Chapter 1: Distraction
Disclaimer: I don't own The Office, but God knows I wish I did.
Here's my first real shot at an Office fic. Rating just to be safe. There's language and some sexual content later on. Enjoy!
def'n: something that interferes with concentration or takes attention away from something else
He hadn't been back long, but already he had broken her heart. There wasn't much for her to do, but sit at her desk playing solitaire and attempting to finish today's Sudoku puzzle. He distracted her though. The back of his head was strategically placed behind the screen of her computer she decided. She couldn't work with the constant distraction of his head right there.
Sometimes she thought if she stared long enough, he'd turn and she could smile at him. Maybe then he'd come over and they'd talk like they used to. Then, maybe he'd tell her he loved her again and everything would be okay. She'd tell him she loved him too, they could fall into each other's kiss again, they could get married, and she could have that house with the terrace and the flowers and-what the hell was she thinking? She shook her head at the thought and went back to placing the queen of hearts on the king of spades.
She knew Jim would never come over to her and tell her the things she so longed to hear. Things that, even when she was getting married, were wonderful to hear. She was a terrible person for saying no. She looked back at that night and kicked herself for pushing him away. If she had just let herself feel what she felt now. If she had just let him keep doing what he was doing. If she had let him keep kissing her like that. Where it would have led to she didn't know-no, she knew, but she should have let it all happen. There was a chance it wouldn't have gone anywhere past that kiss, but she couldn't stop thinking that something great could have been between them.
She looked up at him again and noticed he was in fact looking at her. "Hi."
"Hi." He smiled one of those melty kinds of Jim smiles. The kind that had always made her knees weak, even though she refused to admit it, even now when they were both free to do whatever (or whoever) they so chose. She smiled back, but it seemed fake. She knew he knew it was. She knew he knew there was something wrong, especially when his smile dropped and he got up from his desk.
He leaned over the counter to look down at her screen. "The five of diamonds can go up."
She looked down at the screen and then back at him. "I know. I was saving that."
"Ha ha, very funny." He smiled again and she was nervous again.
What the hell was wrong with her? She was never this way. Jim Halpert never-NEVER- made her nervous, but now with him so close she could feel her heart flutter slightly. Maybe she had lost her mind like she lost her Sudoku puzzle the day before as she watched Jim replace Dwight's sharpened pencils with brand new, non-sharpened ones.
It had taken him all day to switch out each pencil every time Dwight left his desk, but the result was well worth the effort. Dwight did his classic "Damnit Jim!" and Jim denied knowledge of what happened. It was all perfectly normal-except for the fact that she was too preoccupied watching Jim to notice the pair of eyes watching her all day (every day).
Not that she would have cared that Michael sat in his office watching the receptionist watch Halpert all day, but the fact that he was scheming in his office about the whole ordeal, that's what would have made her worry (had she been paying attention to anything going on around her).
Michael Scott was not one to leave things alone, even when he (and EVERYONE else) new something should be. He had watched Jim and Pam a lot more closely ever since Jim had confessed his feeling to his boss. Though Michael had never noticed the spark between the two before, he noticed it now. He knew that he had to so something to help the two of them get together. It would be the nice thing to do, besides, then there'd be something to argue with Toby about and he'd have something else to occupy his time other than the mountains of paperwork he was technically supposed to be reviewing and signing.
Michael's plan would have to wait, though. The day was well past over and with someone (everyone knew it was Jan) waiting for him at his condo, he wasn't going to stick around to help those two with their romantic issues. Maybe a quick push would be good. He grabbed his things and left his office, crossing to Pam's desk. Jim still stood there and Michael knew it was the perfect opportunity.
"Pam-a-lama-ding-Jim. Let me tell you, this is one pretty picture." He received strange looks from the two as if they were questioning what he could be up to now. "You two dating yet?" Again looks shot his way-shocked and annoyed, embarrassed and awkward looks, but looks none the less. "Well, just don't go at it on company time." And with that he left. Just left. Turned on his heels and left the two shell-shocked and alone in the office.
"That was weird."
