Title: Dwight and the Futurehead (and Other Stories)
Author: Mike Pulgoni, Prince of Wales
Disclaimer: You know the drill.
1. Dwight and the Futurehead
Jim: When Dwight came in today, I couldn't help feeling that there was something different about him.
Jim: I had to ask myself "has he lost weight?" "Is he parting his hair the other way?"
Jim: Then I realize what it was: he was carrying a metal robot skull around with him wherever he went.
From the moment Dwight walked in with it to the moment he gently set it down on his desk, Jim couldn't take his eyes of his coworker. Sure, Dwight had engaged in behavior that could only be labeled insane before, but this was a new one even for him.
"So," Jim began, trying his best to restrain himself, "I'm sorry, I'm just going to ask."
Dwight raised a hateful eyebrow. "This," Dwight explained. "Is an official replica Terminator head signed by Summer Glau." He cast his evil-eye across the room. "I value it more than any one of your lives."
"Then don't you think you should keep it a home?" Jim asked, reasonably. "In a special trophy-case or on your mantel or maybe just keeping your bed warm for you?"
Dwight let out a derisive scoff. "If you think I'd leave my head alone for a second, you're insane," he scoffed. "The head stays with me at all times."
Jim nodded thoughtfully. "What about when you have to go to the bathroom?"
"At all times," Dwight repeated. "Now I suggest you get used to the head because I have a feeling it's going to be here a lot longer than you."
"I can only hope," Jim replied, getting back to work.
Dwight attempted to follow suit, but found that the head obscured his computer screen almost totally. He tried leaning it forward, but that made the keyboard inaccessible. Finally, he realized he'd have to rest the head in his lap for the duration of the workday, which, in addition to being extremely uncomfortable meant that he would have to put up with the sound of Jim's laughter.
So, it wasn't like the relationship didn't have its problems.
Jim: Yeah... it looks like Dwight's finally found a friend who can relate to him on his own level.
Shots of Dwight trying to feed the head.
Jim: It's beautiful in a way.
"So, what do you think?" Jim asked tentatively after slipping away to Pam's counter.
"I think Gwyneth Paltrow has the best dad in the world," Pam replied, never looking up from her computer.
Jim finally looked away from Dwight to flash her the raised eyebrow of confusion. "What?"
"She was supposed to be in that movie with Vanilla Ice, but her dad wouldn't let her," Pam explained.
"Really?" Jim tweaked.
Pam nodded. "According to Wikipedia."
"Which never is never wrong," Jim smiled.
"Of course," Pam agreed.
"But, no," Jim slipped back on track, "I was just wondering what you think we should do about Dwight."
Pam had, of course, known exactly what Jim had meant, but had hoped not to have this conversation. "He's been through a lot lately," she said simply.
"Yeah, I know," Jim accepted. "But..." and at this point he just pointed towards Dwight, who was currently lovingly polishing the head.
"Right," Pam sighed reluctantly.
"I just feel like I have to do something," Jim admitted.
"Or," Pam countered, "you can hold yourself off until we get home and be rewarded for leaving Dwight alone."
"It would have to be a pretty impressive reward," Jim smirked slyly.
"I've got 'Krush Groove' in the DVD player and half a carton of passionfruit sorbet," Pam teased.
Jim weighed the options in his hands for a moment before finally capitulating. "Why do you know me like no one else?" he asked in mock frustration.
"It's kind of scary, really," Pam grimaced.
One the other side of the room, one half of the office's rival reigning power couple was having far greater trouble restraining herself. "It's unnatural," Angela fumed.
Andy nodded, though he wasn't quite sure what he was agreeing to, just as he wasn't really sure why Dwight's relationships once again seemed more important to Angela than their own. Still, when you fell in love with a girl like Angela, you had to learn to accept her judgmentality fairly early on, and Andy was determined to support her every step of the way. "Absolutely, baby, it's downright perverse. There should be a law against it."
Of course, there was a law against, and that law was Angela. Before Andy could get back to reminding her about their plans for the evening and just how rare these Hanna Montana tickets were, she was storming her way over to Dwight's desk and beginning her assault.
"Dwight," she snarled in clipped tones, "this head is in violation of office safety codes."
Dwight gazed up at his former monkey, his eyes simultaneously hurt and cow-like. "Which codes?" he whimpered miserably, honestly unable to believe that Angela was once again going to sever his last strand of hope.
Angela chewed her lower lip furiously for a moment. "Fire prevention," she decided, seizing the head violently from Dwight's desk.
Dwight desperately tried desperately to latch onto the head, but Angela proved stronger than himself; he rose from his desk to follow her, but she had already ran to the other side; he tried to get a hold on it from another angle, but Angela quickly swung it around...
...And slammed it right into Meredith's face.
The entire office feel into a frightened hushed, trying, as they so often had, to persuade time to hit the cosmic undo button.
It was then that Michael finally walked in.
Everyone froze in place, Angela still holding the head, Meredith still bleeding profusely, and everyone else still staring in wide-eyed shock, wondering what their incompetent employer might say about the situation.
"Pam!" Michael shouted.
"Yes, Michael," Pam asked meekly.
"I need my extra security pants," he demanded lowly.
Baffled, Pam reached into her files and extracted the spare pair of trousers he insisted she have at the ready for him. "Here you go, Michael."
Michael accepted the pants and proceeded to remove the ones he had been wearing, violently shuck them into the trash, and put on the new pants right there, while all of his employees were too shocked to properly react.
