Spoilers:"Dunder Mifflin Infinity" and somewhat of a prelude to the Relly developments in "Weight Loss"
Description: Ryan is done with Scranton forever...except that Kelly's pregnant. Dinner should be fun.
Notes:Before reading this story, you should watch this clip: .com/video-detail/dunder-mifflin-infinity/3264150829
Disclaimer: Not mine. Not mine.
Feedback: I fiend for it.
As Ryan speeds out of the parking lot, he fires Kelly a text message: "U can pk the rest." She replies with a lot of smiley faces and then "Dave and Buster's," the grown-up's answer to Chuck E. Cheese. Because this – obviously – is an appropriate choice of location for a conversation about how two people who don't love each anymore – well, don't love each other—are going to raise a child.
When he picks her up, he just drives to Cooper's.
Ryan wakes up with a headache so crushing that even makes his teeth hurt. He pinched some E from Troy last night (because Troy owes him like a million bucks in cab fare) and now he is sore all over and the light is killing his eyes. He feels like crap. He almost calls in sick but doesn't because, today, he has business at the Scranton branch.
The Scranton branch.
Mind wipe. That's what moving to New York was like. It is so bright and so wonderful and so great, like really great, that it completely erased Scranton out of his history. Like this one time at a business conference a lady had asked him where he was from and he stuttered on the answer so long that she just assumed that he was trying to say Sacramento and he spent the rest of the conference explaining what the West Coast was like. Which was basically a lot like New York, since that is the only place he had lived that wasn't a sinkhole, and so yeah, he described that.
So coming back to Scranton is more like some extended, twisted déjà vu and not exactly like coming home, since Scranton is so vague in his mind and New York is so vivid, and walking through the door to the office seems so distant.
But one sentence makes it all come crashing back. OK, two sentences: "I'm pregnant. And guess what, buddy, I am keeping it."
And all of a sudden he's transported back to the cubicle in the back by the kitchen after another failed sale and Kelly reminds him how Jessica Simpson's hair extensions and shoe line are the two best inventions ever and, just because she made one tiny mistake about tuna doesn't mean she isn't one of the most smartest celebrities out there, like she was totally smarter than Beyoncé because all she does is shake her booty, but Kelly totally can't understand why no one understands that. And maybe Dwight walks up right then and informs him that Michael (and by Michael he means Dwight) is enacting a new regulation that all lunches have to be heated in pre-approved fire resistant containers, and right on time, Kevin might whisper Fire Guy for the exactly 8 billionth time and giggle like a retarded six year old. And Jim would high-five him (because Jim is a walking douche) and then ask Ryan to submit his updated sales figures by the end of the day – which are still zero.
Ryan is so rattled by the revelation that he just walks out; he somehow lands in a Starbucks, opens his laptop (that he purchased on his expense account with a limit so high that the folks back in Scranton would never believe; it's 100,000 dollars) and listens to podcasts of Money Matters until it is time to go and pick up Kelly. And not so much listens as panics. Because he would barely be human if he wasn't thinking of a way out of this thing. Seriously, Kelly is a certifiable lunatic; she's the last person in the world he'd have a kid with. Having a kid with her is like a life sentence of insanity with cleavage. He calls Troy (the closest thing to a friend he has right now) and asks him what he thinks. He runs through a battery of all the usual questions: Is she more than three months along? Probably. Will she get an abortion? Never. I'm missing some pills and I know you took them, and that's not a question Troy. Has she slept with anyone else since you? How in hell is he supposed to know (Because that business about sleeping with a lot of black guys was a total lie)? Troy takes that as a yes and figures that, since she isn't showing, the kid can't be Ryan's…it has been five months since they last shacked up, right? Right.
As far as anyone knew, anyway.
