Author's Note: I didn't own it when I started; I don't own it when I finish. The circle of life? You decide.
Here we go: the epilogue. Short, sweet, and summary…-y.
Michael: (near the breakfast buffet) Well, this is it. Heading back to Scranton in just a couple hours. Home sweet home. Has it been a good trip? (He smiles proudly.) It's been an amazing trip. Like any family we had our ups and downs while here, but that's to be expected. I gave these people a chance of a lifetime, and even if they never come right out and say it, I know how thankful they are. Let's put it this way – I'm never getting another oven mitt for Christmas. (He listens to a question from off camera.) Holly and I? Umm… (he chuckles) we'll just have to wait and see. We have a lot to discuss: would she be intimidated dating someone in a corporate role…I mean, more corporate than her? Is she jealous another woman loves me and is almost having my baby? (He shrugs.) Time will tell.
(Holly stands near the pastries at the breakfast buffet. She simply smiles, chooses a random Danish and heads back to the table.)
Andy: (a few feet from the table; looking glum) The trip? So-so. I pictured a romantic getaway for my beautiful snap dragon and me; I got a week full of looking like an idiot thanks to Dwight and puking on my hat. (He grins some.) I did make him sleep outside last night. He was pretty agreeable about it too. (He shrugs.) Even if it was meaningless, he knows who won.
Phyllis: (outside the restaurant; whispering excitedly) Angela got her own room last night! She said she had a headache and couldn't do her "healing Bible study" with Meredith and I there. (She listens for a minute, then starts to blush.) Oh, you just wanted what I thought of…oh…yes, I had a good time.
Angela: (near the trash can in the restaurant; looking severe) I don't know what you're talking about. I did have a headache. Phyllis's constant chattering and the rattling of Meredith's bottles only made it worse, so I got a separate room for the night. End of story. (She empties her breakfast tray resolutely.) And yes, I had a nice time. On this vacation. (The blush rising to her pale cheeks is unmistakable as she marches off.)
The branch stood at the entrance to the resort as they waited for the Magical Express to take them to the Orlando International Airport. Toward the back of the crowd Oscar was staring at Creed strangely. "You were in Disney jail last night?" he attempted to understand. Creed nodded. "What was it like?"
Creed shook his head. "You don't wanna know, man," he told Oscar ominously.
Creed: (on a bench) Back in the sixties I spent a lot of time in holding cells after 'Nam protests. (He shakes his head again.) Those things were palaces in comparison. I'm gonna blog the whole experience when I get back, so be sure and check that out.
Judy looked over her soon-to-be-former charges as they waited, gracing them with a bright smile. "I hope you all had a great time this week," she said, and was answered by a chorus of yeses and nods. "I did too," she told them. Stanley, at her left, gave a soft snicker as he eyed her. She shrugged, still smiling, albeit sheepishly now. "It was definitely a lot of new experiences," she amended her previous statement.
"That's one way of putting it," Stanley replied.
Stanley: (near the resort entrance, Stanleying) Of course Judy thought we were all right. For her, we're just a bad dream. She's lucky enough to be able to wake up.
Soon after the bus arrived. Once the luggage was loaded the branch began climbing aboard, Judy standing at the door to say goodbye to each of them. When it was Kevin's turn Judy smiled a little more than she had for Meredith, who had muttered a "buzz kill" at her after her goodbye. "Bye Judy," Kevin said, looking a bit sad and hesitantly putting out his hand. Judy took it warmly.
"Bye Kevin. Hope you had a great time." Kevin nodded, standing there a moment. Before he boarded, Judy patted his back. "Keep that Indy hat around," she added quietly, giving him a wink. "It looks good."
Kevin said nothing, but shined a lascivious grin camera-ward before climbing the steps.
Dwight was next. Judy, perhaps subconsciously, took a half step backward, and clasped her hands behind her back. "Goodbye Dwight," she offered. Dwight nodded.
"Judy," he said diplomatically. The two shared an awkward silence with no end in sight, but Dwight ushered it away by holding out his hand. "This has been an enjoyable time. You are…competent," he offered, clearly feeling generous.
Judy went wide-eyed, no doubt more touched by such ambiguous praise than she would have been five days ago. "Really?" she asked before she could check it. "I mean thank you. You…are, too."
Dwight smirked, "Duh," he spat before boarding the bus.
Finally there was Michael, who was looking around. "Everything okay, Michael?" Judy asked. Michael frowned.
"Where are Jim and Pam?" he wondered. Judy bit her lip.
"Oh, just running late I guess. I can help them rearrange their flight—"
"You know where they are," Michael interrupted, looking coy. Judy eyed the camera nervously.
Michael looked at the camera as well. "Bow chicka bow bow," he said, throwing in a hip thrust or two for good measure. Judy, looking relieved, simply shrugged. When Michael finished with his insinuation he looked at the tour guide, his eyes quickly growing misty.
"It's been a great week," he mused, and Judy smiled.
