Title: Christmas Moments
Title: Christmas Moments
Characters: Pam, Michael, Dwight…nothing really shippery persay but hard pressed, maybe a wink at Michael/Pam
Summary: Pam, Michael, and Dwight celebrate Christmas in their own way…
Spoilers: After Season 3, a smidge of Season 4
Disclaimer: Nothing is mine, just borrowing. All NBC’s and other peoples. Please don’t sue!
Author’s Notes: So I’ll admit it, I watched two or three episodes of Season 4 but not much else. This story is set on some Christmas far, far away. I haven’t written a fic in quite a bit and I’ve never written an Office fic, so be tender! Though I love feedback and edits/notes, etc. Basically this was done up as an X-Mas gift for a buddy who wanted some Michael/Pam…this was the best I could cook up. Read and hopefully enjoy!
T'was the night before Christmas and all through the Office not a creature was stirring, --not even Dwight. But there was one lone soul present. She sat curled up in an cushy computer chair in the Conference room, right arm sitting on the armrest, hand pressed to her forehead as she looked with glazed eyes at the painting on the easel in front of her. She didn’t move, barely breathed, just stared and stared.
Pamela Beasley sat looking at the painting, her iPod resting on her lap as it played a sad tune that was as far away from the mirth Christmas music held as possible. She had snuck in the Office three hours after business had closed. Once inside, she had waited a half hour to turn on a few key lights and to make sure her entrance had not been detected and now she had sat staring at the painting, listening to her music and barely moving for another half.
The clock was slowly ticking closer to ten, nine dying away and Pam merely took in a light breath, trembling slightly, eyes still watery but no tears. The painting in front of her was an artwork of her own. It depicted a brightly decorated Christmas tree, with a swath of presents beneath. Near the tree was a roaring fire with stockings hung neatly above on the mantle and resting atop of the mantle were various knickknacks.
She had been going for a Norman Rockwell feel, all-American, wholesome…
She hated it.
Swallowing she felt all the emotions inside her rolling around to form a tight ball. All the pain, the anger, the sadness. She felt the weight of it in the pit of her stomach and it made her want to be sick. But she wasn’t sick, she wasn’t anything. She just sat there, wondering idly if she should just sit there forever until either the emotions consumed her or she rotted away to dust, to nothingness. She didn’t know why she was being so dramatic and she didn’t care, her world was long gone and it was almost more than she could stand.
Suddenly there was a light click and then the sound of laughter. Pam didn’t get a chance to react to it, a chance to move and hide before Michael and Dwight were in the room. Michael had been talking (naturally, he was almost always talking) to Dwight, his attention focused over his shoulder as he spoke, “—can’t believe you haven’t seen this movie, it’s only one of the best--”
He turned forward and stopped abruptly as he saw Pam sitting there. Her attention turned to him, one tear finally managing to have escaped her eyes and she quickly popped the iPod earphones out, a hand dashing to catch the lone tear, clearing her throat she tried to sound as natural as possible, “Oh. Michael – hi, I, um-”
“Well, well, if it isn’t Miss Beasley,” Michael said happily, obviously not having noticed her tear nor the mood of the room, “What are you doing here on this fine-”
“Nothing, nothing, I-I just, I’m gonna go-”
She went to grab the painting when Dwight swung forward, eyes narrowed, “You’ve been crying.”
“No, I haven’t.” Pam said earnestly, but the deer-in-the-headlights look on her face was more telling.
“Yes, you have.”
“Who did this to you?” Dwight demanded, as he had done not so long ago, “What is his name? Her name? Their names? I’ve got new weapons in the trunk of my car and a new map. Give me their names, I’ll use my contacts, get addresses, hang-outs, I can easily located them and then dislocate any limbs you wish-”
“No, Dwight, it’s not like-it’s nothing, I’m-I’m just going to go-”
“Wow!” Michael breathed as he suddenly noticed the painting. He had been listening to Pam and Dwight’s conversation, eyes narrowed with concern from Dwight’s accusations and Pam’s reactions but his mind had wandered and his eyes had landed on what rested on the easel.
