Jim looked down at his feet. Her words kept repeating in his head.
I'm not going to run away. I won't do what you did.
"There was nothing left for me here, Pam. It wasn't all about you. Casino Night, it wasn't the beginning. It was just...just the icing on the cake really. Maybe I did leave because of you, but it wasn't just you. I've always hated it here. You know that. And when it didn't work out with you, there was nothing that was worth staying for. So, thanks for helping me decide. Thanks a lot." he said bitterly.
"What are you even sorry for?" he paused. "You didn't do anything. I can't just start over. It's not that easy."
"I was trying to fucking apologize for throwing myself like a desperate puppy just now, Jim!" Pam shouted.
The air was tense around them as she spoke. They were on the defenses, on separate teams. This was officially, a disaster.
"Would you have taken the transfer if I had broken it off with Roy that night?" She grabbed his shoulders and forced him to look into her eyes.
"Or did you figure that you waited long enough for me to come to my senses and wise up? I just....I'm so confused right now. I'm trying so hard to be strong and understanding. I needed you, Jim. I knew you hated it here, and I also knew that I hurt you. I don't mean to make myself out to be self-centered, but I want you to understand where I'm coming from. You weren't the only one who felt trapped in a place that was going nowhere."
She felt like she was going nowhere in her explanation, and maybe it was just time for her to shut up and stop digging her own grave.
She let him go, and walked back to the car.
"Take me home, Jim," she said. "Just....please take me home."
As much as he wanted to argue back, he didn't. He didn't want to make it worse than it already was. This was a mess, there was no denying it and it was just about entirely his fault. The whole lot of it. He had done this. Pam obviously wasn't in a position to start fixing things, honestly neither was he but someone had to say something. One of them had to keep from yelling and making this even more screwed up than it had already become.
"Pam..." he walked slowly over to her side and when he spoke his tone was soft and gentle. He was trying his hardest not to sound as though he was mad at all. "Pam, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said...all of that. I wasn't- I didn't mean for it to sound like I was being selfish or like I was accusing you of anything. I'm just- I'm sorry." Jim sighed and reached out to brush his fingertips lightly against her right shoulder. "I love you, Pam." the moment he had said that he instantly regretted it. Whether he meant it or not, now was most definitely the worst possible time. Right now he was quite sure that she could not want anything more to do with him.
I love you, Pam.
Didn't she just stop loving him a little bit only moments ago? But, as soon as she heard him say those three words, her body began to buzz and her mind started to reel.
Just as he began to step back, she grabbed his jacket lapels and pulled him close to her. She didn't grab him to kiss him, but just to make herself clear.
"Don't do this to me, Jim," she warned. "Don't say that because you feel bad, or because you feel guilty, or if you need an excuse at all. Say it because it's true. Say it because you want me. Say it because it's a truth that makes you so happy that you'll shout it to the world.
"'Cause if you did, I know I'd scream it so loud, I'd be hoarse."
Jim put his hands on top of hers and held them there for moment, just looking at her.
It was oddly quiet outside, like someone was straining hard to listen. It was peaceful, yet sort of eerie at the same time.
"I'm not saying it just because I feel bad or because I feel guilty or anything like that." he paused and took a deep breath. "You make me happy. I love you." he spoke this last part just a little louder.
Pam felt the weight of his hands on hers, and she thought she could hear the blood rushing in her ears.
"I'm afraid," she blurted, the first thing that came to tip of her tongue. "I'm afraid because I might be dreaming, I'm afraid because you might be kidding, and I'm scared because I want to kiss you again. Badly."
She really wanted to kiss him, but he wasn't hers.
Jim took a deep breath in.
"I wouldn't joke about something like this." That would be beyond cruel. It would just be wrong. After all that they had done and said to each other. Their friendship (relationship?) whatever it had suddenly become would not survive.
"Pam..." he said, not so much for her to answer him. He just wanted to say her name. She didn't say anything back, so he pulled a hand out from under hers and ran his fingertips against her cheek. With the same hand, he brought her lips to hers and kissed her again, gently. He didn't want to push her.
She closed her eyes and heard him say her name; she loved hearing him say her name.
If this was a dream, she was determined to experience every sound and every nuance.
She brought her hands from his lapels, and slipped them into his thick, soft hair. Bringing his head down to hers, she kissed him back, pressing her lips to his, firmly, but not too much. She didn't want to push him.
He kissed her back, pulling her close so that her whole body was pressed up against his.
Jim couldn't remember the last time he'd felt like this. He didn't care that they were outside, didn't care that they were in the middle of a parking lot and he most certainly did not care that all the people who came and went in and out of the resturant probably saw them. It didn't matter in the slightest.
At last, when he couldn't hold out any longer, he pulled away to breathe. Although he wasn't that far away at all, his lips were still lightly brushing against hers.
"I-" he paused. "I don't even know what to say." he admitted with a little laugh.
Pam's body was soon pressed tightly against his, and she felt as if she was going to die.
"I don't know what to say either," she replied breathily as she ran her hands up and down his back..
It felt like the entire world disappeared. Roy never, ever made her feel like that.
She teased the tip of her nose against his, as if she were inviting him to kiss her again.
He kissed her again, making this one more meaningful and more passionate than the rest, if that was even possible.
"You don't think-" he kissed her neck and rested his head lightly on her shoulder before kissing her lips again. "-we should go?" he finished, pressing her lips to his and not waiting for her to answer.
Jim pulled away slightly, but the distance was hardly noticeable.
When he pulled away from her, a soft, contented sigh escaped from her lips.
"I think," she quipped, grinning, "you gotten all my gloss off. And yeah, we should be going. We've made the transition from customers to loiterers."
She waited for him to open the passenger door and got in, and as she sat, he head lolled back. Dreamily, she watched Jim as he started up the car. And, in her mind, she whispered a prayer of thanks.
Jim smiled over at her, thinking that this had turned out a whole lot better than he had expected it to.
He'd almost forgotten that they had to go to work tomorrow. "You've got work to look forward to." he said with a grin.
But maybe, work might not be as bad as usual. And whatever the consequences of tonight were? He'd deal with those later. Right now they were unimportant.
"Oh yes, Dunder-Miflin, that bastion of fun and excitement," she giggled.
Dunder-Miflin, also the home of Jim's still very current girlfriend. She shook the thought out of her mind, as she looked over to see Jim's warm smile. For a few more minutes at least, he was hers, and she loved him, and he loved her back.
That was all that mattered.
"Oh!" she exclaimed, "I know this is odd, but I have some brownies that I made, and I made a really large batch. They're good, and that's the reason why you should take them off my hands so I don't eat them all."
He knew that he would eventually have to tell Karen about he and Pam, about everything that had happened between them. But Karen didn't even know the half of it. That didn't really matter to him right now.
"I'd be happy to take them off of your hands." he said with a smile. "Thanks." he said, smiling again. It seemed like he couldn't stop. It was hard enough for him to concentrate on driving.