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20 July 2006 @ 07:53 am
Five Games of Truth or Dare Jim and Pam Never Played (The Office)  
Title: Five Games of Truth or Dare Jim and Pam Never Played
Authors: annakovsky and kyrafic
Fandom: The Office (US)
Pairing: Jim/Pam
Rating: PG
Length: 6300 words
Summary: "Truth or Dare?" Dwight interjects. "That is so lame. That is a game for little girls."
Notes: Five stories in different universes. swmbo battled the rigors of tryptophan to beta this. Some section titles stolen from Nirvana, Nabokov and Mr. Frank O'Hara.



1. How Long Have We Been at War? The War of Work.

Jim comes back from the break room with a soda in one hand and a horrified expression on his face. He makes a beeline for Pam, walking at a rate that would probably win him a gold medal in the Office Olympics coffee mug race, if they ever have that again. She finishes transferring a call to Stanley's extension and hangs up just as Jim puts both hands on the edge of her desk, his eyes wide.

"Are you okay?" she asks. His expression's a little alarming, like the worst has happened -- but in some sort of way that is also disgusting. Maybe he saw Dwight with his shirt off again.

"Oh my God, no, I am not," Jim whispers. He looks around like he's worried someone might overhear them.

"What?" she says. Now she's whispering too, and leaning in.

"Okay," he says. "So. Okay. You know how awhile ago, you thought that Dwight and Angela might be…." He trails off and makes an expressive face.

"Um… uh huh?" Pam says. She's suddenly realized what he's just found out.

"Well, they are," Jim says. "They most definitely, definitely are."

"What?" Pam says, in the most shocked voice she can muster.

"I know!" Jim says, still whispering. "I just walked into the break room and they were -- " He stops abruptly and tilts his head to the side, his eyes narrowing as he looks at Pam. Then, in a very different tone, and at a normal volume, "Okay, so how long have you known about this?"

Pam grimaces apologetically. "A while."

"Pam!" Jim says.

"I know!" Pam says. "I just couldn't bring myself to tell anyone. They're kind of sweet, actually."

"Sweet?!" Jim says. "Pam. Oh, Pam."

"I know," she says. "I know. But they are!"

"I can't believe you didn't tell me about this! Who else knows?"

"Nobody, I swear," Pam says.

"Well, all right," Jim says. "But it does throw our whole relationship into question. I mean, if you didn't tell me this, what other secrets are you keeping from me?"

He's totally joking, but even so, Pam suddenly feels a really pressing need to stack her post-it notes much more neatly. "Nothing," she says, and when she looks up again, Jim seems self-conscious.

"Well, okay, Beesly," he says, and taps the top of her desk. "Uh, I better get back to work."

**

Pam's engrossed in a game of mine sweeper when she hears Jim and Dwight start raising their voices.

"You can't just throw out people's lunches, Dwight!" Jim says. "That's, seriously, the second time this week."

"Uh, it's office policy that any employee can throw away food in the office kitchen that constitutes a public health hazard -- check the memo," Dwight says. "The fridge needs to be kept clean."

"Okay, first of all, for the three thousandth time, you made that policy, it's not official," Jim says. "Second of all, my sandwich was not a public health hazard! It had my name on it, and the date…."

Dwight just ignores him. Jim looks at Pam and mimes putting a gun to his head. Pam smiles and shakes her head.

Jim has a Cup of Noodles from the vending machine for lunch, and spends the whole time glowering at Dwight in a way that means Dwight should probably make sure all his belongings are locked up tight.

**

About an hour after lunch, Jim gets up from his desk very purposefully and walks over to Pam.

"Okay, so, revenge," he says. "I've got a plan. Are you in?"

"Always," Pam says, turning away from her game of Hearts. "Hit me."

Jim smiles that way that's her favorite, like it's the two of them against the world.

**

After Jim's been back working for long enough, Pam puts the plan in motion, getting up and going to sit on the edge of Jim's desk. "I am so bored," she says.

Jim leans back in his chair. "God, me too. It's a really slow day."

"Really slow," Pam agrees. Dwight's glancing over at them in a disapproving way, like he thinks they should be doing their jobs instead of slacking off. Got him. Time to reel him in. "Oooh, I know!" she says. "Let's play a game."

Jim twirls his pencil between his fingers. "Oh yeah? What game?"

"I don't know." Pam pretends to think. "Oh! Truth or Dare."

Jim laughs and shrugs. "Sure, we haven't played that in awhile. Okay, I'm in."

"Truth or Dare?" Dwight interjects. "That is so lame. That is a game for little girls."

"So you must play it a lot, then," Jim says smoothly, swiveling casually in his chair.

"No," Dwight says, and glares.

"So okay," Pam says, pretending she's ignoring Dwight. "You first. Truth or dare?"

"Hmmm," Jim says. "I think I'm going to have to choose truth to start it off."

"All right," Pam says. "Do you have a crush on somebody in the office?"

Jim pauses and looks awkward just long enough -- the plan is going perfectly. "Um. Yes."

"Really?" Pam says. "Who?!"

"Hey, you just get one question, and I answered it," Jim says. "Truth or dare, Pam?"

"Truth."

"If you had to sleep with either Carrot Top or William Shatner, who would you choose?"

"Oh," Pam says. "William Shatner, no question."

"Definitely," Dwight says, nodding along. "No question."

"Excuse me, are you playing this game?" Jim asks, without turning around. "This is a January-February conversation, so March on out of here."

