ofscarletwoman: (Default)
[personal profile] ofscarletwoman
Author: Tarie
Title: Cool As Ice
Summary: It's New Years Eve at Dunder-Mifflin, and Jim would rather hide in the break room than socialize.
Pairing: Jim/Pam
Fandom: The Office
Word Count: 1700
Warnings: None
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: The Office belongs to Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. I'm just playing.
Notes: For [livejournal.com profile] traceace, with LOVE. All mistakes are my own, yo.


Jim stands in the break room with his head firmly pressed against the cupboard. He's thought about bashing his head off the door repeatedly, but that might draw attention from Out There, and the last thing he wants is for people to invade his own private 'Not Really at Dunder-Mifflin for New Years' bubble. Loud music thumps from over in the conference room, and he is reminded that his little bubble isn't so private anyway.

The hinges on the door squeal in protest, and Jim frowns. Busted already.

"Hey there, Jim."

Inwardly Jim winces, but he straightens and turns, half-heartedly raising a hand in greeting. "Hey there, Michael."

Michael smiles in that way that makes him look like a kewpie doll, the corners of his mouth hitch up until they can't hitch anymore, and his eyes round widely. He rocks on his feet from back to front, and his lids slowly close and then open. "You comin' out for el festivos? The fiest-ah? Angela's made New Years pork and saurkraut, mmm mmm gud." Rubbing his stomach, Michael leans in and elbows Jim with his idle arm. "Ohh, yeah. And Bob Vance brought in an ice scuplture. It looks JUST LIKE ME, only it's a baby wearing a diaper. But it's got the Michael Scott vibe goin' on, Jimbo. Cool as ice, ice, baby." As if punctuating his point, Michael crosses his arms Vanilla Ice-style about his chest.

"Wow." Working his jaw, Jim runs his hands over his cheeks, massaging them lightly. "Yeah, that sounds great, Michael. I definitely wouldn't want to miss out on that."

"Yeah, and you're missing Ryan Seacrest by hangin' out in here with all your homies." Looking around the vacant room, Michael laughs a little, and Jim feels obligated to join in.

"Yeah, I guess I am. And who would want to miss Ryan Seacrest?"

"Definitely. Not. Me. Did I tell you I'm auditioning for American Idol next year?"

"Really?"

"Schyeah, really. And this way I'll have something to talk about when I meet him. Gotta butter up to him; that Simon's an overbearing troll. I figure if I charm The Ryan, I'm in good with Paula and Randy. Ryan. What is it about Ryans? They're too good for their own...goodly...goodness."

"Huh. American Idol. I would've thought you more of a Fear Factor type," Jim notes.

"I auditioned one time but there was this thing with bull testicles and I just had to say 'no' as I'm not putting any sort of cock-n-bulls in my mouth as ho no, I ain't no ho-mo," Michael says, pulling a face and waving his hands around. Then he remembers himself. "Not that there's anything wrong with that, because homosexuals are people too, and if they want to put cock-n-bulls in their mouth or any other orifices, I am fine with that. More than fine with that, because they get their protein that way and we need them strong. In case they get drafted. Don't ask, don't tell."

Jim blinks. "Okay. Thanks for that, Michael. That was really...enlightening."

"You're welcome, Jim." Michael half-bows, beaming as he straightens. "You'd better be in the breakroom by midnight ā€“ which by the way is soon, mi amigo ā€“ 'cause I gots to first-foot you. It's a Scottish New Years tradition where someone brings a gift of coal for the fire or shortbread to their neighbor, and since your desk is near my door, you are my neighbor."

"Well howdy, neighbor." Jim leans back against the counter, one ankle crossing over the other.

"Howdy-do, neighbor." Michael mimes taking off some sort of hat (judging by the hokey accent he'd just used, Jim figures it is Imaginary Cowboy) and makes a show of greeting Jim with a hat in hand, rotating his wrist as though he's spinning it around. When he's finished, he mimes putting it back on his head. Affecting a Scottish brogue, he adds, "Tis considered lucky if a tall, dark, handsome man is the first to enter your house after the new year is rung in."

"This isn't my house," Jim points out. "Neither is the conference room."

Dropping the Scottish accent, Michael runs a hand through his hair. "I know."

"I thought you were German, anyway."

"German, Scottish, English, Irish, and Native American. I've got all the colors of Benetton flowing through my veins. Except black, because I am white. And Injun Red."

"You're like a big melting pot," Jim decides, and Michael beams.

"Yes, yes I am. And speaking OF. Meesa get some fondue, so meesa seeyu later." Using two fingers, Michael salutes and, after a cry of, "Lates, my homie," exits, leaving Jim alone once more.

The door slams shut and this time Jim does bang his head off the cupboard doors when he turns around.

Not much time passes before the hinges squeal again, and Jim sighs.

"Ooooh, Jim. Have you seen Ryan?"

"Hey, Kelly." Smiling slighty, Jim turns around to face her, shrugging his shoulders. "No, I haven't."

Her mouth screws up in a pout as she leans against the door, looking for all the world like someone just told her Lance Bass is gay. Which, now that Jim thinks about it, might not have ever happened, and he decides to keep that bit of information to himself.

"Well, that's just GREAT." Throwing up her hands, her face kind of crumples, and Jim feels sorry for her.

"What's wrong?"

"It's almost midnight and I can't find Ryan, which is really really bad luck, okay? Because at midnight you're supposed to kiss the person you want to spend the whole entire year kissing, and I don't want to kiss anyone but Ryan! If I don't kiss him, that's, like, a bad omen and stuff. I can't have a bad omen, Jim. I have to have Ryan or I'll simply die. A whole year of kissing no one at all or, like, Andy is a fate worse than death!"

