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04 January 2009 @ 10:00 pm
LET'S START THE REST OF OUR LIVES NOW: (the office, jim/pam)  
let's start the rest of our lives now
Rated PG, features Jim and Pam
Short; complete
SPOILERS Post-Goodbye Toby (S4 finale)

***

It's been two weeks since Toby's going-away party and since Jim's almost-proposal and Andy's unfortunate actual one. (Actually, it was a few days after when Andy came into work with red eyes and the sniffles and spent the entire day weirdly quiet and incredibly busy. He'd let it slip that him and Angela were no longer engaged or even together and Jim really thought about stabbing him in his eyeball because really?)



Pam was strangely aloof that night and Jim felt like an ass because he knew that maybe Pam had her suspicions or rather, hopes and he really wanted to live up to that. Maybe it wasn't the grand gesture she was looking for, just the question, but dammit he wanted the grand gesture. He wanted to give her a lifetime full of memories, happy ones, and he was a firm believer that an amazing proposal was right at the top of that list.

Maybe he was old fashioned, but his dad proposed to his mom on a boat at a lake in the woods with the moonlight surrounding them both and he loved the way his mom's eyes lit up every time she told the story and described the light chill of the night and the faint chirps of the birds and even the gentle rock of the small boat they sat in. He wanted Pam to have an incredible story to tell.

And frankly, proposing right after his crazy coworker just did not fit the bill.

"Hey."

Jim glances up from his food and clears his throat. "Huh?"

"Wow, you went away from me for a minute there. You okay?"

Jim takes a drink from his Sprite and nods his head. "Yeah, yeah. Just.. thinking."

Pam dips a fry into her ketchup. "Been doing a lot of that lately. I wonder if your brain is starting to hurt."

"Ha."

Jim stares at her for a moment as she applies some mayo to her chicken sandwich. Even though Pam had hid her disappointment well, he knew it was there and he really was quite impressed at how she'd seemed to let it go. It was almost as if she was okay with, as if she was.. used to it. And that sort of killed him more than anything because as much as hates himself for it, he wants to be better than Roy. He knows he's better than him, and he never ever wants to be compared to him in any sense, especially the bad kind, in Pam's head.

Pam lifts her head and meets his gaze, grinning suddenly. "Dare you to go in there."

"No, Pam. I am way too tall and big and plus, I don't know, there's like 900 kids in there."

"So stand in line like the rest of them. Come on, Jim, no visit to McDonald's is complete without a trip to the Playplace!"

"Yeaaaah, when you're FIVE."

"You're no fun," she replies, a slight smile on her face.

Maybe it was the challenge in her eyes or maybe it was because he hadn't heard her really laugh in days, but before he could think twice about it, he stands and walks to the playplace, opening the glass door and standing patiently behind a six-year-old with ice cream on her shirt and pigtails in her hair.

Pam turns around her in chair and watches as he stuffs his hands in his pocket and nods politely at a woman sitting at a nearby table. He meets her gaze and smiles softly, shrugging his shoulders as if to say "Why the hell not?"

She giggles and practically skips to him, standing next to him, smiling brightly. "You know, it'll be really embarrassing if you get stuck."

"It would be."

"And you can't do this with kids already in there."

"Hmm, maybe not. But I could just wait."

"But you really shouldn't."

"I see what you're trying to do, Pamela, and it isn't going to work."

"Oh, please. Indulge me."

"You think if you talk me out of this, you win. And then you will torment me with my cowardice the rest of my life."

"Hmm, true. But honestly, the image of you getting stuck in the slide up there is really all I'm after. But I'm willing to forgo that for the sake of your dignity. Because I love you."

"That's sweet. But I don't buy it."

"I'm offended."

Jim almost replies but he feels the soft tug of his pants and glances down to the floor, where the girl in pigtails was glancing up at him.

He smiles and crouches down so he could see her face. "Hi."

"Are you really going up there?"

"Hmm, thinking about it."

"How old are you?"

"Uh, 28."

"The sign over there says for kids only. My mom said once you use the potty and can eat dinner with your fork, then you are a big kid. Can you use the potty?"

Jim ignores Pam's giggle and answers her, smiling. "You really think I'm too big for this?"

"Maybe. But my dad says that even if you are really, really big like you are, that it's okay sometimes to be a kid. He says it's boring to be grown up all the time."