"Very funny," Dwight says.

"Your turn," Pam says. "Truth or dare?"

"Truth," Jim says.

"Ha!" Pam says. "Gotcha. Who is your crush on?"

"I can't tell you that," Jim says.

"Jim, the contract of Truth or Dare explicitly states that all Truth questions must be answered, in full, with the exact -- "

Jim leans in and stage whispers, "She might overhear."

Pam rolls her eyes. "Fine. Then, um, what color hair does she have?"

Jim makes it clear that he's looking around to see if anyone's listening in -- which Dwight very obviously is.

"Okay," Jim says, in a voice low enough that it seems like he's keeping it down, but loud enough that Dwight can definitely hear him. "She has blond hair, and she's kind of short, and she, uh… is good at accounting?"

Dwight audibly gasps, and Pam has to put her hand up over her mouth to cover the smile. Jim makes a triumphant fist under the table at her.

And that's how Dwight ends up challenging Jim to a duel in the Dunder Mifflin parking lot. Weapon: bowstaffs.

**

2. with the lights out, it’s less dangerous

The power goes out with an abrupt whoosh, the sound of everything powering down, and Dwight groans loudly. Jim's watch says 1:43 and he swings his chair around to look at Pam but it's too dark to see her clearly. Then the emergency lights flicker on, dim and sickly, and Michael comes out of his office.

"Okay, okay!" he says. "Nobody panic. I'm sure this is just a little glitch. The power should flick right back on! Noooot. A big deal." He bounces on his toes and pauses. The office is really quiet without any background noise. "Any minute now," he says. Jim raises his eyebrows at Pam and looks at his watch again. "Um, or maybe we better call and check," Michael says. "Pam, could you look up the number for--"

"Michael!" says Dwight, bounding up from his seat. "I've got it." He pushes a button on his cell phone and hands it to Michael.

"What?" says Michael. "Oh, it's ringing."

Jim folds his arms and looks at Dwight. "You have the power company on speed dial?"

"Yes, Jim," says Dwight. "And that's why my house will always get its power back before yours."

"No, no, SLOUGH Avenue," Michael is saying into the phone. "It's S-L -- look, can't you just --"

Jim pushes himself up from his chair and walks into Michael’s empty office to look out the window. The traffic light at the end of the street is dead too.

"What are you looking at?" says Pam behind him and he turns to look at her, then jerks his thumb back over his shoulder.

"I think we may be in for the long haul."

"Oh, darn," says Pam. "And I had so much exciting work to do."

He grins, just as Michael raises his voice.

"Okay, everyone, listen up. The power company ... does not want to tell me when our power will be fixed."

Jim follows Pam over to stand in the doorway behind Michael.

"Can we go home?" says Oscar.

"Ahhh ... no," says Michael. "This is clearly a chance for us all to bond. Stop staring into those idiot boxes and get some real work done." He sits down cross-legged on the floor by reception and Dwight follows suit. "You know, the cave men didn't have electricity, and they used that time to get to know their co-wor-- cave mates."

Oscar is staring at him and Jim exchanges a look with Pam. They inch sideways out of Michael's door and along the wall toward the kitchen.

"Come on, gather 'round," Michael says. "Where's Ryan?" Jim glances back as the kitchen door opens, to see Michael pat the carpet on his other side.

It's darker in the kitchen and Pam moves to sit in the far corner behind the table.

"Oh, hang on," Jim says, and ducks into the bathroom. When he comes back out, candle and matches in hand, Toby is sitting down across from Pam.

"What, you don't want to bond with the cavemen?" Jim asks, lighting the candle and setting it in the middle of the table before sliding into the seat beside Pam. The flame flickers in the dimness.

"Hard to believe," says Toby.

The door swings open and Kelly comes in with Oscar behind her, frowning at his cell phone display.

"Hey, what are you guys doing?" Kelly asks, pulling out the chair between Toby and Pam.

"Oh, you know," says Jim. "Making s'mores, playing truth or dare."

Pam's eyes widen and she sits up straight.

"Oh my God, truth or dare."

Jim starts laughing. "You are seriously twelve years old, aren't you? Do you really want-"

"Yes," she says firmly and turns to Toby.

"Truth or dare?"

Oscar sits down next to Jim as Toby blinks.

"Oh, um. Truth."

Pam grins over at Jim and then back at Toby.

"When Michael locked himself out of his office last week and had to call the creepy locksmith, you had the spare key all along, didn't you?"

Toby grins down at the table and then looks up, shrugging.

"Well, he didn't remember to ask me."

Jim laughs and Oscar chuckles. Pam beams at them, then back at Toby.

"Okay, now you have to ask someone."

"Jim," says Toby.

Jim pretends to think it over.

"I will go with ... truth."

"Who’s your favorite Beatle?"

Jim glances over at Pam and leans back in his chair with a sigh.

"Well," he says. "Despite the fact that some people can’t appreciate his brilliance, I’ve always been a big Ringo fan." Pam grins at him and rolls her eyes.

**

By the time Jim's watch says 3, they've started reusing dares.

"Again?" he says to Kelly.

"You made me do it twice," she says.

"Okay, okay," he says, standing up from his chair and going over to push the kitchen door open. Across the office Creed seems to be asleep on the floor beside his desk.

"Hey Michael," Jim calls. "Can we go home yet?"

"No," says Michael promptly and Jim sighs and lets the door swing back shut. He's sitting back down when Kevin comes in.