He walked over to the painting, a wide smile on his face, “Look at this! Huh?! Dwight, look at it! It’s-it’s-”
“A forgery of a Norman Rockwell?” Dwight asked, and then turned back to Pam, “Is that it? Has someone coerced you, no, no – blackmailed you into-”
“Come on, Dwight,” Michael snapped irritably, “It’s not a Rockwell forgery, don’t be stupid! Look at the brush strokes! The simplicity in perfection – this is another Beasley original, am I right?”
Pam’s throat was tight, she swallowed, eyes downcast, “Yes, Michael.”
“Ha! Knew it!” Michael clapped his hands together, chuckling as his eyes seemed to feast on the picture, “Oh, it is perfect! Well, not as perfect as the one you did of the Office, that one has to be my favorite but this…this is just…”
He shook his head, unabashedly amazed, “Wow. Wow, owow, owowo…”
A silence settled in and Pam decided to capitalize on it, trying her best to ease out of the room silently and unnoticed but Michael turned away from the painting and to her too quickly for her to dash off, “I don’t know how you can-”
Michael froze, eyes narrowed again as he leaned closer to her, “You…you have been crying, haven’t you?”
“I say we take immediate action,” Dwight continued, “If we don’t hurry the culprits will have disguised themselves, making it much harder to-”
“Dwight, shut up,” Michael snapped, then returned his attention to Pam, “Are you ok? What’s wrong? What happ-”
“I’d rather not-”
“Is it Jim?”
“What?” Pam and Michael asked simultaneously, both of them looking at Dwight who had shot out the question.
“Is. It. Halpert.” Dwight spaced out, “He’s usually the problem. Has been from day one. And considering your history-”
“That was a long time ago,” Pam muttered, eyes downcast.
“True, but your relationship with him did end under mysterious circumstances, and then, not long after, he left. Again, might I add, and went to Corporate. He could be anywhere now – Miami, Rio – he could be using our paper company to launder money, narcotics, and we wouldn’t even know-”
“Dwight, do you actually listen to the things you say? Honestly?! You sound like an idiot,” Michael scowled.
“Sorry,” Dwight muttered, head bowing slightly but eyes still darting about, “I’m just saying, Halpert is untrustworthy and if he is involved it would be my pleasure to-”
“It’s-it’s not Jim.” Pam squeaked, throat tight again, eyes still on the floor.
“Oh. Then it’s that.”
Michael frowned, “What? What’s that?”
“You know,” Dwight said, leaning closer to his boss, eyes still darting, “Women’s troubles. Yet another default of their gender. I’ve seen Pam under its influence before…”
“Dwight, I highly doubt its-”
“Never underestimate the power of really bad PMS. Fact: 1982, Lawrenceville, Georgia, Angela Cavallo lifted a 1964 Chevrolet Impala from her pinned son, Tony, after it fell off-”
“Dwight, that’s adrenaline, not PMS.”
Dwight frowned, thinking, and finally having stopped talking, Michael spoke up, “Pam, are you sure you’re ok? Because, you know, if it is about Jim, I know a thing or two about broken hearts and I can-”
“Yeah, Michael’s an expert, Pam. A pro – you should have seen the way he broke Jan’s heart when he dumped her-”
Michael pressed his finger to his eyes, “Dwight-”
“She was crushed. Obliterated. And then she was really pissed off but the way she cried when he first-”
“You know what, Dwight, how about we talk about Angela, huh? How about that?” Michael shot out and immediately Dwight was contrite but Michael continued, “How about we talk about how she’s with Andy now? How she’s roasting his chestnuts over a fire tonight, so you’re spending Christmas with me.”
Pam couldn’t help but smirk a little at that, “Isn’t roasting…bad?”
“Not if it’s in your mouth, and it’s hot…like a roasting…” Michael added sporadically.