It was weeks, over a month, after the promotion before Ryan actually started working at cooperate. HR had rattled off some bureaucratic mumbo jumbo about how finalizing contractual paperwork for upper-level transfers takes longer than usual that all sounded like a universal conspiracy against him. He made a couple commutes to corporate to iron out some kinks, but mostly started packing and looking for a place to stay full-time. The night before he left Scranton, his apartment was bare except for an air mattress, a stool and his old laptop, which was perched on a crate; everything else was either in storage or in a U-Haul truck parked outside. He was killing time watching bootlegged episodes of Scrubs on his laptop when the doorbell rang. He was so sure that it was his mom that he almost just opened the door, but instead looked through the peephole to see Kelly Kapoor standing there. Incredible. He walked back to his laptop – there was no rule saying he had to answer. The bell rang again, and he stared at the door, simmering. Just knowing she was standing out there was driving him mad. He finally got up to answer: This was it – he was going to tell her that it was finally over, that she'd just have to accept it and – for the love of God – to get a life, without him in it. Except that when he opened the door…he didn't say anything. He didn't know why he couldn't, but there she was and it was like the most natural thing in the world – Kelly standing on his front step – and he couldn't turn her away.
They stood there in silence for what seemed like an eternity, although it couldn't have been more than a few seconds. She finally spoke.
"Do you have a minute, Ryan?" she asked, whispered really.
Ryan hesitated, "I dunno Kelly, I was just packing up here, and—"
"It's about my mom," she interrupted, and not even shouting – in just the calmest way.
"Fine," he said, motioning her inside. She sat on the stool while he stood by the door, arms crossed, bracing himself for whatever she was about to say. But it wasn't what he thought. Her head was turned down, and she started to tell him how her mom had found a lump. She'd gone to the doctor and they'd ordered a biopsy, and only then did he notice the faint sound of fresh tears on her voice; he didn't know how he had missed it before. She peppered her story with celebrity name-drops like "Melissa Ethridge said" or "something like Christina Applegate," like some kind of fantasy, cancer support group. But even then she talked slowly and with restraint, not like her usual frenetic rambling. Ryan just listened silently until she was done. The biopsy results had come back that day: her mother had cancer. Kelly had gradually become more distressed, but when she got to this point in the story, she collapsed into tears and her face fell into her hands. She was inconsolable. Ryan didn't know what to do. This wasn't a Lindsey Lohan DUI or Britney getting her kids taken from her: this was serious. He stooped down in front of her and offered her some paper towels, all that he had; he might have even placed his hands on her arms. She caught her breath and dabbed her eyes as she began to apologize profusely, "I'm sorry for coming here but I didn't have anywhere else to go, Ryan. I know you hate me but I didn't know what to do. I don't what to do." Ryan said that it was OK, and he didn't hate her; he understood. He wished he could have thought of something comforting to say, something that would make it seem like it would be okay, without saying it would be okay. He had never, ever seen her like this, and, truth be told, it was killing him. She suddenly looked up, and in just the most lucid but broken way her eyes met his.
"Ryan," she said "I'm scared."
"It'll be okay," he said. He wiped her eyes gently with his thumbs and cradled her face in his hands. She leaned forward until their foreheads were touching and held on to his wrists. They sat like that for a while: motionless, eyes closed, face to face. Ryan could smell her perfume (she always smells great) and he remembers thinking that in the whole time they had dated, they probably had never had a moment so quiet or so tender.
"I miss you," she said.
He hadn't meant to kiss her. He was just gonna…just, God knows what. But the moment was so fragile, and in her way she was pleading. For…something, anything Ryan had to give—and old habits die hard. Things escalated quickly, and before either of them realized it, they were tangled on the air mattress silently groping for whatever was left of them and doing what they had always done best. And, swear to God, there were moments where he didn't know where he ended and she began.
They lay there later, both silent and without a doubt wondering the same thing: What just happened? Kelly was snuggled under Ryan's arm leaning against his bare chest, his fingers laced in her hair, and even though he couldn't see her face, he knew she was awake. Naturally, she was the first to break the silence. "I love you, Ryan."
He said nothing. Not that it wouldn't have been easy just to say "Me too." But he couldn't; it wasn't true. He still felt like a bastard, though – the same bastard that had done this same thing a hundred, no thousand, times before, and he couldn't believe this was happening again because he had done everything but vowed that this time, it was over for good and that he would never have to go through this again. But…
There he was.
There she was.
Here she is.