"Hey guys," he says, opening the freezer and looking inside just as Angela comes out of the bathroom.

"Kevin," she says. "You're letting all the cold air out. Everything will go bad."

"Heeey," says Kevin, ignoring her as he reaches inside. "Is this left over from Christmas?" He turns around holding an unopened bottle of vodka. Angela scoffs and pushes out through the kitchen door.

Jim looks at Pam and Pam looks at Jim.

"Truth or dare, Pam," says Jim.

"Why, I will take a dare, Jim," says Pam.

"In that case," says Jim, "I dare you to make these fine people here a drink."

"There's Diet Coke in the fridge," Kelly offers.

**


By 3:45, there've been enough alcohol related dares that the bottle's two-thirds empty and Jim's feeling pleasantly buzzed, just fuzzy enough around the edges that the kitchen of the office in a power outage seems like the perfect place to be. There's nothing classier than being drunk before 4 in the afternoon, while at work. If the power comes back on any time soon, they're screwed. Kelly's talking louder and louder, and Pam's got the giggles. Oscar's text messaging someone.

"Oscar, truth or dare," Jim says.

Oscar looks up. "Uh… truth," he says, and pushes a few more buttons on his phone.

Jim spins his empty plastic cup with two fingers. "Who do you keep texting?"

Oscar's eyes shift left and his face goes still, and there's a pause long enough that it's obvious he's thinking up a lie.

"The game is truth or dare," Pam says, hitting the "truth" hard. "Don't go lying now!"

Oscar sighs and says, "My friend Gil. We're deciding where to eat dinner."

Jim looks at Pam. "And… why is that a secret?"

"It's not," Oscar says quickly, and looks at Kelly. "Truth or dare?"

"Dare," Kelly says, and takes another sip of Diet Coke and vodka.

Oscar smiles and says, "Recite all the lyrics to a Spice Girls song."

Pam starts laughing.

"Which one?" Kelly asks, perfectly serious.

"Any one," Oscar says.

"Okay," Kelly says, and takes a deep breath. "I'll tell you what I want, what I really really want. So tell me what you want, what you really really want…."

"Wow," Jim says, when she finishes. "It's like poetry."

Kelly rolls her eyes and says, "Jim, truth or dare."

"I think it's time for truth," Jim says.

"Have you ever lied at truth or dare?" Kelly says.

Everyone groans. "Wow, Kelly, taking the game to a meta place," Jim says. "That's a trick question, though, because everyone lies at truth or dare."

Pam looks shocked. "I've never lied at truth or dare! When did you lie?"

"My turn's over, Pam," Jim says. "You're up. Truth or dare?" He raises his eyebrows at her, but she's still looking at him like he killed a puppy. "It wasn't in this game," he says finally, to appease her. "Come on, truth or dare, Beesly?"

Pam takes truth, and they all find out about her worst kiss ever, which also happens to have been with Roy—Jim’s not quite sure how to feel about that. And then, since the truths and dares tend to happen in thematic clusters, everyone hears about Toby's worst kiss (with his ex-wife), and Oscar's worst high school kiss (with a girl on the football team - the powder puff football team, Oscar clarifies), and then the alcohol really must be kicking in, because Oscar dares Toby to kiss Jim, and Toby dares Pam to kiss Oscar, and Pam dares Kelly to kiss Toby and then it's Kelly's turn.

"Truth or dare, Jim," Kelly says.

Jim has known for some time that him + vodka does not equal good decision making, and so he goes with his gut and says "Dare," before his better judgment kicks in to ruin things. His heart is racing, and when he looks at Kelly she has that gleam in her eye that he was secretly hoping for.

He is really freaking drunk if he is actually thinking these things, in actual words. Next thing he knows, he'll be confiding in Michael again.

"I dare you to kiss Pam," Kelly says, in a tone like she's just won truth or dare.

When Jim looks over at Pam, she has this strange expression on her face, half stricken, half intrigued. But that last part is probably just the vodka working on Jim's imagination. All he can hear is the blood rushing in his ears.

"Never let it be said that I reneged in truth or dare," Jim says, trying for casual, teasing. "No matter how disgusting the dares are."

Kelly bursts out laughing and Pam makes an indignant noise and hits him on the shoulder. "What?! You're way more disgusting than --," she starts to say, but he grabs her wrist when she hits him and pulls gently along with her momentum, so she slides right into him, and he kisses her before his heart rate hits a point where he is unable to function.

It's just truth or dare, it's not a real kiss. There's no tongue or anything. But he does let his mouth fall open a little, so her lower lip is between his, and her mouth's a little open too. She tastes like alcohol and soda and it might as well be the Dundies, because she tasted like alcohol then, too. If this was real, she'd taste like she meant to kiss him, but beggars can't be choosers, so the judges will accept it.

Because this is probably the only chance he'll ever get, he reaches out and licks her bottom lip, just gently, just a little, and she inhales sharply through her nose. It doesn't last, it's not more than just the one little touch.

When he pulls back, her hand is resting against his chest, and she's red in the face, and Toby and Oscar and Kelly are all avoiding looking at them, like they feel awkward.

"So, Oscar," Jim says, as Pam straightens up in her chair and almost overbalances the other way, just catching herself before she falls over. Lightweight. "Truth or dare?"

They play a couple more rounds, but the game seems to have lost momentum, somehow.

**

3. Picnic, Lightning

"A company picnic in April?"

