A/N: Sniff, sniff. For every beginning, there is an end and I fear this might be it. I could go on and on and on but I think it's time to say goodbye and move forward. I hope it ends the way you imagined it would and that I don't disappoint.
To all of you who've read and reviewed - thank you all so, so very much.
I truly appreciate it more than you know.
(Oh PS – "Roy's first proposal" is based on an actual event. My friend's husband did just that to her. AND…they dated for 15 years before they finally got married…at a VFW Hall. They couldn't be happier – just had a baby - but I'd be lying if I said her hubby doesn't remind me of Roy.)
So, until next time…'cause who am I kidding. There'll be a next time…
It was never a matter of if - it was only a matter of when.
Actually - that wasn't quite true. It used to be if…
If I was marrying her instead of Roy I'd…
If it was our wedding I wouldn't make her plan it all alone…
But now when was the only thing that filled his mind. When should I do it? How should I do it? Where?
He'd taken care of a big part of it, pulling her father aside after dinner on Christmas Eve and getting his blessing, though there was a part of him that thought he'd noticed some reluctance.
You'd better take good care of her. Her father had warned him. And, shaking his hand, Jim met his harrowing gaze and promised him that he would.
As if he would even know how to do anything but.
He was glad he'd gotten the conversation over with. It came in handy on that snowy day in February when they sat together on the edge of the bathtub waiting for the kitchen timer to ding.
And though they never really discussed it in detail, neither one of them could decide whether they were relieved or disappointed when the test turned out to be negative.
The event did prompt them to reconsider their living arrangements. It seemed silly to pay rent on two places when they spent every night together. It had gotten to the point where they kept leaving things at each other's apartments and frantically searching only to find whatever item they were looking for was never where they thought it would be.
In the end, they had chosen Pam's because 'the light was better'. Jim thought the light was just fine where he lived but he knew it was an artist thing.
And who was he to deny her anything that would make her happy.
So now that they shared the same home he thought it was stupid to just keep dating. It didn't make sense to wait when he knew that there was no way he'd ever change his mind.
Still when he finally got the question out he didn't want it to be typical, or over the top embarrassing. Had Pam consented to go to sporting events with Roy he thought for sure that he'd have proposed on that stupid screen and the crowd would be yelling "Nooooo!" all around them as it happened.
So romantic. He thinks with a roll of his eyes.
Instead, as Pam told it Roy had called her out onto the porch one night and held out his great aunt's ring, ceremoniously placing it on her finger. Her heart beat faster and she gazed up at him in anticipation. Five seconds later he had asked her to take it off. He laughed and said he was just making sure it fit.
The actual proposal was just as sentimental it seemed. In front of his whole family one Sunday Roy blurted out "Let's get married - we already fight like it."
And she'd wanted it to work so badly she quickly found herself saying "Yes."
Now that she had some distance she knew that it wasn't his fault. It wasn't that Roy didn't love her – he did. He just didn't get her – and that had always been the problem.
So of course, Jim wanted when he asked her to be as far removed from that as it could.
He'd envisioned every possible scenario and decided he didn't want to do it on a holiday, like Christmas or Valentine's Day. It worked for a lot of people he knew but to him it was so cliché and expected. He thought something as important as this deserved its own day or more importantly – its own moment.
As were with all things that concerned the two of them, things seemed to always work out on their own time.
It was a warm Saturday night in July, just about a year since they'd finally gotten together and Pam was rushing around the apartment nervous and giddy. One of her paintings was being featured in an exhibit for new artists that the gallery she worked at had organized.
She had agonized over what to show, and in the end she submitted a watercolor of the beach in Hyannis at sunset.
She looks more beautiful than he had ever seen her, and that was saying something because he thought she looked breathtaking on a typical Sunday morning, with her hair in a knot, wearing his sweatshirt and her glasses.
She twirls in front of him, searching frantically for one of her shoes. As she does the skirt of her little black dress fans out around her.
"Try under the couch." He chuckles as he watches her.
She stops and stares at him. "How do you…?" She gives him a confused look.
"Nine times out of ten anything I can't find ends up there." He says with a shrug.
She lifts his legs and crawls under them, sweeping an arm underneath. She sits back on her heels, rosy cheeked and looking radiant clutching her other strappy sandal victoriously.
"Thank you." She whispers as she pressed a quick kiss to his lips and dashed back to the bedroom.
Go ahead. He thinks. This is it…this is the time…the perfect time.
"Pam? Can you, um…grab my watch…I left it on the dresser." He calls out to her.
"Sure." She says. He can hear her walking unevenly across the floor, wearing one shoe and still carrying the other in her hand.
He figures it wouldn't take long. Maybe ten seconds or so, before she'd notice. Ten, nine, eight, seven, six…
He hears the shoe she's been carrying clattering to the ground.
Jim smiles widely. Faster than he thought. It only took less than five.
And then her hears her, clomping slowly back over to him.
"What…" She says breathlessly as she stares at him.
"Hmm?" He gives her a bemused look.
"W-what is this?" She asks as she holds the ring out to him with a trembling hand.
"Oh." He takes it from her and regards it closely. "That's just your ring."
"M-m-my…" She can't form a word, let alone a complete sentence.
He bites back a laugh as she stands before him, wobbling on her one shoe. He thinks he should be nervous, everything in him screams that he should be nervous but he isn't. He has no reason to be nervous at all.