Dwight looked so distraught now that Pam almost felt sorry for him. Michael must have realized he’d gone too far as well, as he sighed and gingerly patted Dwight’s shoulder, “Now, look, Pam, Dwight and I came here to watch some Christmas movies. So, if you like, you’re more than welcome to join in. It’ll be like Movie Monday…”
“Michael, it is Monday,” Dwight added.
“Ok, but, you know, not Monday because it’s Christmas Eve and Christmas Eve is like its own entity. It transcends above the mundane average day of the weekness…”
“Michael, that’s nice, but I really think I should just go home-”
“And what? Be alone? Come on Pam, its Christmas…”
“Michael, that’s tomorrow.” Dwight tossed in again.
“Eve, then, it’s Christmas Eve, Pam, all right? And no one should spend it alone. Come on, I’ve got ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’, I’ve got ‘Home Alone’, you know,” Michael pressed his hands to either side of his face and dropped his mouth open, trying to do his best Macaulay Culkin impersonation.
Pam sighed, “I suppose…”
“Great, great! Dwight, go make some popcorn-”
“But that’s Pam’s job.”
“Dwight,” Michael said steely and his assistant sighed, trudging off.
Pam sat back down, her eyes diverted away from the painting and on to the television set next to it. Michael began to set up the movie and Pam couldn’t help herself, “So…um…why didn’t you and Dwight just watch the movie at home?”
“VCR’s broken and I don’t have most of these on DVD yet. Besides, what better place than the Office! This is one of my most favorite places in the world…” Michael muttered as he fiddled with a few of the wires and controls before he managed to get the movie set up.
Dwight entered with three bags of popcorn and took a seat to Pam’s left, he looked at her with a lopsided grin, “This is pretty cool, right? It’s like, we could be the Three Musketeers, or –oh!- we could be like two guys, a girl, and a beet farm! OH! Or the Holy Trinity!”
Pam frowned, “Isn’t that kind of blasphemous?”
“Probably,” Dwight agreed, nodding, “But I don’t think anyone will mind if we pretend for one night. You’ll be Wonder Woman; naturally, I’m Batman and Michael’s Superman.”
Pam blinked, “Oh. I thought-I thought you said the Holy Trinity.”
“I did,” Dwight frowned, confused, “The Holy Trinity – Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. Why? Do you know of another one?”
Pam pressed her lips together and just shook her head, “No, no…”
Michael let out a delighted sound of triumph, “Finally! Stupid Ryan really messed this set up last time he was here. Made us watch that boring, asinine piece of trash…”
“Yeah, who needs to watch a video on religious sensitivity? I’m excellent at respecting the Jews!” Dwight boasted.
“Besides,” Michael muttered as he took another seat to Pam’s right, “We’d covered that ground before. It’s just Ryan being all…stupid…”
“And he wanted to be in our Three Musketeers,” Dwight sneered, “Much better choice in Pam here. At least she works…”
Pam ducked down in her seat, “I’m sure Ryan works hard.”
“Yeah. Works hard at being a jackass.”
Michael laughed loudly, “Dwight, you know, now and then – I mean, that was a good one.”
“Yes, I know,” Dwight gloated and began to dig into his popcorn.
Michael began to do the same but stopped, frowning, “Hrm, we need drinks. Dwight!”
Dwight pouted, “But I got the popcorn-”
“And you did a great job. Now go get the drinks. Pam?”
“Oh,” Pam bit her bottom lip, “Um, just a diet coke?”
“Very good, diet coke for the lady and I’ll take a cold beer. You know what kind I like.”
“But…there’s no beer in the vending machines or in the break room refrigerator.”
Michael rolled his eyes, “Well, then, Dwight, I guess you’ll just have to drive to the 7-11 across the street.”
“Come on, chop, chop, popcorn’s getting cold and the movie’s about to start.”
Dwight scowled but got to his feet and left. Once he was gone the movie began to play and Pam did her best to focus on it. Michael, however, had his attention focused on Pam. After only a few minutes of movie watching he paused the film, “You know, um, we should wait for Dwight.”