Jim shrugs and rests his elbows on reception, leaning in.

"Well, you know. Have to beat the picnic rush."

Pam laughs and shakes her head.

"Remember two years ago when Michael accidentally bought only veggie dogs?"

Jim groans.

"And Dwight ate four and then threw up on the picnic table? Thanks for bringing back that little gem of a memory."

She laughs again and he grins at her. It's been two days since she left work to buy a Coke just so he'd talk to her. He's trying not to think about it, but.

**

The picnic is down by the bandstand and most of the grass is still dead from winter. Michael thinks he gets stung by a bee and is going into shock but it turns out he just sat on a rock and isn't even allergic. Pam steals potato chips off Jim's plate and tucks her hair behind her ears when the wind blows it in her face and he drinks his Crystal Cola and tries not to look at her too much.

They end up on one of the blankets from the back of Meredith's van. It's scratchy and Jim lies back on it and tries to get comfortable, legs stretched out. Beside him Pam's sitting up, knees tucked under her, watching Dwight practice martial arts moves on Kevin across the field.

"What time is it?" he asks, and she pulls her phone out of her purse to look.

"4:30. I'm bored." It's still chilly out and she tugs the sleeves of her cardigan down over her hands.

"Well," he says, squinting up at her. "There's no excuse for that. Truth or dare?"

Her eyes widen and then she grins. They haven't played this in ages, which is probably a good thing; he's not sure why he brought it up now.

"Truth."

"Number of bags of candy corn you ate the week after Halloween."

"Hey!" she says. "They were on sale."

"That is not an answer." He raises his eyebrows at her.

"Fine," she says. "Two. Are you happy?" He grins and she smacks him lightly on the arm. "Truth or dare?"

"Truth," he says, putting his hands behind his head, and she pretends to look thoughtful.

"Who did you have that date with last month?" Her voice is casual but her eyes flick away.

"Oh," he says. "Um. Brenda, actually, from corporate?"

"Oh," she says, and her lips get tight like he's done something wrong, like it's not okay for him to date anyone when her wedding is six weeks away.

The thought makes his stomach tight.

"Truth or dare?" he says.

"Truth."

"First kisses, names and ages. Uh, your age."

"Oh, um." she says. "Okay. Jason Levinson, eighth grade, in the art room closet. He's gay now."

Jim laughs. "Nice."

Pam is pulling up grass from beside the blanket and not looking at him as she goes on.

"Roy. Tenth grade." He doesn't say anything and she starts shredding the grass with her thumbnails, intently. She's so quiet he almost doesn't hear it when she goes on. "You, um, last year. At the Dundies. And, uh, that's everybody."

Jim feels hot and then cold all over and tries to think of something normal to say. Before he can, a horn beeps twice from the parking lot and they look over to see Roy's truck pulling in. Pam sits up straighter and stops playing with the grass and Jim watches her smile at Roy as he gets out of the truck and walks over to them.

"Hey, babe," he says. "Ready to go? Hey, Halpert."

Jim nods up at him and stays lying still while Pam gets up, brushing off her skirt.

"See you tomorrow?" she says, not quite meeting his eyes, and he shrugs.

"You know it."

Michael jogs by backwards, football in hand and points at Roy.

“Roy! Big guy. Warehouse guy. Hope you’re coming to our totally awesome gambling shindig down there in your, uh, digs. It’s right around the corner.”

Roy gives a forced chuckle.

“Yeah, I heard about that.”

“Michael!” shouts Dwight from over by the picnic tables and he turns to look. “I’m open!”

Pam slips her hand into Roy's as they walk off and Jim looks away, up at the sky and the handful of clouds catching reflections from the setting sun. She remembers (he knew she remembered) and he's the only-- He wishes-- well, he wishes a hell of a lot of things, but. If he's going to be on that list, he wishes he could have done it right.

Off to his right Ryan is helping Phyllis carry the leftovers to her car and Michael's voice drifts across the grass, exasperated. "No, Dwight, don't-- Just--" Jim closes his eyes and tries not to think about anything.

**

4. You could get poisoned. Fall down a well. Step on a mine. Choke.

Mark looks surprised when he walks into the kitchen and Jim's already there, poking at a bowl of soggy cornflakes and staring into space.

"What are you doing up?" Mark says, buttoning up his shirt cuffs. He teaches high school history and coaches the basketball team, and he's usually at work before Jim's awake.

"Couldn't sleep," Jim says and takes another bite of cornflakes. Chewing feels like a lot of effort, and he does so slowly.

"Oh," Mark says, and gets a couple of pieces of bread out of the bag in the fridge. "How was that, uh, Vegas night thing last night?"

Jim looks at him for a second, chewing, then swallows and goes back to focusing on the poster of The Matrix they have on the wall, left over from college. Mark had hung it up there as a joke. "Fine," he says.

"Oh yeah?" Mark says, putting the bread into the toaster.

Jim stirs at his cereal. "Yeah, I think we raised a lot of money."

"Cool," Mark says, and leans against the counter, looks at Jim appraisingly. "Man, you look like shit, are you sure you're okay?"

"Yup," Jim says. His head aches like it's going to fall off. "Just great."

**

At work, Dwight's checking IDs at the front door to the building as people walk in, and doing such a thorough job there is actually a line of disgruntled people stretching into the parking lot.

Jim locks his car door and walks up to Dwight at the front of the line.

"The back of the line is over there, Jim," Dwight says, without looking up from his careful inspection of Phyllis's ID. Phyllis gives Jim a beleaguered look.

