Disclaimer: I do not own NBC, The Office, or any of the characters affiliated with the show. No infringement is intended.
Summary: AU Roy leaves Pam months before they are to get married. Pam can no longer afford to keep her apartment by herself but a new transfer is looking for a place to stay.
Another Place to Fall
Pam felt her heart drop. Literally and completely plummet, pushing all organs out of the way in a mad rush for the bottom of her soul. She braced her hand on the counter top, letting her purse drop to the ground.
She put the hand that wasn't bracing her on her forehead, rubbing gentle circles, trying to calm down. This wasn't happening. This just wasn't-
"I'm leaving Pam."
Roy was standing in front of her, a bag slung over his shoulder, looking more uncomfortable and upset than she did. He couldn't meet her eyes and was shuffling awkwardly back and forth.
"I didn't want to do it like this. But you got home early. I wasn't expecting-"
"To have to see me? Were you just going to leave a note?"
She let her hand drop and heaved a sigh. He was clenching and unclenching the hand that held the bad on his shoulder. Her eyes widened when she realized that was exactly what he was planning on doing.
"Seriously Roy? Ten years and all I would have gotten is a note?"
He took a step back as she raised her voice. She breathed out heavily and forced herself to calm down. But it wasn't working. She couldn't breathe. She could feel her heart down in her stomach somewhere, rolling around and shattering into a million pieces.
"But we are supposed to get married in two months. Are you sure this just isn't a phase or something?"
"I'm sure." He mumbled it and averted his eyes to the fridge behind her head. "I just, I can't be here anymore. I can't commit to this relationship. It isn't fair to me and it isn't fair to you. I'm sorry. I just, I-"
He didn't finish his sentence. He shuffled backwards through the door, his bag swinging loosely over his shoulder. The door slammed shut with alarming alacrity. Pam jumped at the noise.
She was alone.
Her breathing came quicker and her vision blurred. She sank to the floor of her kitchen and let out heaving sobs. She cried until her face was swollen and she forgot what time it was, what day it was.
She curled up into a ball; her knees tucked tightly into her chest and wished away the pain. When that didn't work and her sobs had turned into hiccups of sorrow, she crawled over to the cabinet by the dishwasher and took out the wine she was saving for a romantic weekend dinner.
She popped the cork and took a swig. No need for formalities now.
She could feel the shift inside of her. The sadness and sorrow was slowly morphing into something else. It was making way for a stronger, more powerful emotion.
Bitterness and anger was forcing its way through her body like a drug.
She took another sip of wine and laid back down on the floor, her hair spread around her like an oriental fan.
Two more drunken gulps of wine and she was out.
Pam groaned on the floor and rolled over, burying her head in the crook of her arm. She had no idea why she was on the floor, or even who she was for that matter. She let out another loud groan in the silent kitchen.
It all came rushing back. Roy leaving. Her crawled up on the floor crying. The wine.
She let out a sigh and braced herself on the floor, lifting up slowly. She winced as moving cause pain to shoot through her stiff back and neck. The kitchen floor wasn't the ideal place for sleeping.
Once she was on her feet, she reached out a hand to brace herself on the counter as the room revolved quickly around her.
The bathroom tile was cold on her stocking feet. She looked in the mirror and took a deep breath. Her mascara had washed down her face from all the crying and dried through the night. Her eyes were red and swollen, as if they were just waiting for another fit of tears to overcome her. Her hair had long since fallen from the clip that usually held it so neatly in place, and was sticking up at odd angles.
She reached out a hand and touched her reflection softly. She didn't recognize that person. That person was sad and cold and lost. That person was broken and alone.
She was alone.
She snuck into the office as quietly as possible, holding the door behind her. She was well over two hours late and dealing with Dwight was the last thing she wanted to.
But deal she had to.
"Pam, you're late." He popped out of the shadows and she jumped, putting her hand to her heart instinctively. She let out a short breath of air and reopened her eyes, walking behind her desk and collapsing into her chair.
He put his hands on his hops and raised an eyebrow.
"You know, Dunder Mifflin by-laws state that if an employee is late to work without a viable excuse, then some of their pay can be reduced for the week in which their absence occurred."
Pam didn't answer. She just held his gaze with weary, worn eyes.
Dwight seemed to grow flustered with her lack of response. "Well?"
"Well what, Dwight?"
"Do you have an excuse?"
She smiled slightly. "No, Dwight, I don't. I overslept." She figured 'I was passed out drunk on my kitchen floor after my fiancée of ten years walked out' wouldn't be any more acceptable than the idea that she overslept. Which she did, kind of.
He was infuriated by her answer. She could see the color rise in his cheeks and his glasses fog slightly. "Dunder Mifflin is not your playground Pam. Your pay will by deducted."
"What does that even mean? Dunder Mifflin is not my playground?" She squinted her eyes at him as she swiveled back and forth in her chair. A small smile haunted her features.
He heaved a heavy sigh. "Your pay. Will be. Deducted."
"Deduct away Dwight."
He stormed away, throwing his body into his chair, forcing it to move backwards several feet. Phyllis glared at him as it bounced into hers uncomfortably. Dwight muttered an expletive under his breath and went back to pounding furiously on his keyboard.
Pam watched with amusement that didn't quite reach her eyes. She pulled off her coat and started listening to the messages she missed in the morning. She had barely gotten through her third one when a shadow loomed over her again. She let out a sigh. Her patience was thin enough today.
"Dwight, honestly, I do not care that you are deducting my pay because I seriously doubt you even have that authority. Now kindly go back to your hobbit hole and leave me alone."
There was a pause and then a slight cough. Pam looked up to see an unfamiliar man with shaggy hair and easily six feet tall. He gave her a small smile. "Uh, my name is Jim. Halpert. I'm the new sales guy."
He held out his hand over the desk for her to shake. Her cheeks reddened as his large hand wrapped around her small, frail one.
She forced a small smile. "Oh."