Because, after all, it was just Pam, simply Pam, perfect…Pam.
He smiles widely as he turns the ring in his fingers. "It's your ring." He can see she doesn't get it at all. He smirks at her and continues. "You see – I made a promise to myself a while ago."
"Oh?" Is about all she can manage.
"Yes." He nods. "I had this vision. I kept thinking of when you officially showed your first piece of artwork and I was standing around the gallery, drinking some really awful wine and eating those nasty hors d'oeuvres that someone would eventually stand next to me and look at whatever incredible thing you'd decided to show and say 'Such an amazing talent. Do you know who's responsible for this?'"
Jim gazes down at her and sees the confused look on her face, her eyes bright with tears, and decides to get to the point. "And I'd say…'Actually – I'm glad you asked. The artist happens to be my fiancée…Pamela Beesly.'"
"Jim." She whispers as the tears begin to fall.
He keeps grinning at her as he's talking, completely confident of her answer before she even utters a word. "I knew I'd have to do something so I'd be able to say fiancée, because girlfriend seems so casual – and c'mon…you are something so much more."
He reaches down and wipes a tear from her cheek, his voice becoming soft and serious. "I simply can't even imagine spending my life with anyone else but you." He takes her hand in his.
She's quivering and dizzy and nothing short of overwhelmed. The ring slips onto her finger and fits perfectly.
"JIM…" She stares at her hand. She can't keep her eyes off the ring.
He has excellent taste, is all she can think. It's sparkling and glimmering and tastefully…huge.
He starts to laugh as he pulls her to him. Her left hand rests on his chest as her right arm curls around his neck. He bends his head and whispers against her lips. "Marry me, Pam. Please?" He starts to laugh in spite of it all. "I mean, look at me. I'm so freakishly tall I don't think anyone else will have me."
It's perfect, he's perfect. Once again she's awed at how lucky she is. She kisses him before she even answers and when she does all she keeps repeating is "Yes."
As she finally eases away and looks at the time she shakes him and says she could kill him for doing this tonight, and for ruining her mascara. He laughs and says he's not taking it back, so she's going to just have to deal with it.
She walks around the whole night in a daze. No one really even notices her ring and she's happy, because part of her just wants to keep it to herself for a bit.
She stands next to him and his arm curls around her waist and when he does her left hand seems to keep making it's way across his chest, coming to rest just over his heart.
That night when she sells her first painting though she's thrilled - it barely compares to the way she feels whenever she looks at her hand.
For the rest of her life, she can sell every piece of artwork she ever creates, but she knows that no matter how much money she makes that now she's got something that's priceless.
She's wearing another ring now, one that compliments the one he gave her just two years ago. She laughs as she watches him with his niece and suddenly she can see a picture of him and little girl with his eyes and her smile twirling around the dance floor.
He comes back to stand beside her, breathless and laughing. He leans close and asks her if she's sorry that their wedding wasn't more like this one and she shakes her head and replies. "Our wedding was perfect."
She means it. It was. It was simple and stress free and…fun. They planned every moment together, and had only the people who meant most to them in the world there.
They went to Australia right after, so Jim could show her all the things he'd seen when he was there the last time.
Except they made sure to go in February, so they could at least lay out on the beach.
She looks tired; he realizes as he drives them home, to the small house that his new job and latest promotion helped them buy. She's looked tired all week, he thinks worriedly, and he listens to her breathing slow and knows that she's fallen asleep.
He nudges her gently as they sit in the driveway. She yawns as she lets him lead her upstairs.
She smiles dreamily as she watches him getting ready for bed. She changes quickly and curls up, resting her head on the pillows. She shivers a bit; the heat in the old house takes a minute to reach the second floor.
Go ahead. She thinks. This is it…this is the time…the perfect time.
"Jim? Could you…um…grab a pair of socks for me? In the top drawer of the dresser?"
"Sure." He smiles over at her and then does what she asks. In seconds he goes incredibly still.
She grins like a madwoman as she waits for him to finally turn around.
"What…" He says when he's actually able to breathe again. He's holding an incredibly tiny pair of socks in his hand.
"Hmm?" She gives him a puzzled look.
"W-what is this?" He asks as he holds out the socks with a trembling hand.
"Jim." She says slowly. "Those are socks."
He gives her a look.
"But I don't think they will fit me." She scrunches her nose up at him.
"Maybe - they'll fit someone else." She says with a huge grin.
"We'll have to wait a few months and see." She says with a sigh.
He walks over and eases down on the bed next to her. "Pam. C'mon. Seriously. Are you?"
Involuntarily her hand skims over her stomach and tears spring to her eyes. "Yeah. Pretty much."
He's shivering and dizzy and nothing short of…overwhelmed.
"PAM." He says softly as his hand covers hers. "Are you sure you're OK?"
"I'm fine. We're fine." She smiles widely even as she sniffles a bit.
He knew he loved her. He was sure of it. But now…now…it was more than he'd ever dreamed of.
"I surprised you didn't I?" She whispers against his neck as he pulls her close.
"Oh yeah. You definitely did." He holds her tighter.
How did this happen? When did we get here? And why the hell did we wait so long?
"I hope you've learned your lesson." She says as his mouth moves over hers.
"What?" He pulls back a bit and looks at her completely confused.
"Never, ever, challenge me Halpert." She says as she shifts and takes his face in her hands. She kisses him long and hard before she pulls away, laughing. "You'll lose, every time."