"Dwight, what are you doing?" Jim asks. Dwight points to a badge clipped to the front of his suit, and Jim leans in to peer at it. "Official security supervisor of the branch," Jim reads out loud.

"That's right," Dwight says. "And I am doing the official security inspection to enter the building. Go to the back of the line."

"Dwight, this is ridiculous," Jim says.

"Back of the line, Jim. Don't make me do a full body cavity search."

"Dwight," Jim says. His headache's getting worse, and he's not even inside the office yet.

"Back of the line!" Dwight says, and finally waves Phyllis through. Jim sighs, decides it isn't worth fighting it, and goes to the back of the line.

He's halfway to the door when Pam and Roy drive up in Roy's truck, and for a second he actually feels like he's going to throw up. When they walk up to join the line, Jim pretends he doesn't see them. Pam's not standing very close to Roy, but even so.

**

Up in the office, Michael's in a fantastic mood. He's talking loudly to Kevin. "So, like I was saying to Carol this morning at breakfast, we raised a ton of money for the Boy Scouts! We should really present it to them in a ceremony, don't you think? Get one of those big checks? Carol thought that was a great idea. You know, when I told her at breakfast." Jim pinches the bridge of his nose between two fingers, then asks Phyllis if she has any aspirin.

**

Michael puts Pam on big-check-locating detail. Jim can see her trying to catch his eye, but he's actually doing work, for once, and is talking Mr. Danvers through cream vs. oatmeal copier paper.

At 10:30, he goes to the kitchen to get another cup of coffee, hoping that'll make him feel less like the living dead. As he's pouring milk into his mug, Pam comes through the door.

"Hey," she says.

Jim forces a smile and nods, but focuses on stirring his coffee.

"Uh, you wouldn't happen to know where to get a giant check, would you?" She says it in her joking voice, but it's a little strained.

"Nope, sorry," Jim says, picks up his mug, and heads back to his desk, trying not to look at her. When he sees her, all he can think about is how she kissed him back, and about how for thirty seconds he'd thought maybe she'd leave Roy after all.

**

Eating lunch in the break room sounds like a terrible idea today, so Jim decides he's going to go out. Or go home. Or something. He's not really hungry, anyway. Dwight's already on his lunch break, so it's mercifully quiet when Jim gets his bag and heads into the hallway.

The elevator doors open with a ding and he steps inside, leans against the wall and closes his eyes. He's so tired. The doors are just starting to slide shut when Pam comes darting up, breathing hard, without her coat or anything.

"Hey, wait up," she says, and slips in just before the doors close. "Look," she says, as the elevator starts moving. "Jim. I don't -- I know things are weird, but --- I mean, I want us to be able to be friends."

God. Jim leans his head back against the wall. "Yeah, you said all this already."

"No, but…," she starts, and is cut off when the elevator makes a horrible groaning noise and grinds to a stop. The lights flicker.

"Uh oh," Pam says.

"You've got to be kidding me," Jim mutters.

Jim pushes the emergency call button and waits. After a long minute of static, there's a crackle and someone says, "Yes, is there a problem?" The voice sounds horribly, tragically familiar.

"Dwight?" Jim says.

"Jim, the emergency call button is not a toy," Dwight's voice says and there's a click as the emergency call button goes dark again.

Jim lets out an exasperated sigh and punches the button again.

"Jim!" Dwight says over the intercom.

"No, no, Dwight, wait!" Jim says quickly. "We're stuck in the elevator."

"Seriously, Dwight," Pam speaks up. "It made this horrible noise and stopped between the first and second floors."

"Really?" Dwight says. "This is a real emergency?" He is beginning to sound excited. That's never a good sign.

"Yeah, can you send somebody to get us out?" Jim says.

"We have to call the elevator company," Dwight says. "But I bet I could…."

The static comes up again. "What's that, Dwight?" Jim says, but there's no answer. He and Pam look at each other. "Hello?" Jim says again.

The next minute seems very, very long. Pam shifts from one foot to the other, and Jim almost wishes that the elevator would just give out and plummet to the bottom of the shaft and put him out of his misery. Then there's a clanging on the doors.

"Hello?" Jim yells.

"Hold on!" Dwight yells, muffled, through the doors. "I think I can pry them open and get you guys out!"

"Are you sure?" Jim asks, but his voice gets drowned out in a metallic banging. Oh, this isn't going to end well.

"Be careful!" Pam yells, but the clanging keeps going. Jim's headache's getting worse.

"What are you doing?" they hear faintly from outside. It sounds like Michael. "Dwight!"

"No, I've almost got it," Dwight yells. "I've almost… oh no." The banging stops abruptly. Jim's ears are ringing. There's a long, horrified pause.

"What happened?" Jim yells finally.

"I think I might have wedged them shut," Dwight's voice says sadly.

"Oh God," Pam says quietly enough they probably can't hear her.

Michael's voice comes floating down. "Don't worry! We're going to call the guys who actually know what they're doing. We'll have you out of there in no time at all."

Jim and Pam look at each other. This is awkward.

**

Twenty minutes later, they're sitting on the floor of the elevator, carefully not looking at each other.

"I hope this doesn't count as my lunch break," Pam says.

Jim lets out a semi-amused puff of air, and they lapse into silence again. Pam starts twirling her hair between her fingers.

"Hey, do you have a pen and paper?" she says after another minute.

