Jim Halpert in "Dunder-Mifflin: Under Pressure"

Disclaimer: All characters are owned by NBC, etc.

Plug One: "Sound And Vision."

Jim would later attribute the whole sorry mess to it having been Wednesday.

Wednesday was always the hardest day for him to get through, far enough into the week that horrifying reality of that this was his job had completely dawned on him, yet too soon too really be able to look forward to the weekend. Worse, Wednesday was Karen's Worlds of Warcraft night, so he would be on his own and between the wasteland that was Wednesday night television and the crippling reality that he couldn't really do anything that would keep him from being able to show up for work on Thursday morning, Jim was forced to accept the fact that his dull day at work could only be matched by another dull evening at home.

So, like most of the decisions he'd made in his life, Jim basically jumped at the first option that might ease his boredom.

Jim could not help but feel Kevin looming him behind him, fighting with whether or not to say something. With anyone else that would have been a little creepy, Jim mused, but with Kevin... it was incredibly creepy. "What's up, Kev?"

"My band has changed directions again," Kevin explained.

"Oh yeah?" Jim realized this was important to Kevin, so he did his best to seem interested.

"Yeah. Being a Police tribute band was kind of limiting creatively."

"I could see how that would be the case," Jim agreed.

"Yeah," Kevin nodded. "Now we're a Queen tribute band."

Jim cocked his head to the side thoughtfully. "That does sound like an improvement."

"Yeah, we call ourselves "Princes of the Universe.'"

"Of course you do."

"Well, anyway, we've been invited to the State Queen Tribute Band Battle of the Bands in Pittsburgh" Kevin was the most excited monotone Jim could remember hearing, "and we need someone to join us on stage for 'Under Pressure' and, Jim, I would like that to be you."

Jim pursed his lips as if he had just taken a mouthful of sour Jelly Bellies. He gave himself a few seconds to wonder if he could think of anything sadder than a bad cover band. "I would definitely like to do that."

Kevin's face broke into a boyish smile. "Really?"

"Absolutely," he said, his tone completely even. "Are you sure I'm good enough?"

Kevin placed a heavy arm on Jim's shoulder. "I've heard you sing, Jim, you're good enough," he assured.

"I cannot tell you how much that means, Kev," Jim replied, meaning it. "Email me the details, let me know if I need to bring anything and... let me know what you guys need me to wear."

Kevin nodded and made his way back to his desk, looking much happier for having this settled. Jim gave the camera a big smile, genuinely excited to see where this was all going.

Jim: There are certain times in your life when you really only have one choice.

Jim raises his eyebrows to the camera.

Jim: When you get a chance to see a bad movie for free... when you see a man in a cape... and when someone asks you to be in his tribute band, you chase it. Because something cool is definitely going to happen.

"...So, I just jump up on stage... thunderous applause, obviously..."

"Obviously," Pam agreed.

"...and then I share lead vocals with Kevin," Jim concluded.

"So, Kevin is Freddie Mercury...?" Pam asked.

Jim nodded. "He didn't really mention any names, but... yeah, that seemed like the logical conclusion." He really was trying not to linger at the reception area as much as he used to, but with something this good...

Pam clearly felt the same way; all the awkwardness of the last few months seemed to be lost in sheer girlish giddiness. "So... have you decided what you're going to wear?"

"I was kind of hoping of doing a big, red mullet or clown make-up, but Kevin felt that would be anachronistic, so..." Jim finished his reply with the expression known simply as 'the jim.'

"Kevin used the word 'anachronistic?'" Pam raised an eyebrow dubiously.

"I'm paraphrasing," Jim admitted.

Pam couldn't help but laugh. Then she had a thought that made her smile drop. "What does Karen think of your new musical career," she asked, trying to keep her tone light and conversational.

"I don't know, I haven't told her yet," Jim said casually, as though it were nothing. "Hey, Karen," he called, waving her over to the desk with them.

Karen joined them and Jim began to eagerly explain the details of his deal with Kevin. He obviously needed to fill her in on some of the details she might need to fully appreciate the depth of the situation, like Kevin's band's past lives as "Scrantonictiy," "AbracaScranton," and, of course, "Are We Not Men? We Are Scranton," but soon she was smiling, waiting for her chance to cheer her boyfriend on to the stage.

"That's so cool," Karen laughed, "do you know what you're going to wear yet?"

"I haven't decided yet," Jim told her as they slowly started walking back to their desks together.

"We'll go shopping this weekend," Karen teased.

For her part, Pam just tried to keep smiling.

Pam, slowly but terribly awkward: No, I think it's great to be able to share a joke with someone else. I mean, that's what jokes are for, right? They're fun, so why would you... I mean, the more... It used to be that I was the only one who really had the same sense of humor as Jim, so I would be the only he could really share these things with, but... now there's Karen. I mean, I know things are different with her and Jim because she...


Pam: I think its fun to share jokes.

After seventeen solid minutes of pretending to do work, Dwight finally gave into his impulses and leaned across his desk to address Jim. "So, I hear you're planning on joining Kevin's new tribute band."

"Funny how secrets travel," Jim muttered, not even looking away from his computer screen.

"I'm going to have to ask you to reconsider," Dwight told him seriously, "there are bands and then there's Queen and I'm sorry to say that you are just not on that level."

Jim still refused to face him. "Thanks for your opinion, Dwight."

"What do you even know about 'Under Pressure?'" Dwight snapped.

"It's on my iPod in two different places," Jim replied off-handedly. Then he suddenly wondered why he admitted that. Pam didn't even know that.

"You are going embarrass yourself, Halpert," Dwight assured him, dripping venom.

Jim shrugged, that was the whole point.

Dwight let out a bestial grunt and stomped away from his desk.

Jim smiled wider than he had since he got back to Scranton. If he had to pay the airfare to Pittsburgh himself he would make sure Dwight was in the front row when he got on stage.