Title: Lenses

Author: Mi Mariposita / notquiteandrea

Warning(s): Light cursing. Slightly sexual themes. SFW.

Details: My interpretation of how the relationship between Dwight K. Schrute and Angela Martin began.

Word Count: 2023

Disclaimer: All characters, events, objects, etc. that were the property of The Office and NBC before this fanfiction are still the property of The Office and NBC. I just took some... creative liberties. Dotted some i's and crossed some t's, if you will.

Author's Note: A special thank you goes to Tumblr user thestagthatlovedthewolf for supporting and encouraging my Dwangela obsession... and for listening to my half-baked fanfiction ideas. This story covers the very beginning of Dwight and Angela's relationship; it is anticipated to consist of four chapters. Furthermore, this story is unbeta'd, but if you have any interest in helping a girl out...

Update(s):

[06/26/17] - Minor text edits.

[07/28/17] - Minor text edits.

=/\=/\=/\=

Lenses

CHPT. 1: Rough Beginnings

=/\=/\=/\=

The bright red folder caught Angela's attention, but the bold, black letters that read "ACCOUNTING" secured her interest. She shot a glance at the accounting cluster, but Oscar and Kevin were too wrapped up in God knows what to notice that the discretionary spending reports had been stolen from right beneath their apathetic, inattentive noses.

Angela rolled her eyes. Oscar and Kevin were utterly and completely useless. She took two minutes – not even – for a restroom break, and suddenly just anybody could wander into accounting and take whatever they pleased.

Not on her watch.

She crossed her arms and angrily marched over to the guilty salesman. He sat nonchalantly in his stupid chair, slowly turning one direction and then the other. His eyes were focused on the stolen reports in his hands, and Angela barely resisted the urge to rip the glasses right off of his unsuspecting face.

"What do you think you're doing?" she asked sharply.

"Looking for evidence of malfeasance," he muttered indifferently, not bothering to look at the bitter blonde. He fingered through a few more pages of spreadsheets, only to be violently interrupted when Angela snatched the folder from his hand, spreadsheets and all.

"You're not authorized to look at these."

She swiftly pivoted and headed back towards her desk. Furious, Dwight jumped up from his seat and abruptly cut her off. "As the Assistant Regional Manager–"

"Assistant to the Regional Manager," she corrected with a smirk.

Dwight narrowed his eyes, and Angela met his indignant expression with full force. He didn't understand her eyes; they were a different color almost every time he saw them, and it was infuriating. One day, they'd be bright green, but the next day, they'd be almost brown, and he couldn't make sense of it. Today, they looked sort of grey, but she was dressed in all grey, so maybe that had something to do with it. But regardless of color, her eyes were almost always hostile and accusing.

"Move," she said, slowly enunciating the word.

She derailed his train of thought. It didn't matter if her eyes were stupid (and kind of alluring, but mostly stupid); she was obstructing justice.

"Give me the forms."

"No."

Another pause, but Angela wasn't going to back down. Her father had been a strict disciplinarian during her youth, and unlike her sisters, she hadn't let his teachings go to waste. Show no signs or symptoms of weakness; never back down, even when backed into a corner. She knew that she had a reputation as the office bitch, but she wasn't a bitch. She had honor and dignity and integrity, and if standing up for God and the Bible and moral decency made people call her a bitch, then so be it. It was better than being weak or being a jezebel… like certain other people in the office.

And then there was Dwight, who had the proper framework of a decent gentleman, but he wasted it on being a complete and total idiot.

Despicable.

"Fine," Dwight spat. "I'll just have Michael order you to give me the spending reports."

"Fine. But until then, you're not getting them," she hissed. Dwight scowled at her once more before he broke their gaze and quickly retreated back to his desk. Angela walked back to the accounting cluster and sat down, knowing that Dwight was watching her from the corner of his eye.

She reached into the collar of her turtleneck and revealed a necklace with a tiny key on it. Dwight, more than slightly curious, angled his chair towards her in order to get a better look at what she was doing. Angela took the necklace off and used the key to unlock the bottom drawer of her desk. She quickly slid the folder containing the discretionary spending reports inside the drawer, relocked it, and refastened the golden chain around her neck.

She looked back to Dwight, and he casually met her gaze. Challenging him with the raise of an eyebrow, she stood, grabbed her empty coffee mug, and headed for the kitchen.

Game on.

=/\=/\=/\=

"He can't keep getting away with this!" she exclaimed, anxiously pacing across the annex. Her hands were wild and animated; her face exuded nothing but frustration and pent up anger. Toby would say that he'd never seen her this mad, but hell, she was thoroughly outraged every other week, regardless of whether the situation warranted it or not. Which it rarely did. "When is somebody going to do something about him?!"

Toby nodded quietly as he pretended to write down more information on the complaint form. He had already filled out the basics, but a meeting with Angela was never a brief one, and he knew from experience that she'd yell at him if he didn't appear to take down her every word. After all, she was in the annex almost daily complaining about something - or someone, usually a toss-up between Dwight, Michael, Phyllis, or Pam. Dwight for doing something absurd, Michael for doing something absurd, Phyllis for not listening to her, and Pam for… the sake of it? He knew Angela would serve his freshly skewered head on a platter if she ever found out that he didn't actually file her complaints against Pam, but he couldn't help it. Pam was sweet and kind - maybe the only person in the office who was actually nice to him. She didn't deserve to have her record tarnished just because Angela disapproved of perfectly acceptable work clothes.