"…Because I totally understand that the Scarsdale diet would make me lose like 25 pounds in the first two weeks, but it was like sooo much stuff you had to worry about, like tomatoes and vegetables and like there was a chart and a whole bunch of grocery shopping and that would be just too much work. I mean, hi, if I wanted to do that much work I'd just join a gym. And I can't join a gym; I'm way too busy. So that diet was totally out. So I just kept searching, searching, searching and I was like 'ding dong': the Cabbage soup diet, because like that is sooo much easier and all you have to do is eat cabbage soup for breakfast, cabbage soup for lunch and cabbage soup for dinner and who can't do that? Ryan, it is super easy. And then if I lose enough weight—"
"Did we use a condom?" Ryan suddenly asks, "And don't rest your hands on the upholstery like that; put them on the armrest. I don't want stains. That seat was custom-ordered."
"You interrupted me over an armrest?"
"No, I interrupted you to find out if we used a condom."
"You mean did you use a condom. That's your department, buddy."
"OK, stop calling me buddy, Kelly."
"Buddy, buddy, buddy," she giggles.
"Kelly, did I? Use a condom, I mean." He can't fathom at what point this could have happened, and actually getting the thing on was usually Kelly's job (God, she had a way). That night, though, there was no nightstand, and thus…no condoms?
"Which time?" she asks, as if his condom use were an occasional thing, which he finds exasperating.
"The last time."
"Yes, silly," she replies. "No glove, no love." She then turns on Ryan's satellite radio and lands on some song by the Jonas Brothers, turning it up super loud. Ryan immediately turns it down.
"How do you know?" he asks.
"Jesuschrist," he sighs.
"Ryan, they were in your wallet under your pillow," she says, and the chipperness in her voice is gone.
And then he remembers. That's right. He had a couple in his wallet, and his wallet was under his pillow. She'd asked if he had any and he'd told her they were in his wallet. He remembers clearly. And it would be a relief if…she weren't pregnant.
"So then…" He shakes his head. "I don't get it."
"What is there to get Ryan? You can't explain these things," she replies, as if getting knocked up was some mystery like death or black holes.
"Actually you can," he retorts, with more than a little sarcasm in his tone.
"Actually YOU CAN'T!" she yells, and turns toward the door.
He pulls into the parking lot of Cooper's and even from the street he can see it's packed. He chose it specifically because he thought it wouldn't be so busy on a Wednesday.
"This isn't Dave and Buster's," Kelly says, stating the obvious, "You told me I could pick the restaurant."
"Well, you picked a bad one," he replies. "Besides, you love seafood."
"I guess you're right," she concedes.
They pour out of the car, and Kelly tucks her arm under his as they make their way inside. He lets her because he doesn't want a scene.
"Hello and welcome to Cooper's Seafood House. How many are in your party?" asks a friendly hostess.
"Two," Ryan answers, and lets go of Kelly's arm. She doesn't react – thank God.
"Smoking or non?"
"Non," Ryan says, "And what's the wait on a booth?"
"A booth!" Kelly squeals.
The woman looks at her seating chart and emerges with an answer.
"Two hours?" Ryan is aghast. Then he has an idea. "If I pay with this will it help?" He pulls out his platinum Dunder-Mifflin American Express card, the kind they give the VPs. Michael doesn't even have one of these. He might have a gold card. Maybe.
"What's that?" the hostess asks, unimpressed.
"We'll wait," Kelly says, and sticks her hand back under Ryan's arm. He removes it.
"No, we won't," Ryan contradicts, "What's the wait on a table?" he asks, even though he is seriously considering just going somewhere else.
"Ninety minutes," she answers. Ryan is spinning. If this place is packed, everywhere else must be too. And he doesn't live here in Scranton anymore, so he's not even sure why. "Is there something going on?" Ryan asks the hostess.
"Yeah, some office supply convention," she replies.
Ryan almost chokes. "A what!"
"Some convention. Like maybe sponsored by Office Depot. From what I hear, they are trying to get a foothold in the area. At least that's what the guests keep telling me."
"How do I not know this?" Ryan asks.
"So are you getting a table then?"
"I didn't even know about this convention," he replies. "Like, how did I not know about this thing?"
"Why? Are you a hotdog vendor or something?"