"Why?" Jim says. "To write a murder-suicide note?"

She laughs, and for a second it's like things are okay between them again. "I was thinking we could play Tic-Tac-Toe or something," she says.

He shrugs and gets a pen and paper out of his bag, and they play Tic-Tac-Toe silently until they run out of paper, having covered the backs of four memos from Michael and one from Dwight. Pam beats Jim in two out of three games, like usual.

"I think that's it," Jim says, rummaging through his bag for more paper. He raises his voice. "Hey Michael, how's it coming out there?"

"They'll be here any second!" Michael yells back. This is the third time they've had this exact exchange. Jim sighs.

"So okay, let's play something else," Pam says in an overly cheerful voice -- like if she wants it badly enough, she can make things normal again by sheer willpower. "Oh, oh, I know! So Jim, truth or dare?"

That is pretty much the worst idea Jim's ever heard. "I am not playing truth or dare," he says.

"Oh, come on," Pam says. "We used to play this all the time." Her voice turns wistful, and she gives him an exaggerated pout and his stomach flips a little bit. When he'd kissed her she'd tasted like tears, and her lips had been really soft, and her hand had been in his hair.


"Oh, fine," he says, but stretches out on his back so he doesn't have to look at her. This is by far the worst day he's ever had.

**

They play the touchiest, most careful game of truth or dare on record. Pam asks him his favorite color (blue), his most embarrassing moment (tripping on his own feet in a basketball game in 8th grade, in front of Courtney Minter), and dares him to sing a Journey song, loudly (he chooses Don't Stop Believin' as the one least likely to be incredibly awkward. Separate Ways, for instance, is not really an option). He sings it as loud as he can, and on the third verse, Michael joins in from upstairs. Pam nearly chokes on her own tongue, she's laughing so hard.

He asks Pam her earliest memory (the birth of her younger sister), her favorite book (Kavalier & Clay), and dares her to do the macarena (she is a terrible dancer).

After she finishes the dance and sits back on the floor, she tucks her hair behind her ears and says, "Your turn."

"Okay, truth," he says. He lies back on the floor and rubs at his forehead. His head's still killing him -- Phyllis's aspirin is wearing off and hadn't done much good in the first place.

There's a long pause, and when he looks over, she's fiddling with her shoelaces. "Okay," she says slowly, and her face has gotten drawn and serious all of a sudden. She doesn't look at him. "Did you plan your trip for June 8th so you wouldn't have to come to my wedding?"

He feels a little bit like someone's punched him in the stomach, even though it's not like this is a secret. But he can't -- talking about this with her is not something he wants to do, ever. Upstairs, there's a rhythmic sound like Dwight might be kicking at the doors.

"I don't want to play this game anymore," Jim says, and his voice sounds weird even to himself.

She nods once, more to herself than to him, and they lapse into silence again. He should've dared her to leave Roy, but if you look at it a certain way, he's been doing that for months. At least he knows when he's lost, and it probably won't always feel like this. He'll get over her. People get over this.

The maintenance guys get them out of the elevator by 1:30, and if anyone notices that Jim and Pam aren't making eye contact anymore, nobody says anything. And Pam doesn't bring up awkward things, after that.

**

When Jim gets back from Australia, he hears from Kelly that it was a beautiful wedding.

**

5. all I want is a room up there and you in it

"Truth or dare?"

"Ummm, truth."

"Okay. Okay, um. Michael or Dwight. Death is not an option."

"What? Ew. Ew ew ew. Why would you even SAY that?"

"Pam, in order for the complex tool of truth or dare to fully explore the depths of your psyche, sometimes we have to ask questions that disgust us. Nay, horrify us."

"Okay, okay. Fine. Um. Given these horrible circumstances, I guess I would say ... Dwight."

"Dwight?!"

"It was your question!"

"But really, Dwight?"

"Well, he's kind of ... tall? I guess?"

"Okay, now I'm finding out way more than I need to know."

"Wait, so you're saying you would pick Michael?"

"What?! I did not say that."

"Seriously, Jim, how could you want to pick Michael?"

"Well, at least he's not Dwight. And I don't know, sometimes he's kind of -- wait, why am I answering this, it's not even my turn!"

"Ha!"

"Cheater."

The silence stretches out and Pam almost jumps when he talks again.

"Truth or dare?"

"Hmm?"

"Truth or dare, Pam. You're not falling asleep on me, are you?"

"No, I'm awake, I'm awake."

"Okay, then."

"Hey, it's not even your turn. Now who's the cheater?"

He laughs and Pam's stomach twists pleasantly. She is kind of falling asleep, actually, but she forces her eyes open. From this angle she can just see the corner of the bed table.

"Is it still snowing?"

Jim shifts, sitting up a little, so she moves with him.

"Yep, still coming down."

The snow is quick and yellow under the streetlight and Pam shivers warmly and presses her face into Jim's shoulder. He pulls the comforter up further over both of them. When Pam talks her voice is muffled.

"I dare you to call Dwight and tell him we're having a snow day but Michael wants him to go into work now and spend the night, so someone is there to answer the phones tomorrow."

He laughs again and she feels the sound go through her.

"Yeah, right. 'cause (a) that would involve moving and (b) that would involve talking to Dwight."

Pam slips her hand down his side to the curve of his waist.

"What's that? You don't want to move?"

"Pam!" he says and twists away as she starts to tickle him. It only takes a second for him to grab her wrists and pin them above her head. They're flipped over so he's above her and their faces are very close and she draws in her breath sharply. His gaze flicks from her eyes to her mouth and back and he's smiling and she tries to make a stern face at him, with little success.