“Oh,” Pam sighed, eyes avoiding him, “Ok.”
Michael, however, did his best to capture her attention. He got down in a crouch in front of her and took her hands in his. She wanted to draw them away but he started talking, “Pam, are you sure you don’t want to talk about what’s wrong?”
“Yes. I’m sure, Michael.”
“I’m a good listener.”
“Come on, just tell me.”
“Michael…you’re my boss…”
Michael frowned, confused, “And?”
“...and this is a personal matter. Ok? I’d rather not discuss it with my boss at my workplace.”
“Well…I mean…what better place is there?”
“Michael, please, just leave it alone. All right?”
“But-but it would probably be good for you to talk about it. You know? Get it off your chest.”
“Yeah, I can do that with someone else.”
“Ok, well, you broke into the Office and you were sitting in here by yourself on Christmas Eve. Is there really someone else you have that you can talk to?”
Pam looked up at him, blinking. She was caught off guard by his tone but innately knew he hadn’t meant to be so biting. Part of her wanted to slap of him. Part of her wanted to just get up and walk out. And the last part…
She let out another heavy breath, feeling defeated, “No. I don’t suppose there is anyone else I can talk to. No one really. I mean my Mom is…I don’t want to bother her with…”
“I am a good listener. Promise, boy scout’s honor.” Michael swore.
Pam looked at the painting, “Do…do you really like it?”
Michael was lost for a moment but then noticed where her eyes were turned, “What? The painting? Of course! Pam, you know I like your artwork. And it’s so,” he waved a hand at it as he thought of a word, “Christmasy! All beautiful and bright and ho, ho, ho and good cheer and…I mean I think it’s fantastic.”
Pam gave him a small watery smile, “It was going to be a present. For Jim.”
Michael nodded. She didn’t speak again and he waved a hand at her, “Yes. Go on. I’m listening.”
“I started painting it for him a…a while back. I had it all planned out…I mean, we did. We were going to make presents for each other. We decided to long, long before we were even close to December, but I started mine right away. I would do like I did tonight…come in here after hours and work on it here in the Conference room. I didn’t want Jim to know about it…to see it. So I’d work on it here and I had it hid near my desk.”
“How did you get in? I was wondering…” Michael started then stopped, “No, wait, sorry, listening.”
“I…you gave me a copy of the key, remember? After that one time when you-”
“Oh, yes,” Michael interrupted, embarrassed, “Forgot about…yeah, ok, so you have a key, continue, listening…”
“So…anyway…I worked hard on it, you know? I was so excited and I really wanted Jim to like it and I…” Her eyes welled up with fresh tears, “We-we were so happy. So perfect. I thought, you know, this is it. This is what everyone talks about, what everyone dreams about, and I just…it never entered my mind that it could…end.”
The last word came out on a sob and she put a hand to her mouth. Michael reached out his arms, prepared to hold her but she avoided them, shaking her head, trying to avoid more tears and catch her breath, “I finished it…even after we…we...I-I finished it and now here I am and I just, I d-d-don’t under-understand how…”
Her words became indecipherable as she started to sob, big hot tears escaping her and Michael waited patiently for her to fall forward in his arms, for him to comfort her but still she avoided it. Rocking in the chair, hand over her face. Realizing he wasn’t going to get to physically comfort her, Michael rose from his crouched position and went to his office. He found his hidden box of personal tissues and brought them to her.
She took them greedily, dabbing at her eyes and Michael disappeared again, returning with a bottle of water. She took that too. After a few minutes she calmed, and looked at him, eyes red-rimmed but with a faint glint of surprise, “Thank you.”
Michael gave a curt nod and sat back down next to her. Pam drank some water, wiped at her face some more and licked her lips. She looked at him, “I’m…you did…you were a good listener.”