"Not quite," Ryan says with all the derision he can muster, and maybe opens his jacket just a little. The Armani tag may or may not be showing. He takes a few steps away and makes a phone call on his company-issued BlackBerry, a luxury he was more than happy to bring to the employees of the Scranton Branch today. He hasn't forgotten where he came from. At least not that much. "Yeah, is Wallace available?...Can I speak with him please?…I'll hold…Oh, good; let me speak with him."
"Yes, we would like a table," Kelly tells the hostess.
"No we wouldn't," Ryan replies, "Hello…Yes, this is Ryan…Great, and you?…I'm glad to hear it…I think so. We had a great meeting today at the Scranton branch. I feel I made a lot…Well, I'm not back yet, but I…"
"Sorry, sir, but I have to move on. I can help the next guest," the hostess announces.
"I can barely hear you…wait, I'm going outside…" Ryan says, moving towards the door.
"Ryan, I can't believe you're doing this to me!" Kelly says, trotting behind him outside.
"Well, I know I'm not a sales rep, but…No I never did make a sale at Scranton, unfortunately, but…No, Michael…Yeah, I know that Michael…But since I was here today I was thinking that I could have…"
"What about our date?" Kelly screams. "Doesn't that mean anything to you?"
"This is not a date, Kelly…no, sir, I was talking…No, I'm not on a date, I…Of course, and I totally agree with…I guess because I am from Scranton and I was here today, I just thought…Yes…Yes…And while I definitely see where you're coming from…"
"Ryan you are one of the most inconsiderate people I have ever met. I'm hungry! Where are we going to eat now?" Her hands are on her hips and that scowl is unmistakable. "I'm eating for two you know."
"There's a Subway across the street," Ryan mutters in between statements.
"Subway, Ryan?" She's near tears. "I thought this evening would be special!"
"What?" Ryan says, pulling the phone from his ear, "How on earth would tonight be special?"
"Is that how you feel about me Ryan? That I'm just last year's news? You probably want me dead."
"God, Kelly, did I say…" he turns back to the phone. "And you know I appreciate those comments. I know that in a corporate setting everyone has to wait their turn and I want to assure you that I am prepared and eager to learn from my superiors and…Absolutely, that's exactly what I'm saying…But I still just…."
Just then, Kelly rips the phone from his hand and smashes it on the ground. It sprays into a million little pieces. Well, three big pieces. Ryan picks up the biggest chunk with the most keys, and sure enough…it's dead.
"What the hell is wrong with you, Kelly?" he screams. "Do you realize I was talking with David Wallace, CFO of Dunder-Mifflin? Do you realize that he probably thinks that I hung up on him?"
"I don't care who he is Ryan, you can't just treat me like this. God, I can't believe I ever went out with you."
"That's mutual," he mutters.
"How can you just brush me aside like this? It's like your heart is so cold that it could never get warm in a million years."
"Just a million?" he asks sarcastically, "And not a billion? Maybe a trillion?"
"I have done nothing but love you, Ryan, and you just —"
"Shut up, Kelly" Ryan screams, "Just shut up."
"You can't make me!" she yells and picks up a piece of mulch and hurls it at him.
Ryan suddenly calms. "You know what. I don't have time for this. Give me your phone."
"I don't have a cell phone!"
"Kelly, I just gave you one today. You have a brand new BlackBerry in there somewhere. Give it to me."
"No, I will not help you disrespect me."
"Kelly," he says now reaching for her purse, "Give me your phone." She dashes off as best she can in four-inch heels and he runs behind her as best he can without scuffing his wingtip Cole Haans (which, no lie, cost him over 500 dollars). He catches her and snatches her purse.
"Give me that Ryan," she demands, but before she can catch him, he turns his back to her, and she's left trying to grab it from behind. He rips the purse open (it's a flimsy clutch) and her items go flying everywhere. "Now look what you did," she says. She drops to her feet and starts snatching up her things in handfuls. From the ground she can see Ryan's feet, and he hasn't moved an inch. "You're not even helping," she blurts. After a moment she looks up to find Ryan standing there, frozen, in complete and utter shock, holding a single tampon.
"Kelly," he starts eerily, and he's not looking at her, but beside her at the ground, "I am going to ask you a question and, I swear to God, you better tell me the truth. Are you pregnant?"
