Pairings: Jan/Michael, Jim/Pam, Oscar/Gil
Word Count: 1,158
Spoilers: from after "The Client" to "A Benihana Christmas"
Summary: Five people who have considered obtaining restraining orders against Michael Scott.
Author's Note: This is just me being silly. :D Thanks to falseeeyelashes for the prompt!
Subject: You have been sent an E-card!
Jan closes her eyes, lets her head fall into her hands, and strives desperately for a single moment in which she isn’t completely consumed by the repercussions of that horrible, ridiculous night.
It doesn’t work very well.
At this point, a restraining order doesn’t seem like an idle wish so much as it does a necessity.
Her eyes flutter open at a light, pointed “ahem,” and she looks up to see Sherry standing behind her, eyeing the computer screen with poorly suppressed amusement.
“Here’s that memo you were asking about,” she says, and drops the piece of paper innocently onto her desk.
“Oh,” Jan says, and her hand flies to the mouse so she can minimize the window. “Um – thank you, Sherry.”
“No problem,” Sherry says, and heads out. In the doorway, she pauses. “Oh, by the way – Michael called.”
Jan doesn’t know whether she wants to scream, cry, or just give up and hurl herself from the window. The latter is unnervingly desirable. Staying professional throughout all of this is getting to be more than she can endure; she finds herself living for cigarette breaks, and she doesn’t even technically smoke anymore. The truly saddening part of it all is that if she happens to ultimately perish from lung cancer, Michael will probably be the only one who cares enough to stay by her bedside.
Because he loves her. Beary much.
Oh, dear God.
“I told him you were busy for the day, and wouldn’t be able to get back to him,” Sherry finishes graciously, and Jan looks up to see that her eyes have softened in sympathy.
“Thank you,” Jan sighs.
“Yep,” Sherry says, and heads out.
As soon as the door closes, Jan reloads her inbox, deletes the e-card with the teddy bears, and decides it’s best for her own mental health if she doesn’t bother to look at the other seven.
“It’s depressing, though, right?” Pam can’t help asking.
“Oh,” Jim agrees, “totally.”
“I mean . . . I feel like I just started here, and all of a sudden, it’s been, like, years.” Pam stares glumly down into her Cup Noodles. “I never meant to be here for years. Or even one year.”
“And it seems like just yesterday,” Jim says, with a mock-wistful sigh, “when we pulled that first prank on Dwight with the poisoned jellybeans.”
“Right!” Pam says, and she feels herself brightening as she looks up at him. “And Michael ate some, and Dwight made him throw up on the carpet.”
“Creating a stain which it bears to this day,” Jim finishes, and Pam sticks her tongue out.
“But seriously,” Jim persists matter-of-factly. “What are those if not lasting memories, Beesly? It’s the kind of stuff that really builds character. That shows you who you really are.”
“Yeah,” Pam says, shaking her head as she smiles. “Right.”
“We’ve had some good times,” Jim declares.
“We have,” Pam admits. “And, you know, maybe you’re kinda onto something there.”
“Oh, really?” Jim asks, and turns his chair a little bit so he’s facing her more directly. She loves that – just those little things he does that show he really does care what she talks about, even when it’s stupid like this. It’s nice of him. “How so?”
“Well, like, back when I first started?” she begins, and leans forward on her elbows. “I couldn’t handle Michael at all. He’d say something rude and tasteless and—”
“Exactly,” she agrees. “And God, I’d just want to quit right there, or cry, or something. I seriously dreamed of restraining orders. And now, it’s just like . . .” She wrinkles her nose a little bit. “I don’t want to say that I like him, but . . . he’s tolerable.”
“Sadly,” Jim says, “I kinda get what you’re saying.”
“Wow,” Pam says grimly, and she’s silent and thoughtful for a moment. “Does that mean that he’s getting better, or that we’re getting worse?”
“Probably both,” Jim decides.
“Maybe he is getting better,” Pam ventures hopefully.
“You mean, like, maybe one day he’ll be able to kiss someone without causing them to have a nervous breakdown?” Jim asks, then throws in a respectful, “Poor Jan, by the way.”
“Maybe,” Pam says, trying not to smile as she shrugs.
“Oh, Pam,” Jim says, and shakes his head admiringly, “you dream big.”
“Absolutely,” she agrees, and doesn’t think about houses with terraces or scrawling her name in the bottom right corners of drawings. After all, she did get over the restraining order thing.
Oscar takes the mug, then stares incredulously up at Gil.
“Are you serious?”
“It’s soothing,” Gil protests lightly.
“That’s true,” Oscar admits. “But how, exactly, can I be expected to drown my sorrows in peppermint tea?”
“Oh, come on,” Gil says, settling down on the couch next to him. “You got a three month paid vacation out of this. How bad could it have been?”
“I’m not going to answer that,” Oscar says, with a weary sort of dignity, “because there’s no way words can convey the horror.”
“Three months,” Gil reminds him, and nudges him lightly. “We can finally go to Europe.”
“He kissed me,” Oscar says dully, “on the lips. Three months in Europe can’t just erase that kind of agony.”
“Okay, now you’re just being melodramatic,” Gil decides, grinning.
Oscar just keeps staring blankly ahead at nothing, and Gil knows that he’s reliving it in his head, over and over and over. Oscar’s pretty good at dwelling under normal circumstances, and Gil never putting the cap back on the toothpaste is kind of minor compared to this. There might be actual psychological damage to consider.
“Do you think a restraining order would be too extreme?” Oscar asks suddenly, and Gil looks over to see that his expression is practically fierce in its determination.
“On Michael?” Gil asks, unnecessarily.
“Yes, on Michael,” Oscar says, and sounds practically offended.
Gil furrows his brow. “You’re kidding, right?”
For a second, Oscar just stares at him in a manner that could be classified as glaring, and Gil decides that he’ll be very, very pissed if this Michael-kissing thing puts a damper on Paris.
But then Oscar’s expression softens a little.
“Maybe,” he relents, and sighs. Still, he does take a sip of his tea – which is a good sign, Gil figures.
Carol knows that Michael’s a sweet guy, and sometimes when he’s crawling around on the living room floor with the kids, or his eyes are lighting up at the sight of her after they haven’t seen one another for awhile, she thinks that maybe this could be a little more than just settling.
And then she gets the Christmas card.
It’s not like Ryan ever actually will, but still. It’s nice to think about.