"Not just for us, but for you. I feel like I've helped you become a great leader. Well, better leader, anyway," Michael continued, rocking on his heels. "You're a little like Ryan, Judy. I've shared what I know with you, helped you to grow, and left you to follow in my footsteps on your own. Just…just stay away from drugs. And corporate fraud."
Judy, Disney through and through, didn't question this as she gave him a friendly grin. "I'll do my best," she assured him. Michael nodded, a tear escaping as he squeezed her shoulder. He ascended the stairway, but at the top step he turned and gave the complex at large a wave. "Goodbye Disney!" he called out, his voice strained. "Scranton has left the building!"
The door shut behind him. Judy gave the bus a wave as it pulled away, then sighed as she wandered off.
Judy: (on a bench; holding a cigarette and looking contemplative) It has been a…week. I felt like I was in a Christopher Guest movie most of the time, you know? I just hope to God that whenever this footage airs this little interview isn't followed by a scene of me running a store that specializes in My Dinner With Andre action figures or recording an album dedicated to terriers six months from now. (She takes a drag; on exhale) I think once my bosses see what I dealt with it'll be okay, but you never know. (She smiles.) If I'm gonna get fired, I have one thing to say: High School Musical is of the devil. (She takes a deep breath, as if she has just had a great weight lifted off her, then stands and tosses her butt in the ash tray. Just as she is about to walk away, she is clearly stopped by a question from off-camera. She grins again.) What makes you think I know anything about Jim and Pam? (Her eyes twinkle.) Or should I say, "Mr. and Mrs. Ross Geller?" (She glances at her watch, then looks up.) But be kind – it's only ten o'clock.
At first the shot was only of a deep brown door in a cream colored hallway, the number 323 displayed on a sleek silver plate. Then Steve, the DP, stepped into the shot, knocking tentatively as the boom mike dipped near his head and was pushed into the doorjamb. Steve looked somewhere behind the camera questioningly as the sensitive microphone picked up snippets from inside the room.
"…it's room service?"
What sounded like footsteps nearing the door, then a soft female laugh.
Quite clearly: "We've been discovered."
A lower, raspy voice, just as clearly: "Dammit."
Footsteps retreating, then nothing. Another snippet, this one from the female voice: "…least…them a note."
All was silent again, and Steve grimaced. Suddenly, though, the door opened a good foot or so. There stood Pam, clad in a cushy white bathrobe with her hair a red bird's nest. She held up her left hand, now sporting a diamond ring that was almost as bright as the smile she wore. Behind her stood a shirtless Jim, his right arm wrapped around Pam's waist while the left held out a slip of paper to Steve. "Thanks," Steve said, surprised. The camera managed to catch the black leather bracelet snapped around Jim's wrist as he and Pam waved and shut the door again.
The camera filmed Steve as read the note. With a chuckle he held it out.
In Jim's rushed printing:
We're staying a few extra days. (Thanks Judy.) See you Wednesday.
And tacked on, in Pam's even hand:
YES, he did kick my ass.
A/N Pt. II: I know I haven't written any great masterpiece here, but this turned in to…so much more than I ever anticipated. A few months ago I just thought it'd be cute to send the Scranton branch on a trip to the Happiest Place on Earth. I hoped a few people would read and enjoy it. Now, over 300 reviews and 20 chapters full of madness later, I'm not only amazed but, like, dorkily emotional that it's all over.
If you'll allow me, I have a few thank you's to issue…first, to all of you that read and reviewed. Holy crap, guys. You're crazy, and I mean that in the nicest way possible. From those of you that started with me two months ago to those that have plowed through the whole thing in the last few days (I can't believe it held up!), thanks a lot. I've responded to all of my signed reviews, but to those that review "anonymously" – (deep breath) officejam, gracie, Kelly, Jessica, youngforeternity, Camille, Audrey, paperairplanes, jameswalrus, Sue, Sara, Dee, KGX2001, Holly, ibcutie09, blackbird23 and Tuttle – your kind words are just as appreciated.
A special thanks to ktface3, who is a constant source of inspiration, encouragement and support. It's because of your enthusiasm for the idea months ago that I ever started it! Next, to HalloweenJack138 - you contributed some of the best material imaginable. Thank you for sharing your genius and taking this wacky trip with me. I'm honored to call you a reader. You, sir, are the best. Hands down. (Aside from Mr. Beets, who deserves more thanks than I could say, but I know you're okay with that ruling.) And the Fo Sho Kate, aka Katja – you are my favorite bitch. All praise due. Thanks for your help and glowing, if mocking of others, reviews (which you know I adore). Love you!
So in closing, the words of Jiminy Cricket as he wraps up the Wishes fireworks: "Thanks, folks, for making this little gathering of ours so extra magical. And from our family and friends to yours, may all your wishes come true. So long!"
Now it's time to say goodbye
To the DM company –
(See you real soon!)
(Why? 'Cause I have more stories for you!)