Title: The Dutiful Dwight
Spoilers: Through "The Fight" especially, to start.
Rating: Mild now, but possibly more in later chapters. I just have no idea what Dwight is going to do to be honest.
Pairing: Nothing yet, but possibly Jim/Dwight, maybe mentions of some kind of Dwight/Michael in the past, …. Dwight has very odd relationships / behavior for a grown heterosexual male so I'm honestly not sure what he is going to do. Maybe mentions of Dwight/Angela too. At least flirting.
Summary: After "The Fight" a fairly down trodden Dwight is comforted by Jim. Michael never makes up with Dwight, leading Jim to offer to be Dwight's emergency contact and possibly getting into more than he bargained for.
"Jim… is he… is he crying?"
It took a few times before he could talk, still trying to smother his laughter from watching Michael however clumsily beat the crap out of Dwight. The man in question was standing against the building, facing away from them, while they waited to head back to the Office. Now that he was looking he could see Dwight's shoulders shaking and his laughter eased off. "Maybe?"
"Go talk to him."
"Come on." He rolled his eyes, "I'm sure he's fine."
They watched him scrub his arm across face, though their attention was distracted by Michael doing a couple kicks in the air.
"Yea, I had to kick his ass. Sometimes people just need to be put in their place."
Jim's gaze slid back to Dwight who had stiffened at Michael's comments and yea, he was starting to feel a little bad for him. "Okay, okay."
"Do you want me to go with you?"
"No, no, I got this."
He headed in Dwight's direction, speaking up when he got closer, "Hey, Dwight, you okay?"
"I'm fine." His voice was squeaky, struggling to calm himself.
He waited for more but when none was forthcoming he moved around so he could see his face. It was an expression that he was actually fairly familiar with, Dwight's face was red, eyes down, hair messy. It was how he generally looked after Michael was particularly cruel, and it was a little unsettling when Jim realized how often he really saw it. The black eye was not usual and Jim felt his mouth twist. "Hey, really, are you okay?"
"He didn't… he didn't fight fair." He realized Jim was looking at him and he turned further away so he was nearly facing the wall. "He didn't have to …" He trailed off but Jim knew exactly what he meant, he had been beaten but Michael had done nothing short of bullying.
Jim gave the camera a look and reached forward to touch his arm, and he didn't have to work hard to sound sympathetic. In that moment Dwight looked every inch like those kids bullied in high school and yea Jim liked to pick on him but he had never made him cry. "Hey, don't feel bad, I mean-"
They both jumped when Michael appeared by them, loud and obnoxious as he reached out and punched Dwight's arm making him flinch. "Come on ya wuss, back to work!" He was grinning and moved forward, bouncing on his feet and air boxing with whoever got close to him.
He responded by crossing his arms tight across his chest, ducking his head down and now he was crying enough to make noise. Michael called back, "Come on Dwight, you riding with me?"
He started to move forward obediently but Jim grabbed his arm and called out to Michael, "He's gonna ride with me."
Dwight was shaking his head, "He told me to-"
He pulled him back though, "He just held you down and beat the crap out of you in front of everyone Dwight. It's alright not to listen to him." He paused, struggling, "I mean… do you really want to ride with him?"
"No…" It looked like it pained him to disobey Michael, and he glanced up briefly to meet Jim's eyes, "Thank you."
"No problem Dwight." He led him back to his car, waving off Toby when he went to sit in the front, letting Dwight have it. He got in quick, hoping he could get Dwight acting obnoxious by the time they reached the office. He was still sniffling but everyone riding with Jim was decent enough to ignore it and he reached over Dwight to the glove compartment, opening it and pulling out Kleenex.
He offered them to Dwight without looking, who took them cautiously. There was silence in the car until Toby spoke up, "You need to put ice on that eye."
"My body … my body has super healing."
"Too bad it doesn't have super fighting skills."
Jim met Oscar's eyes in the mirror and gave him a warning look, and he at least had the decency to look sheepish. Dwight hunched in on himself and was momentarily cowed, Michael could have that effect on him.
Out of the corner of his eye he caught Dwight pressing against his eye and wincing and he made a note to make sure that he did put ice on it. He felt kind of responsible for this, he had been the one to push them into it. When the office came into view he expected it to cheer him up but he looked worse and Jim frowned. "Lots of sales calls to make?"
"I guess." He was still pressing against his eye, and maybe it was to hide that he was crying.
They pulled into the parking lot and Jim grabbed Dwight's arm to hold him up while everyone else got out, until it was just the two of them. Sometimes, just sometimes, if he managed to catch Dwight with no one else around he could get him to act almost human. "Let me see."
Dwight didn't ask what he meant or protest he just turned towards him obediently and let him look. Jim couldn't help but shake his head at that, Dwight was so odd. That was one of those things that he just never understood, even in the middle of taking abuse Dwight was inexplicably accommodating.
He turned back to the task at hand, taking a look at Dwight's face. His eye was already swollen and bruised, but his jaw looked swollen too and he flashed back to Michael practically slamming Dwight's face into the mats. "Dwight, why oh why do you let him do this?"
