||[May. 18th, 2007|06:09 pm]
Dunder-Mifflin Scranton (An Office RP)
Giggling softly to herself, Pam walked out of Michael's office, leaving him to clean up his mess.
She sat back down at her desk, noting that Jim didn't wait for her to come back. To be honest, she hadn't really been surprised, what with Karen coming over and all. She pushed that fact out of her head and reveled in another one: Jim and her had an actual conversation. Not just "Hello" and "Good-bye", which had become commonplace for them since he had returned. Better still, they were going to have dinner. Tonight.
It was just going to be sandwiches at Cugino's and she knew that it wasn't going to be anything like a real date, but, nevertheless, Pam couldn't be more excited. Scared, but still, excited.
As she started to straighten up her desk, something she usually did before having lunch, she looked around the office to see what everyone else was up to. Ryan, who now sat where Jim used to, looked like he was sleeping with his eyes open. Dwight was on the phone making a sale, and Oscar, Angela, and Kevin (or, the Accountants Three, as she liked to call them) were having an animated discussion about paychecks...or something, she couldn't really hear them. Everyone else seemed to be at the same level of pre-lunch stupor.
Her eyes soon settled on Jim and Karen, who were talking at her desk, Jim standing and Karen sitting. They looked....uncomfortable. Pam strained her ears to listen, but couldn't really make out the words. She studied their faces a few moments more, and figured without hearing a word, that they were most likely talking about her. Suddenly, she felt like she was being shot back to her first day of junior high; nerves all a-tangle, and a feeling of needless embarrassment.
And that, she thought, is my cue for lunch.
She set the phone to voicemail, and quietly walked to the break room.
His hand felt so good under her touch, so soft and warm. She wanted to reach out again, but when he'd visibly stiffened, she decided to err on the side of caution.
She suddenly recalled the day of the mock fight between Michael and Dwight, at the karate dojo the year before. Her and Jim were messing around, just goofing, when he had lifted her up in the air after merciless tickling. His hands, his fingers on the bare skin of her stomach nearly made her faint, and she remembered the wounded look he had when she shoved him away under Meredith's gaze. She wrapped her hand around her yogurt, and felt lonely.
"Are we just meeting at Cugino's, or are you picking me up....?" she let the question trail, so she wouldn't be putting any pressure on him.
"I could pick you up." Jim said. "It might be easier that way."
He paused. He wanted to touch her again. It just felt good, but he knew that he couldn't and more importantly, he shouldn't.
He couldn't just shove Karen to the side. Karen always seemed to be at the back of his mind. It was like she was there, even when she wasn't. It was odd how suddenly even just talking to Pam could make him feel so guilty.
He placed his hand on hers again. Just one more time would be enough and then he could be done. He left his hand there for a few seconds (which seemed to drag on forever) and then pulled it away, mumbling "Sorry."
JESUS CHRIST, was all Pam could think as Jim drew his hand away from hers, which was still wrapped around the yogurt carton.
She lifted her hand from it so she could grab it back, even reached out toward him, but chose to brush a lock of hair away from her face instead.
"No w-worries," she stammered. How deep were you when someone holding your hand for the briefest of moments, was enough to reduce you to nothing? To dust? A melting puddle of self?
She looked at the clock and stood, collecting her trash with her. "We should get back to the lion's..well, the housecat's den," she spoke with a smile. "By the way, picking me up would be great."
He nodded. "You're probably right."
Jim hadn't really noticed Pam's almost taking his hand. It seemed to him as though everything was finally getting back to the way that it used to be. Well, as close as it could have. This was a little different. The whole 'We're friends but holding your hand makes me feel better than it should' thing was just a bit different.
"I'll see you later," he said, getting his trash and throwing it away. And then he remembered, Pam had moved. "Where do you live now?" he asked somewhat awkwardly.
Pam laughed aloud. How the hell was he going to get to her house, if she didn't tell him her new address? She was so wrapped up in what was going on, she'd forgotten to let him know.
"It's 423 Avon Road," she said. "I can write up some directions for you, if you want, and send it over IM."
Mental note, she thought, clean living room ASAP.
"That's all right. I got it."
And then he remembered, they were supposed to be at work. "I'll see you later, then." and with that he turned and headed out of room, thinking that tonight might not be all that bad.
She called a quick "Later" to his back, and then turned to the table to wipe off the crumbs they'd made.
What just happened here? She took a deep breath and smiled to herself. Then, she looked at her watch again.
This is gonna be a long afternoon, she thought.
After a quick run to the bathroom, she was on her way back to her desk, with a slight spring in her step.
A very long afternoon.