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19 August 2006 @ 08:52 pm
Fact: Ninjas Are Mammals (The Office)  
Ohmigod, I did not mean to write this.

Fact: Ninjas Are Mammals
Kyra Cullinan

The Office, 2000 words, PG, Pam/Dwight (Dwight/Angela).

Dwight isn't upset at all the week after Angela breaks up with him. He understands the patterns of their relationship now: they might fight, she might say horrible things about his allegiance to Michael and not understand how if Michael wants Dwight to go out and buy tampons to keep at his house "just in case" that realtor needs them then that's what Dwight has to do, she might not talk to him for a few days, but after a while she'll start glancing over at him from her desk when no one is watching, and a while after that they'll be making up, which is a process so enjoyable it can make the entire argument worth it.

And Dwight is patient -- he's a hunter, after all, and experienced in combat both on the paintball field and the laser tag arena. He can wait her out.

It's not until the second week that he starts to think she actually means it. She's still not looking at him at all, even when he takes as long as possible at the copy machine near accounting. On Tuesday she wears a shirt that he's sure is new -- it almost shows her collarbones -- and walks right by him without saying anything in the break room. She only buys one candy bar.

At lunch, he watches her pick up her purse and walk out of the office. Angela never goes out to eat at lunch -- she says it's fiscally irresponsible and none of the restaurants near the business park have enough vegetarian options. Dwight sits at his desk and looks at his computer screen. He doesn't feel like going to eat in the kitchen. He'll just eat at his desk. Maybe. If he gets hungry.

"Dwight?" says Pam and he looks up. She's standing beside him, running a finger along the top of the desk that used to be Jim's. "Um, I accidentally brought an extra pudding cup today." She holds it out to him. Chocolate vanilla swirl. "Do you want it?"

Dwight looks up at her face, then away.

"I don't have a spoon," he says.

"Oh," says Pam. She sets the pudding cup down and takes a step back to open up the bottom drawer of the empty desk. She rummages for a moment, then pulls out a plastic Wendy's spoon, still in its wrapper and holds it out to him. Dwight blinks. Not having that desk cleaned out is a violation of company policy. He's going to have to investigate. But Pam's still holding out the spoon, so for now he doesn't say anything.

He takes the spoon and rips the top off the pudding cup, and after a moment, Pam sits on the end of the empty desk. She sets a bag of carrot sticks in her lap and they eat in silence. When he's halfway through the pudding cup, Dwight reaches over and pats her hand, where it's resting on the edge of his desk.

**

On Dwight's drive into work every morning, he passes the turn-off for Angela's church. It doesn't seem so far away anymore. Once Angela came over and watched him on the crossbow range and every time he looked over at her she was smiling just a little. He used to go over to her apartment after work and watch her take her hair down, with no one but him around. She didn't slap him or laugh at him or stop speaking to him when he asked the thing Toby told him to say.

When he brings his weekly invoices over to accounting, she doesn't look up, and he stands there with the stack of papers until Oscar thanks him and takes them.

**

As Assistant Regional Manager, Dwight keeps careful tabs on all the employees. He never knows when he'll be called upon to make a report on their behavior, their work ethic, or their transgressions. This is how he knows that Pam's conduct has been exemplary all summer. Without Jim around to incite misbehavior, she spends most of her time at her desk and quiet. She even came into work the week that would have been her honeymoon, although the time off had already been authorized. Michael would probably disagree with his assessment, though. He started calling Pam Debbie Downer for a while, until she gave him a look that made him stop. Dwight's a man of the world now. He knows things about women and their looks.

"Nobody ever gets my jokes," he confided to Dwight later on in his office. Dwight always gets Michael's jokes.

**

He waits around in the lobby downstairs after work on a Friday until Angela comes down. Tate the security guard has gone home already, so no one is around, but she still darts her eyes from side to side when she sees him. Cautious.

"Angela," he says. He's practiced this. "I need to talk to you."

She lifts her chin.

"I don't have anything more to say to you, Dwight." She walks around him and out the door without pausing.

**

Dwight knows all the business park employee's cars by sight -- an old law enforcement trick, recognizing what's normal so you know when something stands out, when someone shouldn't be there. When he pulls in to the parking lot this morning he counts all the cars automatically. Only four this early, and he recognizes them all: Bob Vance's used BMW, Pam's new Kia, Roy Anderson's pickup truck-- Dwight stops halfway out of his car, because what isn't normal is who's getting out of the passenger side of the pickup. Angela.

Neither she or Roy look at him as they walk in opposite directions. Dwight feels cold all over and he doesn't move until a car door slams shut. It's Pam, across the parking lot, keys in hand, seeing the same thing he is. She stands by her car for a long moment, not moving, then turns around and looks right at him.