"Truth or dare?" she says, and he kisses her.

**

END

[mirrored here.]
 
 
 
srahquesrah on July 20th, 2006 12:24 pm (UTC)
Yay! They're all lovely. I liked it when Michael joined in singing.
Kyra Cullinankyrafic on July 20th, 2006 01:40 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
Lindsey: jim!!!!little_linds on July 20th, 2006 01:48 pm (UTC)
This was very good. Very well written and you definitely got the characters down. I agree with the first commenter, I loved it when Michael joined in singing, so TOTALLY a Michael thing! Good job!
Kyra Cullinankyrafic on July 23rd, 2006 01:11 am (UTC)
Hee, thanks so much!
alicen.: prw - walkoffbob_always_wins on July 20th, 2006 01:54 pm (UTC)
aw, i loved it! ♥
(aha, my favorite was the elevator one. i dont know why. XD)
Kyra Cullinankyrafic on July 23rd, 2006 01:12 am (UTC)
Thanks!! And oh, the aaangst can burn so good, can't it?
wentworth801 on July 20th, 2006 02:28 pm (UTC)
Very well written. You know the characters well. I can see this happening in an episode.
Kyra Cullinankyrafic on July 23rd, 2006 01:12 am (UTC)
Thanks!
Rachel: to - best dundies EVERsansagenda on July 20th, 2006 02:39 pm (UTC)
Oh. Oh, I love all of these. Fantastic. :D
Kyra Cullinankyrafic on July 23rd, 2006 01:12 am (UTC)
Thank you!
(Deleted comment)
Kyra Cullinankyrafic on July 23rd, 2006 01:13 am (UTC)
Oh, thank you so much! I'm so happy you enjoyed it this much. :)
nomadshan on July 20th, 2006 03:18 pm (UTC)
fun! great character voices.
Kyra Cullinankyrafic on July 23rd, 2006 01:13 am (UTC)
Thanks!
Wipe your filthy boots.: jim pam tieagate on July 20th, 2006 03:38 pm (UTC)
Oh oh oh. The fourth one killed me but the fifth one revived me. I like your delicate touch with Jim and Pam.
Kyra Cullinankyrafic on July 23rd, 2006 01:13 am (UTC)
Oh, thank you, that's a lovely compliment!
elsbeth_lynnelsbeth_lynn on July 20th, 2006 04:28 pm (UTC)
If this was real, she'd taste like she meant to kiss him, but beggars can't be choosers, so the judges will accept it.

Oh, mama. So good; so real. (Can I say that about fictional characters?) I was gut-punched by four; so glad you took mercy on us and gave us number five. Funny and bittersweet and cool!
Kyra Cullinankyrafic on July 23rd, 2006 01:14 am (UTC)
Hee, I think *I* needed five after four. Thanks for the feedback!
sillyzilly2k: pamjim (painfullyunkool)sillyzilly2k on July 20th, 2006 05:11 pm (UTC)
OMG. I just....love this. So much. The characterization and voice are good; the humor is spot-on, and I looooved the ending. Now I'm dying to go home and watch "Casino Night." *sigh*

Well done!
Kyra Cullinankyrafic on July 23rd, 2006 01:14 am (UTC)
Oh, thank you very much!
seven minute dance party: the office | snogvoleuse on July 20th, 2006 05:50 pm (UTC)
omgomgomg I could not decide which was my favorite line, so I picked one of the earlier ones.

And that's how Dwight ends up challenging Jim to a duel in the Dunder Mifflin parking lot. Weapon: bowstaffs.

I might never stop laughing. Also, I would like to see this filmed. Also, I love Toby. And Kelly. And Jim. And Pam. And, okay, this might get to be a really long list.

♥!
Kyra Cullinankyrafic on July 23rd, 2006 01:15 am (UTC)
Thanks so much!
It's a supernatural delightgenrocks on July 20th, 2006 06:19 pm (UTC)
Great job on this fic! I'm not that experienced as a fic reader, but that was absolutely amazing. Like everyone else says, the characterization is perfect and I could really see this actually being filmed as an episode.
Kyra Cullinankyrafic on July 23rd, 2006 01:15 am (UTC)
Oh, thank you so much, I'm glad you enjoyed!
madam_rptrmadam_rptr on July 20th, 2006 06:25 pm (UTC)
Oh jeez. You have no idea how bad I needed a giggle this morning and you absolutely delivered with No. 1.

::reading the rest now::

Thank the gods you ended with five because four just about tore me in two with the angst (yes, in good way, you silly bird). If anything near No. 4 happens in canon, I shall forsake all that is Teh Office and go live on an island alone in my sorrow. Yes, four had a major effect on me and I'm not quite ready to talk about it except to say that when one is anticipating hot elevator kisses and groping only to be smooshed like a tiny bug with angst and pain...

How can something hurt so good, I ask you?
Kyra Cullinankyrafic on July 23rd, 2006 01:16 am (UTC)
Aww, thanks so much! Glad you liked.
Tall drink: jim/pam--brokenrecordciachick711 on July 20th, 2006 06:38 pm (UTC)
Amazing! And so many things made me laugh, this just being one of them: Well, at least he's not Dwight. And I don't know, sometimes he's kind of -- wait, why am I answering this, it's not even my turn!