"Andy?"

Sniffling, Kelly nods emphatically. "Andy. He's been singing 'Hindi Diamonds' from Moulin Rouge to me all night, asking me if I want to see his Magical Sitar and stuff, and I don't care about musical instruments. I just care about Ryan!"

"Oh." Jim's mouth scrunches to one side, and Kelly's cheeks get wetter and wetter. Taking a napkin from the counter, he handed it to her. "Hey, Kelly?"

"Y-y-yes, Jim?"

"You stay here, and I'll find Ryan, okay?"

"Okay." She inhales deeply, the tears still clinging to her cheeks trembling from the motion, and then she presses the napkin to her cheeks.

"I'll be right back."

With that, Jim jogs out of the break room and begins to walk up and down the aisles between the desks, looking for Ryan. No such luck out in the sales section or accounting, so he decides to check out HR. Toby's desk is cordoned off from the rest of them; maybe Ryan's back there for some reason.

Rounding the corner, he stops short in the entryway.

"Jim!" Pam sounds and looks as surprised as Jim feels.

"Got tired of looking at the naked baby ice sculpture?" He smiles, because it's the friendly thing to do. That and it hides the awkwardness he's feeling.

"Oh, yeah," she says slowly. And then: "Actually, it was really kind of creepy. It reminds me of Michael in some weird way and Iā€“"

"That's what he said!" Jim interrupts, grinning a real grin this time.

"You've been talking to Michael?"

Jim nods.

"But I didn't see you in the conference room." Giving him an inquisitive look, Pam sets down the pencil she'd been tapping against her nails.

"No, I was in the break room." Pam's brows lift and Jim gives her a sheepish look. "Okay, so I was hiding in the break room."

"And?"

"And," Jim says, leaning against Toby's desk, fiddling with the pencil she just put down, "he came in and I learned all about his Fear Factor audition."

"No way," Pam breathes, and then she bursts out giggling, pink tinging her cheeks. Her chin wobbles as she laughs, curls bouncing lightly, one or two trying to escape her up-do.

"Yes way." Cramming his hands in his pockets, Jim adds, "It turns out that the only thing that came between Michael and advancing to stick his head in a tank full of poisonous snakes for two minutes in order to win a million dollars was a bull's privates."

"Nooooo!"

"Oh yeah." Tilting his head, he blows a bit of fringe out of his eyes. "I also learned his plan for getting in tight with Ryan Seacrest, and that he's like Benetton without the 'B'."

Pam's lips press together tightly, like she's trying to hold something in. Jim knows she is on the verge of laughter again, and he leans forward slightly, looking at her expectantly, removing a hand from a pocket to fidget with the pencil again. "Well," she says after a long silence, "I'm sorry I missed that."

"Yeah, I'm sorry, too."

The corner of his mouth trembles a little. Pam looks away, and as Jim studies the smooth white line of her neck, he thinks he might have said too much.

Desperate to make things less awkward, he blurts out the first thing that comes to mind, getting rid of the oppressive silence that had begun to close in on him. "It's almost midnight. Maybe we should get back to the conference room."

She swivels in the chair, her mouth a thin, tentative line. "Yeah, maybe. I bet Karen's waiting for you, and all."

Oh. Karen. Jim frowns, tapping his thumb against the eraser. "No, I bet she isn't. We. I. We're not seeing each other anymore."

Pam's mouth opens a fraction. "Oh."

"No, so. I think I'd rather just stay here. But you go on."

He feels the eraser twist slightly against the pad of his thumb, and Jim looks down. Pam's thumb and forefinger are gripping the pencil tip.

"No," Pam shakes her head, "I think I'd rather just stay here. If you don't mind."

"I don't mind at all."

FIN.

Date: 2007-01-04 02:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] blahblahologist.livejournal.com
Damn, you have Michael DOWN. I can literally hear him saying all that, it was hilarious. I really enjoyed this, thanks for posting here!

Date: 2007-01-04 02:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kristendotcom.livejournal.com
You DO have Michael down pat! That was great, I loved it all and the ending was great.

Date: 2007-01-04 04:29 am (UTC)
ext_9571: Three sand cranes at sunset. (Smile)
From: [identity profile] genericzombie.livejournal.com
I have to agree with the other people who have commented; your Michael was most impressive. The other characters were very well-written, too, and came across as natural, for lack of a better word. You had a lot of their mannerisms down pat.

Nice job! :D

Date: 2007-01-04 02:24 pm (UTC)
falulatonks: (the office - marauder!jim)
From: [personal profile] falulatonks
Oh, unbelievable, I'm sorry for being repetitive, but genius like this has to be recognised - your Michael is brilliant. Everything, everything, everything, it's just that I can imagine him saying all of that, and I think it's freaking genius. I can't say how much I love the way you've written him - just - awesome job with him.

I like that Jim eventually goes to find Ryan because he's the sort of nice guy who does things like that even if he may not have really wanted to initially.

And I love the pencil, in that last part with them; the way he plays with it and the way she grabs it lightly at the end. There's something really symbolic about it but I'm really too tired to process it right now.

I love this as a whle, though. :D Great job!

Date: 2007-01-06 07:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nowherelander.livejournal.com
I have to repeat what everyone said, this felt very natural and like it could happen on the show. Your Michael is perfect. I've got all the colors of Benetton flowing through my veins. This? Is made of win. And may I just say how much I adore how Kelly is totally oblivious to all Andy's innuendo? Magical sitar! Hee

Date: 2007-01-08 06:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] counteragent.livejournal.com
Your Michael was great!

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