**

Dwight doesn't typically imbibe alcohol. Alcohol dulls your senses, slows reaction time, makes it easier for enemies to sneak up on you.

But that doesn't mean he can't, if he wants to.

"Why are we having a party?" Phyllis asks when Dwight follows Michael into the office, carrying the box from the liquor store. "There's no holidays in August."

"Eeeeexactly," Michael says. "The No Holidays in August Party! It's, you know, ironic." He reaches back and grabs a bottle at random from the box in Dwight's arms. "Now, who wants a drink?"

"Me," says Meredith, loudly. When Dwight looks over, Angela has her arms folded and is glaring.

"Me," says Dwight, and Michael blinks at him, then shrugs and calls for the temp to find cups.

**

Angela stays at her desk for the entire party, but so does Pam. Dwight can keep track of things. He can ... notice office ... things. So he sees Kevin bring Pam a drink after a while, and then Phyllis bring one later, and then Kelly after that.

He sees these because he's lying on the couch by reception, watching the ceiling, watching Pam's desk upside down.

"How's it going, Dwight?" Pam says for the third time. "Do you want some water?"

"No!" says Dwight. "Water is stupid. I hate water." She's already moved his Nalgene bottle to sit beside him on the floor, but he won't drink it, none of it, ever. "I'll drink some FIRE," he tells Pam and she leans around the desk to blink at him, before sitting up again.

"Okay, Dwight," she says.

"Pam," says Dwight. "What are you doing, Pam?"

"Playing Snood," says Pam. Oh.

"Oh," says Dwight. "Oh, Snood." Wait, is she playing on company time? That would be wrong. He lifts his heavy arm to look at his watch, but he can't quite tell what time it is. When he tries to push the button to light up the screen, he accidentally presses the % button. Stupid watch.

The window. He can look outside to see if it's dark out and then he'll know if it's day anymore. Dwight sits up and then stands up.

"Dwight?" says Pam looking up from her computer screen. "What are you doing?" He shakes his head and aims for Michael's office. Michael isn't in his office -- he's over by Creed's desk telling stories to Kevin and stupid Ryan. Dwight will go over to listen in just a minute. But now he has to go over to Michael's window to look outside.

"Dwight?" says Pam again. She's followed him into the office and is standing by the door. Dwight turns around from where the window is dim and blue.

"It's almost dark out," he says mournfully.

"I know," says Pam. Dwight's tired of standing up, so he sits down on the floor.

"Um, Dwight?" says Pam. He can hear her coming over and around the desk. He looks up at her.

"Do you like R.E.M?" he says. Pam pushes Michael's chair out of the way and sits down beside him.

"Yeah, they're okay," she says. Dwight heaves a sigh and looks up at the window. It needs to be washed.

"I should just transfer," he says. "Leverage my options. Everyone's doing it." Pam doesn't say anything for a while and Dwight starts opening and closing the desk drawer beside him, faster and then harder.

"I'm sorry," says Pam eventually. "About you and... people." Something's wrong about her saying that, knowing that, but he can't quite focus on it right now. Dwight bangs the drawer a little more.

"I'm tired," he says and lies down with his head under Michael's desk. He likes Michael.

"You're drunk," says Pam and he frowns.

"... YOU'RE drunk," he says, in the general direction of her face.

"Kind of, yeah," says Pam, and lies down beside him. The carpet is scratchy.

"Are you really going to transfer?" she says.

"No," says Dwight. "Yes. Maybe."

"Yeah," says Pam. She reaches over and pats his hand.

"Oh, Pam," he says. "Did I ever tell you you're adorable?" Pam is adorable. She has straight teeth and curly hair and ... he can't remember everything else on his list, but he's sure she'd score very well. With his superior Schrute senses he can smell her shampoo, and then he rolls over a little and kisses her fast.

"Oh," says Pam loudly and jerks back a little so her head knocks against the desk. "Oh, um, Dwight. I. I think maybe you got the wrong, um, impression."

On his back, it's dark enough that Dwight can't quite see the underside of the desk. How tall is this desk? Is there a regulation desk height?

"Dwight?" says Pam and he exhales a little.

"Fine," he says, "whatever," and after a minute she lies back down beside him. "Everything sucks," he says, and can hear Pam shift a little. Her shoulder is just touching his.

"Yeah," she says. Neither of them says anything else after that and they lie there until Michael comes looking for them. It takes a while.
 
 
 
Sophia: OFFICE: dwightsophia_helix on August 20th, 2006 01:07 am (UTC)
*loves you and Dwight so very very much*
Kyra Cullinankyrafic on August 20th, 2006 01:16 am (UTC)
Hahaha, I'm SO ASHAMED.

