A/N. This story is set in Season 2... right after the Dundies. This isn't my first story, but it is my first fiction using The Office. I've really gotten into the show lately (as in watched season 1-3 in a day or two) so yeah this story sort of came to me after having a bit of an Office marathon.
The story will begin to refer to darker themes in later chapters, so if your not really into that then this is your warning! It is quite a heavy story.
Please read and review if you've got the time...I would really love to know what you think of it. Thanks!
As always I do not own The Office or any of it's characters...I own nothing... =P
Jim could tell that something was up with her before she had even uttered a word to him. If she was trying to hide it, she wasn't doing a particularly good job, because it was written all over her face. The concern in her eyes and the worry lines etched into her forehead. Not to mention the fact that she was going out of her way not to look at him. He had been trying to get her attention all morning, and seemed to be failing miserably. By lunchtime, he had finally got up the nerve to go over to where she sat miserably at reception.
"Hey" he said quietly, leaning on the counter in front of her desk.
"Hey yourself" she said back, not taking her eyes off the computer screen to look at him.
"Having a busy day?"
"Same as usual"
Jim sighed, biting his lip as he struggled to think of what to say next. He never usually had this problem...their banter was always free-flowing.
"Um...are you having your lunch break soon?" he asked.
She nodded, turning to face him slightly.
"Do you want to go out..." He smiled, not fully realising what he had said until he saw the tiny smirk on her face. "... Out for lunch I mean. You know, like out of the office. As in, not eating in the break room." he stuttered, the panic evident in his face.
"Its ok, I knew what you meant." she said grinning.
He grinned back. Sure she tortured him sometimes, but when she was smiling like that... smiling at him like that, he really didn't care.
"Ok, lunch in half an hour Beasley..."
She nodded, smiling at him as he walked back to his desk to finish off a few things before they left.
"Where do you feel like going for lunch?" he asked as he guided her out of the office and into the car park.
"I don't mind. Our usual place?" she said, opening the door and sliding into his car.
He nodded, hardly able to contain himself. He loved the way that had sounded coming out of her mouth.
Our usual place. His whole body had tingled as she said it. The words sounded so comfortable coming out of her mouth. Our usual place. If a stranger was listening they would have easily mistaken them as a couple; Two people who knew everything about each other, who could make each other smile, who could make each other happy. He felt a pang of sadness in his heart as he remembered that he wasn't actually in a relationship with her.
They drove in a comfortable silence to the restaurant. He pulled up in the parking lot, briefly smiling at her as they walked to the entrance. He opened the door for her, pulled out her chair for her, let her order her lunch first. Pam sighed. She knew Jim wasn't trying to impress her or anything...he was naturally a caring guy. A polite guy. A great guy. An amazing guy...
She could feel his eyes on her, looking at her intently. She knew what he was doing; why he had taken her out to lunch in the first place. He knew something was up, and he knew she wouldn't want to talk about it at the office. She was never able to hide from him. He had always known how to read her like a open book. He cleared his throat, and she looked up at him for a brief second.
"Are you alright Pam? You've been kind of quiet today?"
She sighed, drumming her fingers nervously on the table.
"I knew there was a reason why you wanted to go out for lunch..." she said with a grin, avoiding his question altogether.
She was out of luck this time...Jim was insistent.
"Come on Pam. I'm your best friend, I can tell when your upset about something." he said, trying to push her into confiding in him.
"It's nothing really...Roy and I had a bit of a fight last night, that's all. I'm sure you don't really want to hear the excruciating details."
He paused, watching as her shoulders slumped a little, and she stared intently at something on the table in front of them. She was right, he didn't want to hear about her latest fight with Roy. He couldn't care less about Roy. Roy had a beautiful, talented, sexy fiancee that he just never seemed to pay any attention to. He had no idea how lucky he had it...
He knew he would kick himself later if he didn't ask her about the fight they had. Besides, he was her best friend. Those were the kind of things best friends were supposed to talk about, no matter how uncomfortable he was going to feel.
He shrugged his shoulders slightly, leaning back in his chair and folding his arms across his chest.
"Try me Beasley..." he said smiling.
She smiled back for a second, before returning her gaze back to the table.
"Uh... well Roy kind of lost it at me last night."
Jim felt his body tense as he listened to her. He dug his now clenched fists deeper into his body.
"About what? Did he hurt you?" his questions came out more urgently than he had wanted them to.
She shook her head, looking up at him to meet his eyes. "No, nothing like that Jim" she said firmly, seeing how worried he had suddenly become.
She looked at him some more, unsure whether or not to tell him the real reason why her and Roy had been up till 3am yelling at each other.
And then he smiled, reaching out for her. She let his fingers stroke her hand gently, and she immediately felt calm. She had no idea how he did that to her.
"Well, after the Dundies on Friday night Roy was already ticked off at me. I guess he didn't get why I would want to go to one of Michael's stupid events if there were no free drinks involved."
Jim laughed, a grin immediately spreading across his face.
"Yeah, we all saw that paying for drinks really doesn't bother you Pam..." he said jokingly, remembering just how drunk she had been on Friday night. "Actually come to think of it...I think you probably stole most of your drinks from other people anyway..."
"Hmm...not my finest hours I have to admit." she said her cheeks warm with embarrassment.
"Ok, so Roy was already annoyed that you didn't leave when he wanted to..."
"Yeah. He wanted me to ditch my co-workers, and my friends to go drinking with him and a bunch of guys that still, after 6 or so years, do not my name."
Jim's body went back to being tense. God if he was with Pam...he would want to spend every minute of every day with her.
"When I got home after the Dundies, he wasn't back yet. So I took some aspirin, and went to bed. He was pissed at me all day Saturday, so he went out with his brother and didn't come home till Sunday. When he did eventually come home, he just lost it. He just started screaming at me, and then he started throwing things." she choked out, a tear escaping down her cheek.
She felt his hand grip tighter around her own. He felt his blood pumping through his veins.
"And all of this was because you didn't leave with him on Friday?" he asked, the anger evident in his tone.
"Yes and no..."
He gave her a look that made her heart skip a beat. He nodded his head for her to go on with the story.
"Roy saw Darryl on Sunday. And Darryl told him what he heard from someone that knew someone that was at the Dundies."
Jim lifted his hand in the air, a puzzled look on his face.
"Ok... and he was mad at you because..."
Pam took a deep breath and removed her hand from his.
"He heard that I kissed you Jim."
Jim stared at her in shock, unsure if what he heard her say was actually coming out of her mouth. He knew it shouldn't be like this, but it was hard to ignore the guilty pleasure he was feeling right now.
"Oh, well... did you tell him how drunk you were? I'm surprised you even remember doing that..." he said lightly, trying to make a joke out of the awkward situation they were in.
"I remember it." she said, staring straight into his eyes.
He gulped back the lump forming in his throat. He hadn't forgotten about the kiss either. Even though it was brief, he couldn't get the image out of his head all weekend, He could still taste the way her lips left his burning with desire. He wished she wasn't being so intense right now. It was taking every bit of strength he had not to lean across the table and kiss her for real this time. When they were both sober...
"I just want you to know that this was in no way your fault Jim." she began, stumbling on her words a bit. "It was my mistake. I did something I shouldn't have, and I'm sorry."
His heart pounded in his chest as he gave her a soft smile. How could she think she even needed to apologize to him. Sadly enough, that 2 second kiss was the best thing that had happened to him in a long time. For her to think that he needed an apology was crazy.
Before he could answer, their lunch was brought out and they were given a distraction.
They spent the rest of their lunch, once again in comfortable silence.