|The Right Person
Author: Malvolia PM
Jim visits Pam's apartment the morning after his thwarted proposal at Toby's farewell party.Rated: Fiction K - English - Romance - Words: 852 - Reviews: 12 - Favs: 10 - Follows: 2 - Published: 05-17-08 - Status: Complete - id: 4261533
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Pam didn't answer when Jim knocked on her door the morning after Toby's going-away party. He looked at his watch. Ten o'clock, right on time. He jiggled the knob and, finding it unlocked, slowly pushed open the door.
"Pam?" he called.
A muffled squeak and a shuffling noise came from the vicinity of the couch.
"Pam?" he repeated, more tentatively.
"Yeah, Jim, hi." Pam's voice floated over the couch, but Pam herself did not appear. "I'm…uh…not ready."
Jim grinned. "No problem. I don't think IHOP is going to stop serving breakfast anytime in the near future." He shoved his keys into his pocket and walked around the couch, hearing more rustling as he approached.
Pam was sitting on the floor. From the look of the blankets around her, she had recently slid down from the couch. And from the look of her eyes….
"Are you okay?" Jim asked, concern edging his voice. He took two steps and slid down next to her.
She sniffed a bit, waving a tissue dismissively when Jim put a comforting arm around her shoulders. "I guess I didn't know how much Toby leaving was going to affect me."
Jim tensed briefly, but forced himself to relax. It was ridiculous to be jealous of Toby. No matter how interested the other man was in his girlfriend.
"This kind of doesn't look like the kind of sad that can be healed by pancakes," he said.
"And then I'm going to be leaving for New York soon," Pam continued as though he hadn't spoken. She leaned into him, head pressed against his shoulder, and he tightened his hold. "And Angela and Andy getting engaged…."
"Lots of change," he said with a hint of bitterness. He still felt like a chump from the events of the night before. How many guys paid to set up the atmosphere for the perfect proposal, only to have the moment usurped by somebody else?
"It was a really great night for it, though, wasn't it?" she continued weakly, winding the tissue around her fingers.
Pam sighed. "Yeah." She shifted her position. "And…"
Jim stared fixedly at the floor as he suddenly knew for sure what he had only suspected the night before. He had seen the look in her eyes then. He should have known that she had an idea of what he was planning. That she would be as disappointed as he was, if not more so.
"…great for proposing, too, I guess," she finished.
Silence. What must she think of him?
"I was almost swept into proposing, myself," she pressed on feebly, trying to inject humor into her voice and not entirely succeeding.
Jim's lips quirked upward at the thought. "Oh, really?"
"Really," she said, emboldened by the gentle teasing in his question.
"And just how would you have done it, Beesly?"
"You don't get to know."
"No. The moment is past. Somebody stole it."
Neither of them filled the pause that followed.
Then, abruptly, Pam pushed back from Jim and studied his face, her eyes growing large and her face flushing.
Jim considered the situation. There they were, sitting on the floor of Pam's apartment. Pam was still wearing her comfiest pajamas. The blankets strewn around her made it look as though she had taken up nest-building. Her hair was a mess of bed-head curls and her eyes and nose were swollen and a little red.
Maybe the perfect proposal wasn't about the right time or the right atmosphere, after all. Maybe it was just about the right person.
He smiled slowly at her. "Hey."
She shook her head fast and faster, a laugh building up at the corners of her eyes and mouth. "Hey."
"I have a question for you."
The laugh spilled over, and his heart flipped as it did every time he heard it. "You are not really doing this now."
"You think I'm made of money, Beesly? I can't afford fireworks every night."
She ran her fingers hastily through her tangled hair. "I look horrible."
"That's not possible. Even if it were, does it matter? Is somebody recording this?" As she simply continued attempting to comb out her hair without a comb, he brought his hands to his own hair and, in a few furious motions, managed to make it even more tousled than usual. "Better?"
She grinned and nodded.
"Pam," he said, shifting position so that he was on one knee, "would you do me the honor of wearing the ring that I left on my nightstand back at my apartment?"
"Depends," she replied, eyes dancing. "Is it a secret decoder ring?"
Jim reached for her hands, which had been fidgeting with the corner of the nearest blanket. "I love you," he said.
"I love you, too."
It was his turn to laugh. "That," he confided as he leaned forward to kiss her, "was the only thing I ever really wanted out of a proposal, anyway."