sorry i've left everyone hanging for so long - and thanks so much for all your great reviews and support on my first fanfic! it really means a lot. i'm not entirely sure i like the ending - i feel like i may have dragged it out too long, and i probably should have just stopped after the 1st chapter. ) oh well! it's been fun. please please let me know your opinions on this, and thanks for sticking with it! kaat

They had always been different. In the blank white canvas of the paper world they occupied, they were the splash of color in a lifeless frame; the vibrance of a gorgeous happily ever after, the brushstrokes she painted that rounded out his lips. They held hands in the bitter cold and wrapped themselves in dreams that were too perfect to be true. And yet they were.

They had always be different.

So why wouldn't he drop everything when a fever inhabited the person he loved most in the world? These were the thoughts that settled themselves in the corners of her mind, obscured by the radiated heat she'd felt all day, the weight of a brick pressing her head to the chilled pillow.

She slept as he took her shockingly high temperature, called her doctor, dug around in the mess of a pill cabinet for all the right medicines.

He was focused, propelled, on one thing; to get her better.

The seconds fell into a rhythm, the drum of ticking minutes, water warming in a glass, his knees aching from kneeling so long. But he didn't care.

She was awake as he smoothed damp curls from her forehead, kissed her flushed cheek and helped her swallow more pills with a glass much too large. His touch on her skin brought those familiar tingles to her stomach only he could produce.

His arm curled softly around her hair, he was with her.

As the sky darkened, mottled gray against the icy evening, Jim flicked on lamps, tucked in blankets, heated more soup.

"Jim." She called his name across the darkened room, her voice as weak as the air which separated them. He closed the gap with soft kisses on her forehead, lingering magic that left it's mark; she smiled.

"Hey." He leaned close, the smile etched into his face shrouded with worry. His aftershave clung to her fingers; she drank it in. "If you wanted to sleep on the bathroom floor, you should have just said so."

"Abusing your girlfriend, Halpert?" She sighed weakly and tossled his hair between her fingers.

He could tell she was tired. "Really, how are you feeling? Any better?"

She sniffled. Her head seemed shredded in two, fever permeating every brainwave. She had the chills. And yet she was getting lost in his eyes, that impeccable blue of a drowning ocean. He was the cool she longed to dive into; to surround herself completely, fully, wholely, with him. With him, she could float. She was feeling incredably sick, but all her thoughts were drenched in him. None of it mattered; he was there, taking care of everything. Always the one to dry her tears and quench her thirst for a happiness that only radiated from him; the center of her universe. So, how was she feeling?

"Complete." Her eyes, glazed with fever, reached deep into his own, pulling out those twisted colors they could only make together. She smiled, the kind that lit up her whole face. He didn't have to ask what she meant. A thousand unspoken words rushed into the silence. There were things they didn't need to say anymore. They just knew.

He kissed her, the stars exploding behind her eyelids.

She loved him.

She loved him, and her fever was going down.

They settled in with cups of soup, a movie flashing colors against the couch in the dimly lit room. She leaned against him, head on his shoulder, his arm curled softly around the small of her back.

Just these things; knees touching, stolen kisses, worried smiles and their hands curled into one.

"I love you." She was surprised how easily it melted off her tongue. How many times had he heard her say it? But it was always with a new passion, a new fire. In the unspoken silence, there couldn't have been three more beautiful words.

He took her hands.

it was the world in motion,

her eyes the seas of swirling green

brighter than those thousands of stars scattered across the night sky.

it was all the moments wrapped into one, a delicious start to a new day.

he would spend every second with her, even if meant a fever and fitfull sleep.

she was where he wanted to be. she was the definition of his heart.

even now, as her eyes glinted with fever, as the movie credits began to roll, as the evening gnawed on to blackest night, it was what he had always known; she was it.

he held her.

he held her so tightly.

"I love you, Pam."

and there was a kiss that left them gasping for air,

a thousand promises of what was to come.

the blanket curled around their ankles as the night wore on.

he was her medicine, her cure.

if there was ever such a thing as a perfect sick day, pam thought to herself,

this was it.