Very sweet, wonderful characterization. I love it.
Kyra Cullinankyrafic on July 23rd, 2006 01:16 am (UTC)
Hee, thanks very much! Glad you agreed there, heh.
stephanie: by tacos_rebellion_enigmatic on July 20th, 2006 07:20 pm (UTC)
That was amazing. Very well-written, so in-character. Seriously, I could see a lot of this in an episode.

Jim folds his arms and looks at Dwight. "You have the power company on speed dial?"

"Yes, Jim," says Dwight. "And that's why my house will always get its power back before yours."


Heeeee!

Wonderful job. I loved it.
Kyra Cullinankyrafic on July 23rd, 2006 01:19 am (UTC)
Hee, thank you!!
Ashleyorinara on July 20th, 2006 08:04 pm (UTC)
I almost cried after Numbah Four. They were all really good, basically perfect. Are these all happening in the same continuity? Are we to believe that Pam left Roy at the end? (One can hope!) *cries*
Kyra Cullinankyrafic on July 23rd, 2006 01:20 am (UTC)
Oops, maybe we should have included a note -- these are all meant to be unconnected, except by the theme. So they're all occurring in different realities. But I'm sure you can read it however you'd like. :)

Thank you for the feedback!!
Zozo: firecleversimon on July 20th, 2006 11:14 pm (UTC)
This was so good. You two are brilliant.
Kyra Cullinankyrafic on July 23rd, 2006 01:21 am (UTC)
Thank you!
(Deleted comment)
Kyra Cullinankyrafic on July 24th, 2006 02:51 am (UTC)
Re: :)
Oh, oops, I guess we should have added a note that these are all unconnected a/us -- all they have in common is the theme, not the reality. Five things fics are a really cool challenge that was fairly big in Buffy fandom (most common format was stories titled Five Things That Never Happened to Character X, and they'd all be a/us of that person's life) and a few others. If you're interested (and tell me what fandoms you read in these days) I can try to find you some more to check out. :)

Thanks for the feedback!
(Deleted comment)
Re: :) - kyrafic on July 24th, 2006 03:02 am (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
Rinny: office-pamrinalin on July 21st, 2006 01:31 am (UTC)
Oh, just wonderful. These were all so great. I loved the black out one. *giggles*

I just adore the idea of Jim, Pam, Toby, Oscar and Kelly just...sitting around. It makes me giddy.

Wonderful work!
Kyra Cullinankyrafic on July 24th, 2006 02:51 am (UTC)
Thank you!! And hee, don't you want to play truth or dare and drink with them, too? I sure do, anyway.
o[liv]ia: TheOffice storyhourblahblahologist on July 21st, 2006 01:32 am (UTC)
You guys write the best Office fic, by far. It's incrediably realistic and in-character and mmmm Jim/Pam! #4 was terribly angsty, but probably my favorite. I also loved Dwight challenging Jim to a bowstaff fight!
Kyra Cullinankyrafic on July 24th, 2006 02:52 am (UTC)
Aw, thanks so much!
(Anonymous) on July 21st, 2006 03:54 am (UTC)
loved these. your characterizations of everyone--from jim & pam to all the other characters--were spot on. thought it was fantastic that you were able to capture so many different contexts & emotions all centered around the same concept of truth or dare.
Kyra Cullinankyrafic on July 24th, 2006 02:52 am (UTC)
Thank you very much! Glad you liked.
Bride of Frankenteen: Jim Halpert & Pam Beasley :: Fallingjudexseven on July 21st, 2006 04:03 am (UTC)
Those were fantastic. 1-4 just brought me nearly to tears, and the 5 just put the hugest smile on my face. Oh, my God.
Kyra Cullinankyrafic on July 24th, 2006 02:52 am (UTC)
Thank you!!
zeppo1630 on July 21st, 2006 07:45 am (UTC)
Wow, this could possibly be one of my favorite office fics. You had the characters done perfectly. Number 4 was absolute brilliance. It was funny, angtsy and semi-romantic, all at the same time. The entire story was just brilliant. Loved it.
Kyra Cullinankyrafic on July 24th, 2006 02:53 am (UTC)
Thank you so much!
jeannie_bean137: Full Circle~Jim/Pamjeannie_bean137 on July 21st, 2006 09:26 am (UTC)
Defnitely my favorite office fic. I loved every mini-fic for a different reason. Great writing. 4 almost brought me to tears...and made me want to slap Pam. 1 and 3 made me laugh (you have Michael/Dwight nailed!) and 2 was my favorite for the *squee* worthy kiss. I love truth or dare fics...it's a sick addiction. And I kinda love buzzed!Jim :). This was so angsty/sad/poetic "He should've dared her to leave Roy, but if you look at it a certain way, he's been doing that for months." I like that in the 4th one he was upset with Pam. Usually he just takes it when she treats him badly (not all the time) but in your fic he stood up for himself and showed he was upset...he really has a problem with that doesn't he?
Kyra Cullinankyrafic on July 24th, 2006 02:54 am (UTC)
Oh wow, thank you so much -- high praise! And yeah, I loved that about the end of the season, how Jim is just getting more and more weary, coming to the end of his rope.
Zozo: jimcleversimon on July 21st, 2006 07:31 pm (UTC)
Heads up
I've friended you, because it's easier than checking back every two or three days to see if you've written more gems. Ha.
Kyra Cullinankyrafic on July 24th, 2006 02:54 am (UTC)
Re: Heads up
Aw, yay, thanks!