"I'll be in my office," he announced once he was suitably dressed.
And then there was silence.
Michael: I noticed some phantom stains in the elevator. Didn't want to risk embarrassing myself.
He smiles weakly.
Michael: You can't be too careful.
2. Moment of Clarity
For once, Ryan didn't bother with empty corporate encouragespeak or meaningless blandishments as he strode purposefully into the Scranton branch. He hadn't bothered to sleep or bathe in the past several days and it was common knowledge he'd been let go by the Company, so what did it really matter?
Still, Ryan wasn't concerned with that right now. He would be later, of course, when he had no money for food and his employment record reflected being fired for drug violations... but right now, for what felt like the first time, he knew what he really wanted.
And he was going to get it.
"Um, hi Ryan," Pam began awkwardly, "do you have an appointment, or..."
But Ryan just blew right past her.
"Heeeeeeey, buddy," Michael called out. "Are you looking for your old job back? 'Cos I don't mind telling you..."
"Can't talk right now," Ryan said simply, not breaking his stride for a moment.
One-by-one, each of his former coworkers/employees fell into line behind him, all of them secretly suspecting that he was going to murder all of them, but every one of them morbidly curious to watch it all play out.
Finally, he reached his destination, the one, shining point at the end of his desolate road, the one person he'd come to realize he needed more than anyone else in the world.
"Kelly," Ryan began, painfully aware of all the eyes on him, "ever since I broke up with you, my life has been a total mess. I didn't have any direction, I couldn't maintain a relationship... I even got into problems with drugs."
"Wow," Michael gasped in real shock, "I hadn't heard about that."
"Without you, I'm like a ship without a rudder," Ryan admitted, more emotionally open than he'd ever been in his life up to that point. "I know I don't deserve it, but... please... take me back," he pleaded.
And for one horrible, linger moment all eyes were on Kelly.
"Uh, yeah, I've got a boyfriend and he still has a job, so maybe if you could go back in time a few months I'd consider it, but..." she clicked her tongue dismissively.
And one by one, they all awkwardly shambled away from him, until only Creed was left.
"So, what have you been taking?" Creed asked casually. "Ecstasy?"
Ryan said nothing, just stared at him fish-eyed.
"Make sure you're drinking plenty of orange juice, maybe a little Ovaltine," Creed offered sagely. "And don't mix it with alcohol or cocaine. It'll only make it worse," Creed said warmly, then patted Ryan on the shoulder for longer than the younger man was comfortable with. "Dance safe, big guy."
For his part, Ryan didn't know quite what to say.
3. My name is Toby Flenderson.
You know those awkward moments in life?
Well, one day I had a moment so awkward I jumped over a fifteen foot high fence and just kept right on running.
Eventually, I ran into another man running from the same thing.
Now we roam the country, trying to set things right.
"So, who are we going to be helping today?" Roy Anderson asked never looking away from the road that stretched out like a glorious brand new day before them.
"Well, today we're going to the little town of Whitehaven," Toby said as he consulted his iPhone. "It seems there's a little girl who's given up getting her daddy out of the hospital in time to see her football game."
Roy nodded warmly. "You know, it really feels good to be helping people like this."
"Yeah," Toby agreed readily. "I mean, I was really--"
But whatever Toby was about to say was swallowed by the shattering
of something heavy dropping suddenly onto the hood of their car.
"What the hell?"
As Toby explained the situation over the phone, Roy stood in front of the car, trying to bottle his anger as thoroughly as possible. He looked at the hood of his car and the object that had crashed onto it again. No good, it was still a metal robot skull.
"Thanks, we'll see you soon," Toby said, hanging up his iPhone.
"You called AAA?" Roy asked.
"Yeah," Toby replied reedily.
"You didn't tell them about the head, did you?" Roy muttered.
"I said something hit us," Toby replied calmly. "I didn't say what."
Roy nodded, trying to remain calm.
Then he snapped. "It's a head, Toby!"
"Yeah, yeah, I know," Toby mumbled.
"A metal head fell out of the sky!" Roy fumed.
"It happens," Toby shrugged.
"Who has this ever happened to before?" Roy asked angrily. Not for the first time, Toby found himself wondering why he'd chosen a partner so much larger than himself and with a history of drunken violence.
Roy took a deep cleansing breath. He promised himself he wasn't going to let his anger get the better of him anymore. He let his eyes drift to Toby's iPhone. "You got any music on that?"
"Just that CD Hunter put out," Toby sighed. "Jan put it on here last time she came to the office... I couldn't convince her not to."
Roy nodded. He didn't know who Hunter was, but he didn't want to admit his ignorance, so he said "turn it up."
Toby reluctantly complied, and Hunter's gentle, bittersweet ballad filled the empty air.
Roy stared at the head. The head stared right back at Roy. This made Roy understandably uncomfortable.
"So... what do you want to do with it?" Toby inquired casually.
"Idunno," Roy admitted. "I guess we could send it to Schrute. Probably help our karma a little."
Toby nodded. That was ostensibly why they were doing all this. Except... "Why would he want it?"
This gave Roy pause.
"I guess we could tell him it was a prop from that show he watches or something," Roy hazarded.
"And that will help our karma?" Toby asked.
"Uh, sure," Roy replied unsteadily.
And Hunter's song just kept right on playing. "You took me by the hand... made me a man..."
"I can't believe this is the number one song in the world," Toby sighed.