"I didn't let him, Jim." His voice was snippy, like it should have been obvious. "It was a fight and he bested me."
"He's a moron Dwight."
"He isn't a moron. He's a great man."
Jim let out a sigh. "Dwight…" He wanted to say more, to point out how ridiculous he sounded and that he was just being a tool but he just couldn't bring himself to do it. He finally just dropped his hand, "Come on, we'll get some ice."
"I told you I don't need it."
"I'm sure Angela has an ice pack that-"
"Come on just… oh." He was a little thrown by Dwight's sudden agreement. "Okay, good."
Inside Dwight pressed himself into the back of the elevator, still looking pretty down trodden, and Jim normally would have avoided him but he chalked it up to lingering guilt over causing it. When the elevator doors opened Dwight waited until everyone else had left before heading out, going straight to his desk even avoiding Michael when he tried to talk to him.
Jim moved between them pushing Michael backwards towards his office, "I'm getting him an ice pack. Don't you have work to do?"
Michael let himself be pushed back, though he did actually look concerned when he glanced at Dwight. "Ice?"
"I've got it."
Finally he did just that, going back to his office and by the time Jim turned around Angela was already at Dwight's desk, holding an ice pack to his face, one hand on his shoulder. Angela was eyeing him pretty intensely and Jim threw a glance to Pam about it but she still wasn't looking at him, so instead he raised an eyebrow at the camera.
Under the scrutiny Angela glanced at the camera and abruptly left, leaving Dwight to scramble to hold the ice pack himself. He watched her go, maybe just a moment too long, before shyly looking at the camera and looking down. He held the pack with his left hand and tried to pick up his phone, realizing he normally held it up to his right ear and there was an awkward shuffle as he tried to move the phone and hold the ice pack and Jim could only watch with an amused look.
The phone fell and Dwight grabbed it, trying to hold it up to his left ear and holding the phone with his opposite hand, nearly tangling himself in the cord and Jim felt his eyes widening in awe, and shook his head. "Dwight, you got everything under control?"
He frowned at him, "Yes."
It went on for a few more painful seconds, like a car wreck, before he finally gave up and hung up the phone, setting the ice pack on the desk. He went to grab the phone but Jim made a tutting sound, "Put the ice on."
"I have calls to make and it's-"
"It's in the way-"
"Dwight." He said it in his serious voice, the one that was mocking and Dwight never seemed to get it but it worked.
"Fine, if it means that much to you." He held up the ice again and carefully picked up his phone with the other hand, much simpler the second time around. "But if I don't make sales because it sounds like I'm not talking on my normal side I'm going to blame you."
"That's fine." Over his head he caught Angela watching the interaction but she quickly disappeared.
He had been nearly past Dwight's desk and he stepped back and raised an eyebrow, waiting for him to say something. "Yup?"
"I need to change my emergency contact from Michael."
Jim's head popped up at that, making a face, as he listened. He could not think of someone that would be more unreliable for an emergency contact. Ryan came back and looked down at his paperwork, crossing something out. "Who do you want instead?"
It looked like the question might have startled him, like didn't have any plan past that and he thought about it for a moment before slowly answering. "The... Hospital. You can just… just call 911."
Ryan frowned, and looked up at him, "You can't have the hospital be your emergency contact."
He was floundering a little now, and his eyes found Angela but there was a small shake of her head and he looked back, "Uh…"
It was just… sad. Was there really no one else that Dwight could put down? He didn't want to do it but he found himself talking before he could stop it, "You can put me down." Ryan and Dwight both looked to him and he shrugged uncomfortably, "For now, until you… decide. You can put me down."
"I have … so many more people I can put down."
"Well you don't have to if you don't want, I was just offering-"
"You should be sufficient." It was too quick, and Dwight wouldn't meet his eyes and there was the perfect opportunity to mess with him but Jim only nodded.
"Alright, I'll… write him down." Ryan looked at him like he was crazy but he ignored it.
Everything went mostly back to normal, as Jim and really hoped it would, and he tried to settle in. He made his sales calls, planned pranks and kept an eye on Dwight to make sure he kept the ice on, giving him a look every time he took it off.
It was almost time to wrap the day up, and they hadn't seen much from Michael but he was sure to make an appearance before they left. It was unusual that he hadn't flaunted his win, maybe he was finally growing up, but the chances of that were not very good. He was right, of course, right on time Michael came out of his office heading straight for Dwight.
"Hey ya loser! How about a rematch?" He faked a few punches towards him, "Or are you afraid you'll get your butt kicked again?"
Dwight was doing his best to ignore him, staring hard at his screen, "I'm just trying to get my work finished up-"
"Someone's a chicken, chicken chicken chicken! Buk buk buk."
Dwight shifted uncomfortably, obviously embarrassed, but did nothing to defend himself. "I'm just trying to-"
"Are ya gonna cry? Like a big cry baby?"
And then… something horrible happened. Michael kept up the mocking and Dwight finally looked up, and Jim found those pleading eyes on him. The look that Dwight normally sent Michael when Jim was teasing him, that ridiculously doting look that a grown man should never have on his face was very suddenly aimed at Jim instead. What had he done?