meaning of the holiday.

His eyes open a little wider and the corners of his mouth fall, just a touch. He is clearly making direct eye contact with the producer. His pretend solemnity has become… genuinely a little solemn.

It’s not just about Kraft and Pepperidge Farm padding their profits and doing cute little contests. It’s about what a grilled cheese means. I mean, it’s the first hot meal a lot of kids can make for themselves. It’s a sign of maturity, a milestone on the way to adulthood.

JIM has grown fiercer as he’s continued his speech. He’s now impassioned now, calling to mind nothing so much as DWIGHT’s Mussolini impression.

It’s the sandwich you make with your brothers over the barbecue in the summer, with your buddies when you’re camping and none of you really know how to make anything over the fire.

His face and his voice soften.

It’s the sandwich you make for your first date when you don’t think she’s ready to admit it’s a date. (He looks away from the producer, off into the distance, thoughtful.) It’s family and friends, you know? It’s… memory.

JIM remembers himself and shakes it off.

So, no. Pam wasn’t kidding.

JIM sighs a little.

JIM (all business):
So is that all you need?

A pause as someone without a microphone indicates yes.


JIM rises and exits the conference room. The camera follows him to his desk… where he finds something wrapped in a very greasy paper towel by his mouse pad.

He looks confused, and unwraps it to find a very delicious looking grilled cheese sandwich. He’s now part-confused, part-pleased. He picks up a small pink message slip from right next to where the sandwich was, and reads it.

His confusion fades, and he smiles like he’s just won the lottery. Or perhaps read a love letter from the love of his life.

He glances towards RECEPTION. The camera follows his gaze to PAM, whose head is tilted and is grinning right back at him. She giggles a little.

They continue to stare into each other’s eyes. JIM, with an ostentatious flourish and without looking away, folds the note and puts it into his shirt pocket, right by his heart.

Uh. Hello? The phone is ringing. Is no one going to get it? What is the purpose of having a receptionist if she’s just going to make goo-goo eyes at her shaggy-haired hippie boyfriend all day? You’re distracting Jim from sales! Or you would be if Jim ever made any sales.

DWIGHT continues to rant. As far as JIM and PAM are concerned, he might as well be on another planet.

We cut to the conference room with PAM, who shrugs and smiles sweetly.

I never said *I* didn’t celebrate National Grilled Cheese Day. (meaningfully) I really love grilled cheese.

Chapter End Notes:
Drop your favorite grilled cheese recipes in the reviews. I am mildly concerned some of you are going to be horrified at the implication that Pam made it in the microwave.

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