"Your dad is a wise man."

"Yeah. And he can potty too."

"Awesome."

The girl turns her head suddenly when a woman Jim presumed to be her mother was yelling for her. "I have to go. Mom's yelling for me."

"Okay."

"Don't get stuck!" She yells back as she runs the opposite direction from him.

Jim stands, wincing a little as his legs began to relax. He looks at Pam, who was grinning broadly and was swinging her crossed hands in front of her. "What?"

Her eyes are bright and she just shakes her head and closes the gap between them. She brings her arms around his neck and kisses him softly. "You are.. amazing," she whispers against his lips.

He smiles and closes his arms around her waist. "Pssah. I know."

It occurs to him that he's never been looked at by.. anyone.. the way Pam looks at him sometimes. As if he's this wonderful, amazing person.. as if he's.. everything. She looks at him with this fondness and love that makes his heart swell, that makes him feel like he can do anything. He thinks if she looks at him like that for the rest of his life, he'd die one happy man.

"Marry me."

He doesn't mean to say it, he didn't even think it, it just sort of spews out of him. Pam gasps a little and glanced at him sharply, studying him. Her eyes flicker and she slowly smiles. "Wait.. really?"

Jim rolls his eyes, slightly annoyed that she even had to ask that. (Even if the other 900 times he almost/pretended to ask was really fun.) "Yes. Really. I am proposing you in the middle of McDonald's because I did not think this out and because.. just.. why wait? I'm sure this will be a great story for you tell our kids someday anyway."

Pam's eyes are full and she has to blink so the tears can run down her face and she can see. "Our kids." She whispers. "Yeah.."

She kisses him soundly, holding his face against hers and she squeezes her eyes shut and wills herself to propel everything she feels for him, at this moment and always, in this one simple kiss. It's a couple minutes later when she breaks away from him, her breathing shallow. "Yes." She whispers, fully crying now. "Yes, yes, yes."

Jim smiles and holds her face in his hands, wiping at her tears. He tries to remember how many times he dreamed of this moment and thinks even if he could remember, the number would probably be borderline creepy.

"I love you."

"I love you too."

"The ring's at home."

"That's okay."

"Want to go get it?"

"Sure. Where is it exactly?"

"Uh, in my underwear drawer."

"Haaa, that's great. We won't even have to leave the room."

"Always thinking, Beesly."

"I do what I can."

The fog-like spell they seemed to be in was broken by the hysterical-like scream. They snapped out of their reprieve and glanced around the room, trying to place the child that had woken somebody in China.

"Oh my god." Pam said suddenly, covering her mouth with her hand.

Jim glanced at her and followed her gaze to the slide, where a chubby kid was kicking his feet, crying. "Is he.. stuck?"

Pam nodding her head, her face red, no sound coming from her.

"Pam! Are you.. laughing?"

She shakes her head.

"You are! God, you are so mean. I don't know if I want to marry you anymore."

Pam hits him in the arm and takes a deep breath as she tries to calm down.

"No, I'm serious. This is a very traumatic moment in that kid's life and you are laughing at him. I just.. do I even really know you? I thought I did but I'm not so sure now."

"Shut up! I just thought it was really.. amusing.. considering you were planning on being one of them and you know, the kid couldn't even.. I just.. I win."

"Oh wow. This is a very ugly side of you I never knew existed and it is making me question so many things."

"Hmm, maybe it's a good thing you haven't given me the ring yet. Maybe you should reconsider what just happened."

Jim sighs loudly and glances up at the slide again before they walk back into the lobby. (The kid was being helped by his parents.) He throws his arm around her shoulder and pulls her close. "I don't know. I've invested a lot of effort and time into you. I don't feel like doing it again."

"I understand."

Jim holds the door open as she walks past him. "Wait, are we leaving our food?"

"Ehh, I'm not too hungry anymore. We can get some take out later if you want."

"I don't care." Jim kisses her temple and fishes his keys out of his pocket.

He glances back at the restaurant and smiles and thinks about how in the end, the whole "grand gesture" doesn't even matter just as long as it's the answer his heart has wanted for so long.

"We should have the engagement party here and convince Michael to go down the slide. I'm thinking that'll be about 100 times more funnier than you."

"See?" Jim says, starting the car. "That, Beesly, is why I'm marrying you."

 
 
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