<3 <3 <3
lightning rod for criticism: office: your parents love you very muchannakovsky on August 20th, 2006 01:11 am (UTC)
THINGS I LOVE ABOUT THIS:

Dwight buying Michael TAMPONS, and seriously, how Dwight's love for Michael must be a constant sore point with Angela, and Angela's shirt showing her collarbones (almost), and the desk that used to be Jim's, and your PERFECT drunk Dwight voice, and

"I'll drink some FIRE," he tells Pam

AHAHAHAHA.

"... YOU'RE drunk," he says, in the general direction of her face.

HEE. Her face. Your MOM'S drunk. Belligerently drunk Dwight is so awesome.

SO GOOD I AM GLAD I MADE YOU WRITE THIS.
Kyra Cullinan: this will end badlykyrafic on August 20th, 2006 01:20 am (UTC)
<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3! Heee, Carol didn't ask for the tampons, Michael just wants to be prepared, see.

Dwight's comebacks are GOLD.

Jim: So where are you shipping your foot?
Michael: Ha ha ha. So where are you shipping...
Dwight: Your foot.


I FEEL I AM TOO OBEDIENT FOR MY OWN GOOD.
(Deleted comment)
Kyra Cullinankyrafic on August 20th, 2006 03:23 am (UTC)
Heeee, thank you so much! Poor Pam, she ends up being friends with Dwight.

Haha, your ICON.
stella_paganstella_pagan on August 20th, 2006 02:13 am (UTC)
So I gasped aloud when Angela (ANGELA!!) climbed out of Roy's pickup. Gasped very aloud, actually. I am way too invested in these characters. LOL.

Some highlights of the brilliance that is this fic:

1. Angela's new shirt almost (almost!) shows her collarbones. And we all know the collarbones are a gateway. What's next, the knees?

2. Dwight KNOWS THINGS about WOMEN AND THEIR LOOKS. BWAHAHAHAHAHAH!

3. Water IS stupid! Fire is better!

4. Dwight is so drunk that he hits the wrong button on his calculator watch. Awesome touch.

5. Superior Schrute senses. That is all.

Clearly this comment needed to be made in list form. I felt it was something Dwight would do. :D
Kyra Cullinankyrafic on August 20th, 2006 03:27 am (UTC)
HEE, wow, that's awesome praise, thank you!

I bet you never saw water burn down a building! And Dwight's calculator watch is CRUCIAL -- what if he has to do some calculations??
Melissa/Sweetsweet_seventeen on August 20th, 2006 02:47 am (UTC)
OMG! I loved this. For some reason as soon as I finished reading this I knew it just had to be written. Never before have I gone "aww" at any story with Dwight involved! Perfect! I love how him and Pam are both hurting so thus, they actually kind of start to bond. I also love you for using "You're adorable," again, because that made me laugh so hard when I saw it. Basically, this is awesome, lol great job! I don't know what else to say. :)

OH! And everyone bringing Pam drinks! Classic, OF COURSE THEY WOULD. Hee.
Kyra Cullinan: this will end badlykyrafic on August 20th, 2006 03:32 am (UTC)
Oh, thank you so much for such nice feedback!

Everyone in the office loves Pam -- if she doesn't have Jim or Roy at least they can make sure she has booze.
Jingledunce: Deputy Dwightjesshelga on August 20th, 2006 02:48 am (UTC)
She's still not looking at him at all, even when he takes as long as possible at the copy machine near accounting. On Tuesday she wears a shirt that he's sure is new -- it almost shows her collarbones

SO GREAT. Dwight's voice is so there! Hilarious and kind of sad and socially inept and dumb yet aware. Oy, and he kisses Pam. My goodness.

VERY awesome.

Kyra Cullinankyrafic on August 20th, 2006 03:33 am (UTC)
Thank you so much!! Socially inept yet aware is a great description of Dwight.
Jess: jim and pamfearlessfan on August 20th, 2006 03:01 am (UTC)
I totally gasped aloud at the Angela/Roy revelation, just like stella_pagan! Such a funny surprise, perfectly revealed.

I completely loved this. Loved it! I loved the tight Dwight POV, and the way you approached him and the Dwight/Angela relationship. Dwight is so ridiculous as a character, and it's easy to just think of him as a joke, but I love how you wrote him here, making his feelings and pain over losing Angela so real. I was totally involved, all, "OMG, DWIGHT!!!!" when he waited for Angela and she blew him off.

I loved the way you wrote Pam in this, too. Her kindness and sadness were really touching, and the moment between her and Dwight at the end was really well done.

Oh, and this:

<"I'm tired," he says and lies down with his head under Michael's desk. He likes Michael.

"You're drunk," says Pam and he frowns.

"... YOU'RE drunk," he says, in the general direction of her face.>

has made me laugh out loud every time I read it, and I've gone back to read it more than once.

