A/N: This is for all of the fabulous ladies over at TWoP. I hope this fulfills your shirtless, wet, Marco Polo, sleepy Jim needs to some extent.
She's going along to this training seminar because she's supposed to be Michael's "assistant." She isn't sure what this means, but it's a seminar for salesmen and it's over a long weekend and Jim's going.
So she agrees and says to the camera as she smiles, "I'm actually looking forward to this weekend. Um, yeah, being Michael's assistant for three days will probably turn out…badly. But I haven't seen much of New York and, uh, there are some windows of free time and Jim says he'll take me to the Met. Roy used to always promise we'd go one weekend and he'd let me go to the museums and stuff…but he never…actually did. So." She puts her smile back on her face, "I think it'll be good to finally see more of the city. And it'll be good to get away after all of the…you know."
Jim comes over to her desk on the Thursday before they leave and says, "I just found out that I have to share a hotel room with Dwight."
And all she can do is laugh. "Oh my God. Promise me you'll get him to play Truth or Dare with you and if a pillow fight can be arranged, that would be great."
He smiles despite himself, "This is nothing to joke about, Pam. I have to sleep in the same room as Dwight. What if there's a mix up and our room only has one bed? Do you understand the urgency of this situation?"
She's looking over at Dwight thoughtfully. "I wonder if he snores or has night terrors."
He shakes his head and closes his eyes tightly, trying to rid himself of any more thoughts of Dwight. "Be warned, Beesly. This just means I'll be hanging out in your room even more."
She smiles up at him. "I think I'm okay with that." And she isn't sure if she meant to imply anything with that statement, but he just nods and goes back to his desk.
The question posed by the camera crew is, as usual, about Pam.
"Yeah, she said she needed some time. So…I'm giving her time. She knows where I stand and- You know what? I'd really rather not talk about this right now."
But they ask another question about the weekend in the city.
"It should be fun. You know, except for the whole Dwight being my roommate thing. I told Pam I'd take her to the art museums if there was time, because I know she's been wanting to go." He looks down at his hands with a half smile playing on his lips and he looks back up and says, "And…I guess we'll just see what happens."
They drive up together. He helps her put her bag in his trunk and smiles at her as he pushes it shut. He lets her listen to what she wants on the radio. They stop at a rest stop and she buys an orange soda and a bag of chips. She slips off her shoes at some point and rests her socked feet on the dashboard and hums along to a song that she likes. She talks about how she likes to see cars with license plates from northern states on northbound highways because it makes her think of how love feels. That warm, comfortable feeling of going home. He tries not to reach over and hold her hand.
Their rooms are next to each other and this causes her cheeks to redden a little.
Dwight's packed an inordinate amount of luggage and Jim shoots her a look as Dwight insists on unlocking the door even though his hands are full. He mouths, "Kill me," and she giggles a little as she slips into her own room.
She can hear their voices through the wall. The low rumble of Jim's voice makes her smile as she places her clothes into the dresser. Dwight says something about needing two hours to get ready in the morning, but she doesn't hear Jim's response. There's just silence and then a knocking on the door.
He stands there, frowning. "Pam. Do you understand? I've been in there for five minutes and he's already shown me the imaginary line that runs between both of our beds. I told him I didn't understand and I think he's going to go out and buy chalk so he can draw a real line on the carpet."
She stands aside, "This is your safe house."
"Thank you, Pam."
They watch TV. They're both stretched out on her bed, watching bad sitcoms. He has his hands behind his head and his legs crossed in front of him. She tries not to look at him too much, but it's hard because she's not with Roy anymore and she knows how he feels and she knows that if she kissed him right now, he'd let her. But she lays there stiffly next to him and ignores all of that. Or tries to. But then he laughs and it gets harder.
She discovers the pool the next day when Michael makes her go find a vending machine so him and Jim can enjoy a grape soda together. There have been two training sessions today and all she's done is follow Michael around and carry things for him or pretend to take notes. And now she's hunting down a vending machine that carries grape soda so he can eat his lunch properly with "Jimbo" his "BFF." Dwight's fallen face when he called Jim that was sort of worth it though.
And then she sees the sign for the pool. She hasn't been swimming in ages and suddenly the idea of cool water sliding against her skin is more tempting than anything. She starts to remember summers as a child at the pool and smiles. But then she remembers the mission she's on and continues down the hall, making a mental note to remember about the pool.
In the end, she doesn't find any grape soda and when she reports this to Michael, he groans and says under his breath, "Whole lot of good it did, bringing you along."
It's late. She realizes how late it is. After midnight, but she's still so awake and she's bored.
She goes to his door and knocks quietly, crossing her fingers that Dwight won't answer the door because she's sure whatever he wears to bed is going to be horrifying. The door opens and she gives a sigh of relief. It's just Jim. Just Jim standing there in his boxers and a thin gray t-shirt. His hair is messy and he runs a hand over his face. He rests his arm along the doorjamb and leans a little, his t-shirt riding up so she can see just the hint of his left hip. He's smiling at her.
"To what do I owe the pleasure of you gracing my doorstep at such an hour?"
She shifts on her feet, suddenly uncomfortable because she can see a bit of his stomach. "Um. I was bored…"
"Well, Pam, most people use sleep to fight boredom late at night."
