a/n: There's really no rhyme or reason for this. I can only blame my new-found adoration for some good ol' fashion shootin' and the fact that last night, I watched a few episodes of The Office for the first time in months. Oh, and probably my need for an angsty (and predominately armed) damsel willing to pick herself up vs. an angsty damsel in distress.

Disclaimer: I own nothing. In addition, I didn't use a beta.

There had been many times where she, a woman of self-preservation, had kept her mouth shut in situations where she wanted to speak the most. She could no longer count the moments of almost slipping, but not quite. And as she stole the occasional glance at what was once Jim Halpert's desk, she fancied a different personality – to be valiant. But, she was Pam Beesly, and she was anything but vocal about her intentions or concerns. She was diffident. Slightly artsy, terribly abashed and really felt small in comparison, like she was permanently positioned beside the sea.

With time, she had always said, things would work themselves out. But that was never the case with Pam. With time, she knew, she would still be waiting.

Down the ridiculously twisted and cracked road, with time, she had grown tired of wanting and waiting. She had a sense of herself throughout those days.

Summer brought a commencement. Faded chalked memories had washed away during the seasonal storms. When her path was fully cleared, she had picked up a shading pencil and 12 x 10 sketchbook. She filled in the lines and darkened rough features – sometimes of her elderly neighbor, and sometimes not. Sometimes, the garbage cat that had found itself on her windowsill on occasion had been her muse.

Pam was intent on an outlet. Her artistic nature had become a thing for which she could vent minor emotions. It had been a relaxing therapy, a lovely and promising talent that she had hoped to perfect, but in the end that's all it had been. And sometimes, a woman just needed more.

She held her green eyes high when winter came and the days were white. She certainly had been nervous and fearful of her cerebellum causing some sort of convulsion on her part, and an injury on someone else's. Hopefully not her instructor's.


The breath that fell from her red lips was a combination of avidity and being scared shit-less. As Rollins coaxed her, she had grown into a stronger set of vertebrae.

Rollins corrected her stance, guiding her hips to 45 degree angle towards her target, commanding her right leg behind, and left in front.

"Keep your arms strong, it can kick back at you."

She had held the base tight, fingers gripping and thumb pointed forward. The simple contortion of her hand's placement had taken some getting used to. It hurt to stretch her digits so harshly, and eliminating her interlimb response during practice trigger-pulls had proved to be difficult.

He had been pleased with her position and confident she would at least hit the target board, even if it were just along the edges.

She heard the muffled bangs through her earplugs as she emptied a whole round on her desired target, flinching with each bullet exiting the standard 9mm. Adrenalin had been rushing through her and she trembled a bit.

Despite her lack of success on the target, it was exhilarating. And as she loaded another magazine clip into the weapon, she felt great.

Alive, even.

Round two consisted of a more efficient and accurate result. The fear-driven trembling had subsided (along with the flinching) and she was nearly shooting dead-center. Perhaps a few more quirks to figure out behind the muzzle of the gun, and she would have been well on her way too perfect.

She had been quite impressed with her achievements by the end of that day in Scranton's own little Hogan's Alley. She hadn't been the dainty woman everyone had come to know; she had been a woman who didn't quit the instant a task became too difficult or too frightening.

Pam Beesly had done that for herself.

And, with time, she became quite proud.

Months later, when a greener spring rolled around and weeded daisies had grown in the cracks of her winding road, she had smiled a smile of genuine self-confidence.

And upon his return, Jim Halpert had certainly took notice.

His curiosity nearly rocketed through the roof of her PT Cruiser one work-bound morning after an accidental knee-bang on her glove box revealed her personal firearm.

It had been months since he reclaimed his desk across from the receptionist's station, and even less time that he had reclaimed his platonic spot in her life. Not once had she mentioned her newest ability, though.

He looked at her, eyes wide and a questioning grin. She only laughed, and closed the compartment door.

"I didn't know you played cops and robbers, Beesly." He toyed. Being a Halpert boy meant many weekends were spent with armed company. Though, he was a kid then, and hadn't perfected his skill like his brothers had – like she had.

"If you're lucky, I might just show you how to aim a gun."

And he would later learn that if she knew anything at all, it was how to aim her gun.

p.s. It's been a long while since I've used a gun, so it's very possible my knowledge is off.