"He broke into my desk again," she yelled. God help her, what was Dwight's problem? How petty and ridiculous could a person be? She just might have contemplated selling her soul to the devil if it meant getting Dwight out of her hair – and out of her desk – once and for all. "Do you know how many times I've had to have that lock fixed? Four. Four times. Dwight has broken into my desk four times, and that's four times too many! When does it end?"

Toby continued to nod absentmindedly, knowing that if he let her rant long enough and pretended to agree with what she was saying, she'd be fine. She'd tire herself out... eventually.

"Do you know how much it costs to replace a lock? It's not cheap. I mean, yes, the money comes out of the discretionary spending funds, but we could be spending that money on something useful! It could go to the Party Planning Committee, or we could get a new coffee maker for the break room, or…"

"Mmhmm, yeah," Toby murmured, casting a glance at his watch. It was twenty past five, and he was ready to leave. He had already promised Cathy that he would take Sasha to soccer practice, although he didn't quite understand the point of four-year-olds playing soccer; they spent most of the time running around the field with no concern for the ball. Besides, why did soccer practice fall on him just because Cathy had plans with her rich new boyfriend?

"It's just disrespectful! It doesn't matter how badly he thinks he needs to see those forms, he can't break into my desk and steal them! Of all the half-baked, idiotic…"

=/\=/\=/\=

Dwight frowned as he looked over the pay stub. "This isn't right," he muttered to himself, shaking his head almost unperceivably. He turned towards the bullpen and analyzed the expressions of the other salesmen, none of whom appeared to be giving their pay stubs a second thought. Several of his coworkers were packing up their stuff, and Stanley, unsurprisingly, had already left for the weekend.

Dwight furrowed his brows, clearly perplexed. Oscar walked by his desk, and Dwight flagged down the passing accountant. "Oscar," he called. "There's something wrong with my paycheck."

The Hispanic man didn't skip a beat. "Take it up with Angela," he replied, tossing Dwight a quick glance without stopping.

Dwight looked at the accounting cluster over his shoulder as Oscar fled the office. Only one accountant remained, a petite blonde woman with a soul of pure evil. Dwight cringed visibly. Why did it have to be Angela? She was rigid and unyielding and just plain mean… which weren't necessarily bad qualities to have, but God, they made her absolutely impossible to deal with.

Dwight sighed.

At least she wasn't Kevin. Rigid, he could handle, but feeblemindedness? No, thank you. He didn't exactly mind Angela's austere disposition – in fact, if she ever stopped trying to hinder his efforts to improve their workplace, he wouldn't object to having her on his side. She ranked quite high on many of his lists of people in the office to make an alliance with in the event of various apocalyptic scenarios.

So did Kevin, though - but as a potential source of food. Angela ranked fairly low as a potential food source.

Dwight shook the thoughts of apocalyptic destruction out of his head and looked back at his pay stub. Letting out a slow breath, he tried to mentally prepare himself for the battle ahead. He set his briefcase on his desk, stood up, and swiftly ambled back to accounting. "Angela," he said, as cordially as he could muster. "There's something wrong with my paycheck."

"Let me see it," she said laconically. She turned towards him and held her hand out expectantly. Dwight swallowed the lump in his throat as he dropped the check in her hand. Angela gave the paper a onceover before looking up at him, a fleeting hint of cockiness dancing across her face. She cocked an eyebrow. "Looks fine to me."

"Fine?" he exclaimed, annoyed at her callous disposition. He hunched over her desk, his face closer to hers than she would have liked. "I'm missing two hundred dollars!"

She could practically feel the steam coming off of his boiling blood. God, he was furious. A tiny smirk tugged at the corner of her lips. She knew that it wasn't right to enjoy making him so angry, but she couldn't help but indulge in the feelings of victory and success. His eyes were glowing mad, extraordinarily raw and powerful. Almost exotic. Thrilling, even.

"Hmm."

She stopped her mind cold in its tracks. She knew from experience that if she stayed on that train of thought, it would only lead to improper feelings and impure dreams. It was best to nip it in the bud and save herself the trouble of cleansing her mind later. Besides, she was thinking these things about Dwight, and she hated Dwight. Absolutely loathed him.

She quickly regained her composure and wiped the smirk from her own face.

Dwight noticed a subtle change in her expression, but he couldn't pinpoint what it was. She had gone from unpleasant to slightly more unpleasant, but that wasn't the end of it. Her eyes, which happened quite green that day, had gone from bright to dull, and Dwight didn't know why it happened or what it meant.

"I wonder what could have caused that," she droned. She slowly pushed her chair back, and when she had moved back far enough, she tapped her foot against her desk, bringing Dwight's attention to the intricate new lock that adorned her bottom drawer.

Dwight slammed a fist down on her desk. Hard. "You took money from my paycheck to pay for your stupid drawer?"

"You broke my stupid drawer," she gnarled.

"It doesn't cost two hundred dollars to fix a lock! I could do it with some glue and a paperclip," he hissed.

"Well," she said, standing up slowly, her eyes never leaving his. "Since you're the one who broke my lock, you don't get a say in how I fix it." She grabbed her purse from the back of her seat and forcefully shoved her chair under her desk. Even at five feet tall, she almost seemed to tower over him when she gave him that gruesome glare of hers. But she wasn't about to win this one.

Not if he could help it.

"You can't do that."

She picked his pay stub up from her desk and slapped it against his chest. "It looks like I already did."

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