He moves and now he's folding his arms across his chest and she looks down at his bare legs and feet and feels warm.
"I can't sleep. Let's go swimming."
"Uh, that might be a little hard what with me not thinking to pack a bathing suit. You know, because it's the middle of November."
She feels bold now though, because she reminds herself that it's okay to want him, to look at him the way she is now. She can do things like this and not feel guilty. She isn't hurting anyone anymore.
"Yeah, me neither. We can just go in our…" She motions to his boxers.
He looks at her curiously. "Pam Beesly, are you suggesting that we go swimming in our underwear? Single life has really turned you wild, hasn't it?"
"Maybe a little," she smiles playfully at him.
And he's quick to run a hand over his hair to flatten out its kinks and say, "Let me just grab my key."
She hasn't really thought this through and now they're standing at the edge of the pool, watching the steam rise from the surface.
She's still in her pajamas and he laughs nervously under his breath and says, "Uh, I can turn around if you want…"
She takes a breath, deeply and slowly and looks up at him. "No, don't. That's okay."
She grabs the hem of her tank top and pulls it over her head, thankful she wore her black bra today. She hears him make a sound when her top lands on the cement, but she doesn't look over at him for fear that her courage will disappear if she does. She slides her pajama bottoms down to her ankles and steps out of them. The cold air hits her skin and she wraps her arms around herself. Her underwear is green and she sort of wishes she had worn the black pair, but then she didn't know that she'd be standing here in front of him about to jump into a hotel pool in her underwear.
He smiles at her and she sees something else in his eyes like desire. It glimmers a little and cuts through her skin, burning it slightly. He pulls his t-shirt over his head and she has to turn away because she's blushing and she feels it on her cheeks.
When she turns back to him, he's standing there with his hands on his hips. She lets her eyes run over his body for just a second before smiling and jumping right into the water. It's warm and when she resurfaces, he's smiling down at her from the edge of the pool.
"Aren't you going to join me?" She swims back and forth in front of him.
He doesn't say anything, just looks at her with something mischievous in his eyes. She grabs his hand and pulls. He lands in the water with a loud splash and her laugh echoes off of the ceiling.
He pushes his now wet hair back from his face. "Oh, you are dead."
"Yeah?" She starts to swim away from him, "You'll have to catch me first."
Which is easy for him because he's got those long and graceful limbs. She gets to the other end of the pool and just stays there and watches his arms cut through the water to get to her. When he does, he stands in front of her. Unlike him, she can't stand in the six feet of water so she's pushing her hands through the water to keep herself afloat. And he's close now and her back's against the wall of the pool like he's cornering her.
"Hey," he says, smiling in a way she's only seen a few times before. But it's enough to make her arms stop moving and she starts to sink a little.
She catches herself though, grabbing onto his shoulders. "Hey." And she leaves her hands there because it's easier to keep herself afloat this way. It might also have something to do with the way his skin feels all smooth and wet and warm and how his shoulders are so broad.
"What happened to me being dead?" She asks him, laughing a little.
He pretends to think this over. "I think I like this better."
She doesn't remember when his hands found their way to her hips, but they're there now and she has to close her eyes for a second. She is constantly having to remind herself that this is okay now, feeling like this when his fingertips are so dangerously close to the elastic of her underwear.
She wraps her legs around his waist, surprising even herself. She says, "You're right. This is better."
"Pam," he says like a warning.
She wraps her legs even tighter around him. "What?"
"Are you- You wanted time."
"I've had time."
Water drips down his nose and onto his bottom lip. And when she kisses him, their mouths slide around against each other. He tastes clean and also a little bit like chlorine. He kisses her slowly and she runs her tongue along his lip where the water had been dripping and it tastes so pure that she pulls away.
She just stares into his eyes and he stares back, neither of them blinking or moving or even breathing. Then she feels her lips curling upward and she closes her eyes, disconnects herself from him and says, "Marco."
She hears him laugh and then there's the sound of the water as he moves through it. She wants to open her eyes and watch, but she doesn't.
She starts to move across the pool to where his voice is coming from. "Marco!"
"Polo!" And he's moving again to the other corner.
She jumps and opens her eyes. He's right behind her and his mouth is against her ear. Underwater, his hands are moving across her stomach and she leans back into him a little and mumbles, "Marco."
He turns her around, "Polo," and kisses her as he pushes pieces of her wet hair back from her face.
She pulls back, "Hey, that's not how the game works. I'm supposed to find you."
"True, but I think I like this better." He kisses her again, harder this time and he brings his hands up to her face, causing the water to splash a bit. Her hands find themselves between his shoulder blades as she pulls him completely against her.
And then he stops and backs away from her. She watches him push himself up and out of the pool. Watches the water drip from his body, from his soaked boxers, from his hair. Watches him stand there, looking down at her as water runs down his skin and hit's the ground.
He grabs his shirt and looks at her, "Should've brought towels with us."
She doesn't respond because she's so caught up in watching him as he bends over to gather up her discarded clothes.
He looks at her in the water, "Are we going back to your room or not?"
On Monday, back in Scranton, she sits in front of the camera and smiles, "No, we actually never got a chance to go to any of the museums…" The camera zooms in a little and catches the red filling in her cheeks. "We just got caught up with, um, other things. But it was…a great weekend."