Michael caught her astonished tone and smirked miserably, “One of the few things I picked up from Jan. She…taught me how you’re supposed to comfort a woman…after I messed up about twenty times. Hell, I still mess up; you’ve seen me do it here but now and again…”
“Do-do you miss her?”
He sighed, “Jan? Of course.”
“I’m sure you know. Probably most of the Office knows…after all, when it all went down it was pretty public…pretty messy…”
Pam remembered it like it was yesterday, “Yeah, it was…something. But that still doesn’t explain…I mean I don’t really know why…”
“Sometimes I don’t think I really know why either.” He breathed, “I was happy too. And Jan and I…perfect. We were one. We were…but you know…I mean, it’s a crock. What everyone talks about, what everyone dreams about…it’s a crock. It’s not real. Not really. All you get is moments…moments and then they’re gone and you’re back where you started. I remember I heard someone say once, you enter this world alone and you leave it alone and that…that’s the truth. The rest of it, all the in between…it’s what you make it and who you share it with…”
Pam nodded, somber, “I suppose so.”
Michael sighed, and then managed a little smile, “But, you know…moments. Like this one. They don’t have to be…this. We should be happy. We should be joyous and triumphant. Come on, Pam, you know you want to deck my halls with boughs of jolly.”
Pam didn’t know why, maybe because it was so absurd, or maybe because it was so easy to take out of context but his comment made her giggle. Overjoyed at having made her laugh, Michael beamed, “There! That’s the spirit! Oh! And you know, I know another way to make us feel more Christmas…”
He got up from his seat and dashed to the front door of the Office, snatching the mistletoe from the top of the doorframe. He came back to his seat next to her and held it above his head, leaning close to her, lips puckered, “Come on! Lay one on me.”
Pam blinked, frowning as her laughter died, “Um…no, Michael.”
“Oh come on! It’s Christmas! One kiss under the mistletoe! It’s good luck, swear!”
“I don’t think so, Michael.”
“I’m back!” Dwight announced loudly, his coat covered with fresh snow, a white plastic bag hanging from one hand as he entered the conference room, “I got a whole case of beer and diet coke, it’s really started to snow out there too, it’s-”
He saw Michael, Pam, and the mistletoe and frowned, “Did you send me out of here so you two can play kissing games?”
“God, no.” Pam insisted firmly.
Michael sighed and let the mistletoe fall on the Conference room table, “No, Dwight. I was just trying to cheer Pam up.”
“You never try to kiss me when you’re cheering me up.”
“Yes, and that will continue,” Michael stated resolutely, and then added under his breath, “Don’t need any other mistakes like that last time…”
“So…movie?” Dwight asked as he put the beer and diet coke on the table and resumed his seat, taking up his popcorn bag again.
Michael took in a deep breath and nodded, “Yeah. Movie.”
Michael pushed play and the film started again.
Pam stirred in her seat as the film ended. She looked to her left and saw Dwight was deeply asleep; his head leaned far back over his chair, his popcorn bag having tumbled to the floor to spill the last of its contents everywhere. Turning to her right she saw Michael too was asleep, but his head was closer to being cuddled on her shoulder. She eased away gently but he did not wake. She got to her feet and turned off the movie and the television set.
She cleaned up the popcorn bags and empty cans of beer and soda. She put the leftover cans in the fridge. She crept over to her desk and grabbed a yellow post-it note. She scribbled ‘To Michael and Dwight’ and then crept back into the Conference room. She put the note on her painting and turned to leave the sleeping Michael and Dwight where they were when she spotted the mistletoe.
She looked at it, then at Michael. She remembered what he said to her. Moments. Little pieces of time. What you make it and who you share it with. She walked over to him and picking up the mistletoe she held it above his head. She bent down and gave him a quick peck on the cheek, then smiled, “Merry Christmas, Michael.”
She eased upright and put the mistletoe to one side, ready to leave when she heard Dwight’s sleepy voice mutter, “Hey….where’s my kiss?”
PS - I hate this title, so if you can think of better, tell me pretty please with candy canes!