Loved this!!!
Kyra Cullinankyrafic on August 20th, 2006 03:36 am (UTC)
Oh, wow, THANK YOU, this is awesome feedback! I'm so happy you liked it! Wouldn't Dwight be so sad if Angela dumped him? I've made myself all worried for them on the show now, hee.
kellifer_fic: the officekellifer_fic on August 20th, 2006 03:07 am (UTC)
Hee... this is so funny and sweeet!
Kyra Cullinankyrafic on August 20th, 2006 03:37 am (UTC)
Thank you!
Amanda: Office - Jim and Pam // interpolarislea724 on August 20th, 2006 03:26 am (UTC)
This was so good. Such a perfect Dwight fic.
Kyra Cullinan: this will end badlykyrafic on August 20th, 2006 03:38 am (UTC)
Oh, thanks very much!
zh.: the office | michael is watchingzarahemla on August 20th, 2006 03:36 am (UTC)
Awww, sweet poor sad drunk Dwight. Wondering about the regulation desk height so he won't have to think about Angela or Pam or what is hurting him. I just want to hug him so hard.

And I bet Pam is really really good at Snood.
Kyra Cullinan: this will end badlykyrafic on August 20th, 2006 03:40 am (UTC)
Dwight just makes you feel for him sometimes, doesn't he?? It's weird.

Pam is GREAT at Snood, but if she plays it too much, later when she closes her eyes she sees all the little Snood faces falling down. Which is kind of unsettling.
nzlauranzlaura on August 20th, 2006 04:17 am (UTC)
Nice! "I'll drink some FIRE" was spot-on perfect. (So perfect that I kind of want to steal it next time someone offers me a drink.)
Kyra Cullinankyrafic on August 21st, 2006 03:59 pm (UTC)
Hee, thanks!

(If you haven't yet, you should definitely watch this NBC Primetime Preview, for more Dwight on fire vs. water. Filmed just for NBC's promo show, so no spoilers for season three. :))
the fuckest uppest: [TO] we resolved a lot todaybroken__records on August 20th, 2006 04:32 am (UTC)
This was amazing. So amazing in fact that I read it when it was first posted and then went away for a while trying to think of something to say other than just, "This was amazing." A few episodes of Undeclared and a few read overs later and I still just have, "This was amazing." Seriously. There's something- I mean, the exchange with Dwight and Pam at the end made me feel really...weird. Good weird. Haunted weird. Like it was so perfect and right and beautiful that they were bonding there in their sadness that it was weird and I couldn't decide if I wanted to cry or...I don't know.

Also, your Dwight voice is so brilliantly perfect that it makes me never ever want to attempt to write Dwight ever because it will never be this good.

This comment is sort of rambly and I apologize for that. The point is that this was really, really fantastic. As all of your fics always are. So, thank you.
Kyra Cullinan: hi. hey.kyrafic on August 21st, 2006 04:04 pm (UTC)
Oh, wow, thank you so much for such great feedback. I'm really pleased it worked so well for you. :) And hee, I kinda made *myself* want to go lie under desks with boys. Poor Pam and Dwight.
elsbeth_lynnelsbeth_lynn on August 20th, 2006 05:22 am (UTC)
She even came into work the week that would have been her honeymoon, although the time off had already been authorized.

I LOVE this Dwight observation -- the emotional tunnel vision of it. How he knows the wedding is off, but he doesn't really proceed past that thought.

And I keep joking about how funny it would be if Angela left Dwight for Roy, but now? Ah, I am feeling the sad of it.
(Anonymous) on August 20th, 2006 07:49 pm (UTC)
She didn't slap him or laugh at him or stop speaking to him when he asked the thing Toby told him to say.

And how did I forget THIS in my original post? Oh, Dwight. I...I want to hug Dwight now.
(no subject) - elsbeth_lynn on August 20th, 2006 07:51 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kyrafic on August 21st, 2006 04:06 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kyrafic on August 21st, 2006 04:06 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
Kyra Cullinankyrafic on August 21st, 2006 04:06 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
Zozocleversimon on August 20th, 2006 07:57 am (UTC)
Well, fuck.
I did not need to come home from an utter disaster of a party to this. This is not funny. This is tragic. Now I'm digging through my iTunes library for sad songs and it's your fault and it's only when I'm drunk that I remember that The Office is really only barely a comedy.
Kyra Cullinan: this will end badlykyrafic on August 21st, 2006 04:07 pm (UTC)
Re: Well, fuck.
I know, this show just KILLS me. I'm sorry I made you all emo! Blame Pam and Dwight, all abandoned to only each other.
Uh - cleversimon on August 21st, 2006 04:17 pm (UTC) (Expand)
I feel God in this Chili's tonight. - kyrafic on August 21st, 2006 04:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)