"You think?" Jim turned and sat back at his desk. There wasn't anything he's like to do more than to "go at it" as Michael had so eloquently put it, but he couldn't see Pam feeling the same way. There was no way she was interested in him like that. Still, even after breaking it off with Roy, he couldn't imagine she thought of him that way.
"You staying for a while?"
He heard her small voice behind him. It was quieter than usual. As if she were scared someone would overhear her speaking to him, even though no one was there. "Yeah, I kind of want to get this done before tomorrow."
"Okay." Again quiet. She stood and turned off her computer monitor before grabbing her coat and purse. "I'll see you tomorrow."
She looked at him sitting at his desk once more before she left the office. It took all of her strength to push the elevator call button. She kept replaying Michael's words in her mind (which is scarier than Freddy Kruger invading your dreams). She couldn't stop thinking that someone had noticed they looked cute together. Even though it was only Michael Scott, she was happy someone thought they belonged together. His approached sucked, but that was Michael. Like Ricky Bobby, Michael was not a thinker. Michael Scott was not a driver; however, he was a meddler. She knew this wouldn't be good.
When she finally reached her car it had begun to snow. She stood for a moment letting the flakes hit her face and outstretched palm. She unlocked her car and got in, closing the door quickly. She needed to think. Just go home and think. And then maybe cry herself to sleep. This new Pam Beesly was weak and she hated it. Ever since Jim came back she was acting foolish. She would sit in her car for ten minutes before starting it just to think of the last minutes she spent with him. She'd go home and check her messages as if she were waiting for his call. She'd cry herself to sleep for the shear fact that she was to scared to go up to him and tell him she was sorry for pushing him away and she loved him like he loved her-or had loved her.
She went to start her car and realized she wasn't going anywhere when it refused to turn over. "Shit!" she said, hitting the steering wheel with her palms. Pam wasn't one to swear, but today had been one of those days where it was appropriate. She wanted to go home. She couldn't take being there anymore. Everything about Dunder-Mifflin reminded her of him. When he was there-when he wasn't-it all reminder her of him. She looked over at the spot they had stood in months before. The spot that she had most likely ruined his life in and she cried. "Damn-it!" She hit the steering wheel again and leaned back into her seat. She was more angry than really upset. She wanted the feelings to go away.
But then he appeared. She knew it was him before he even got all the way outside. It was dark out, but she knew it was him by the way he exited the building. His long strides brought him towards her car faster than she would have liked, considering the situation. He didn't approach her car, but his instead-maybe he hadn't seen her still parked there. She needed to go home. There wasn't any other choice.
"Jim!" she yelled as she opened her car door.
He turned quickly, of course. She could tell he was surprised by the abruptness of his movement, but he smiled the melty Jim smile and took a step towards her. "You stalking me Beesly? Cause, if you are, you kinda suck at it."
"My car won't start." It had started to snow harder in the few minutes since she had left the building. The flakes clung to his hair and his cheeks were becoming rosy from the cold winter air. They moved closer to one another, there in the Dunder-Mifflin parking lot (the parking lot of doom), like they had been months ago. Only, this time, they were both smiling. She was shivering, but she didn't notice until he reached his big gloved hands out to rub her upper arms. "Could you give me a ride home?"
"Of course. Come on; let's get out of the cold."
He opened the car door for her and waited till she was completely settled before he closed it again. She swore she saw a smile grace his lips as he rounded the car and got in. He threw his messenger bag in the back seat and smiled at her as he did so. That smile made her melt into a pool on the passenger side floorboard.
They didn't speak during the short ride to her apartment. All except for the quiet "right here" and "left up there". She didn't dare say much more since Jim's knuckles were already white on the steering wheel. He obviously hadn't expected the roads to be as bad as they seemed and she worried that her words would distract him too much.
When they finally pulled up in front of her apartment building, Jim leaned back and sighed. "Well, I think you owe me after that one Beesly."
"I'm so sorry, I didn't think the roads would be so bad. Um-" she paused, waiting to see if he was planning on speaking or not. When she realized he wasn't going to, she continued, "You what to come up for a cup of coffee?"
His face seemed to light up when he looked over at her. "That would be great."
def'n: Jim Halpert