"Ryan," she says standing up, "I didn't want to lie to you."
"Answer my question," he says, still quiet, but sterner.
"No," she says, and plants her face in her hands, sobbing.
And it all makes since now: the dieting, the condoms, the defensive reluctance to talk about something she used to talk about constantly. He can't believe he didn't realize it sooner. He feels like the biggest tool in the world.
"Wow, Kelly," he says, turning away, "Wow." He places his hand over his open mouth and starts walking towards the car.
"Where are you going?" she yells.
"Home," he says. She runs ahead of him and stands in front of the door. "Kelly, please move out of my way," he says, still calm.
"I'm not moving until we talk about this," she says.
"I do not want to hurt you Kelly. I am asking you again. Please move."
"Talk to me, Ryan," she pleads. She places a hand on his face.
"Don't touch me!" he yells, and bats her hand away. "Do you even realize what you've done?"
"You didn't leave me any choice, Ryan. How else could I get your attention?"
"Get my attention, Kelly? What don't you understand about the fact that we are not going out anymore. It's OVER!"
"Why, though? I don't understand. I tried to love you the most a person could and all I got was hatefulness in return. You never explained what's so wrong with me," she says, and starts crying again.
"What's wrong with you, Kelly? You infuriate me! OK? You drive me crazy. You make no sense, you're always making scenes, you talk non-stop about absolutely nothing, and we don't have the same interests in music, books, movies, hobbies or anything else. We are wrong for each other in every way. I don't understand how you don't get that."
"Fine, you hate me," she says through her tears. "I'm not the first woman to do this, you know. Some women actually get pregnant to trap a man, but I didn't do that."
He can't take this anymore. He has to go.
"Excuse me," he mumbles, and walks around to the passenger side of the convertible, then crawls over to the driver's seat.
"How am I supposed to get home?" she asks.
"I don't know," he says, and starts backing up. There is a rum and Coke somewhere in New York waiting for him. If he leaves now, he can still get there by 9:00, even with traffic. As he pulls off, though, he can see Kelly in his rearview mirror standing in the middle of the parking lot just…screaming. It is the most pathetic thing he has ever seen in his life. He brakes, and just …sits.
He can't just leave her there. He backs up.
"Get in," he says.
"Where are you taking me?" she asks, climbing into the passenger seat.
"You still live in Oakmont Gardens?" he asks.
"No, I'm back with my parents. Just until—" She stops.
"Until what?" he asks. She doesn't say anything. Which is fine by him.
The ride there is the tensest of his life. Every red light feels like a hundred years plus one. He's too…furious…to even look at Kelly. So he just stares ahead.
At one green light, he's not sure which way to turn. Kelly's parents don't actually live in Scranton, and he doesn't know Fleetville that well; he's only been to their house once. "Left," Kelly offers. The silence is broken and that's all Kelly needs.
"You never even asked about her," she says. But not like an accusation—more like a sad acceptance. Ryan pretends like he doesn't who she's talking about. "That day I thought maybe you really did care. Like, even though we weren't together anymore, that you thought I was special and that you cared about me. That's all I ever wanted Ryan." She takes a breath like she is about to say something else, but she just stops.
A couple minutes later they arrive and Ryan recognizes Kelly's younger sister from the Diwali celebration; she's on the porch talking on the phone. A second later her mom comes out and sits down beside her. Kelly gets out of the car, but then just stands there.
"I'm sorry, Ryan, for lying to you," she says. Ryan nods his forgiveness, and she turns to walk away.
"Kelly," he shouts, and she turns around. He wants to say he's sorry too. For being a jackass and the worst boyfriend ever. For never being brave enough to acknowledge all the good things about their time together or to show that he still does care about her. He wants to apologize for selfishly stringing her along and not being honest himself. He wants her to know that he thinks she is beautiful, and optimistic, and a generous lover. And he wants to tell her that he was glad that her Mom is looking better and that he wanted to ask how she was doing, but didn't, because he was afraid of the answer. He wants to tell her all that.
"What Ryan?" she asks.
"Take care, OK?" he says. She nods too, and he drives away.