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21 November 2006 @ 04:39 pm
Fic: Five Futures for Toby Flenderson (The Office)  
title: Five Futures for Toby Flenderson
author: kyrafic
fandom: The Office
summary: The first thing he learns is that he's really terrible at surfing.
notes: Five alternate futures for Toby. Many pairings. Mucho thanks to agate for stellar beta-ing! 2,900 words. SPOILERS through 3x08 (The Merger).


i. the right decision for me and my marriage

Toby sleeps with his ex-wife again on New Year's Eve 2007. It's been four-and-a-half years since the last time they did this, and he feels half a step removed from everything: noticing how she touches him in the same places, how her hair is shorter, how his life feels heavier. It's dark, and the blinds cast shadows on the wall above the bed; one of the other apartments in the complex is having a party, and the music sounds like it's underwater, muffled and distant.

He's a little drunk but so is she. Earlier he'd seen her laugh for the first time in a long time, at him, at something Sasha was making him do as a human prop in an elaborate production of some Disney movie. Now Sasha's asleep in the next room, so they're quiet, so quiet. She bites down on his shoulder when she comes.

The last time they did this, he didn't know it would be the last time. He knew things were bad, but you never know where the line is going to fall.

Once upon a time he imagined this, how if he got one more chance he'd find exactly the right thing to say about them, about how good they were together, about how they could make it work. How nothing feels right when he doesn't wake up to her beside him, and doesn't she miss him, too? It seems far away, caring that much.

Now he sits with his elbows on his knees and watches her pull her shirt on. When she looks up from tying her shoes he notices with vague surprise the lines around her eyes, how the look she gives him is just about as lost and tired as he's felt for years and years now.

It's for the best, she'll say in a minute, and he'll kiss her temple and when he agrees he'll be surprised to realize he means it, more or less.

ii. I didn't really think you could win desert island, but I think you just did

Jim comes back sadder. Toby'd been the first to get the list of the personnel who'd be transferring, and he'd smiled a little to himself as he started processing it. He and Jim have always gotten along well, though they talked less after Pam started working there, and when Michael separated them so he could stick Toby in the back.

Before that, he and Jim used to play complex games of house rules Uno across their desks when Michael wasn't looking, and Jim would talk wistfully about stuff he used to do in college. After Toby moved, they e-mailed about whatever movies they'd seen over the weekend. "Delete this immediately" or "Highly confidential" was Jim's subject line whenever he admitted to liking something truly terrible. Twice he babysat Sasha while Toby went on mediocre dates, and when it was her mom's weekend, sometimes he'd go crash on Jim's couch for an evening and play videogames with his roommate.

But Jim comes back and he acts like knocking knuckles with Toby is something they've never done before, and the next week when Toby asks him in the breakroom if he's seen any good movies lately, he just shrugs and pops a baby carrot in his mouth and says "not really". Even Dwight almost never complains about him anymore, although he provides more than enough write-ups on Andy to keep Toby busy.

All winter Jim acts like there's a bubble around him, like if he pretends he's not really here, he won't be. "Ohmigod, Jim, this is like the most you've sold EVER," Kelly says from the other side of the partition every time he brings the sales totals by for her to update, and one time when Toby asks Ryan what's up after he wanders by looking particularly peeved, Ryan mutters something about Jim getting on his case about his numbers.

One of the new people, Karen, likes to sit on Jim's desk when Michael's not around and tell him weird websites to look up, and after a month Toby catches them kissing in the kitchen. Karen looks happy, but Jim won't meet his eye, and a month after that Toby's in the parking lot when he hears Karen say "what is wrong with you?" and slam the door to Jim's car.

Jim stops taking lunch breaks after that, and Karen keeps to herself so much that Toby thinks he's going to have to ask if she's all right. It's Pam, though, who starts hanging out with her -- at lunch, at mandatory parties, during endless Michael sessions in the conference room. Toby's talking to Creed one day when Pam lets out a sharp bark of laughter at her computer screen, then covers her mouth, turning to look at Karen. Karen bites her pen and grins, and Toby pretends he doesn't see the look on Jim's face.

(It's Karen who talks Toby into greenlighting two-hour lunches for her and Pam twice a week, if they skip lunch two other days, and if they both come back with their faces flushed, laughing a little too much, it's probably the least egregious violation of Dunder Mifflin's alcohol policy in Toby's tenure.)

Toby doesn't realize it's February 13th until he's leaving for the day. He and Jim are the only two people left in the office, and Jim looks up as Toby's pulling on his coat.

"Oh, hey!" he says, and it sounds so much like the old Jim that Toby has a weird flash of deja vu. "Um, so, we're doing the whole Valentine's Day poker game thing again this year," he says. "Tomorrow night. At Mark's house. You remember Mark, right?"

"Yeah," says Toby dumbly. Mark always claimed Toby brought the best beer when they were having people over. "Why can't you be more like this guy, Halpert?" he'd say, knocking Jim on the shoulder. Toby realizes he hasn't said anything else and Jim is looking awkward.

"Look," Jim says, scratching the back of his head. "I know I've been kind of a dick lately. But, um, I've realized that's getting pretty lame. And, uh, it would be really cool if you could come. If you're not busy. We haven't hung out in like forever."

"Okay," says Toby. "Sure." He smiles, and Jim smiles back, looking relieved.

"Awesome," he says. "It should be fun. Hey, how's Sasha?"

Jim comes out of the building just as Toby's getting in his car, and lifts his hand. Toby waves back and starts thinking about what kind of beer to bring.


iii. Costa Rica

The first thing he learns is that he's really terrible at surfing. He's staying in a rundown motel by the beach, and every morning he walks a mile to the bigger resort area, where he's found a local guy who's giving him lessons for cheap. Eventually he's going to have to find somewhere more permanent to live; the severance package he got when Dunder Mifflin finally went under isn't going to last forever. (He has Jan to thank for the fact that he got a severance package from a bankrupt company at all. He hopes that whatever she's doing now, it's less miserable.)

Surfing is hard; every night he goes to bed hurting everywhere. Dull general aches, and sharper bruises from where his board smacked into him. His surf instructor rolls his eyes and paddles out beside him again, but when Toby comes back day after day and doesn't give up, he gets friendlier. The first time Toby rides a wave the entire way to shore without wiping out, he feels something in his chest release, like he's been wanting this so long he forgot what it was like to be happy.

After a while he finds a bungalow further inland that costs less per month than he paid in a week for his condo back home, and even longer after that his old surf instructor starts inviting him to the little local bar, where his friends make good-natured fun of Toby in Spanish he can almost understand. At night he can hear monkeys howling in the distance, and eventually he stops noticing the rice and beans in the gutters. He gets parasites once. His barber starts remembering his name. He realizes one day that he can't remember a single Dunder Mifflin phone number.

Once a week he walks out to the touristy areas and checks his e-mail -- he'd go without, if he could, but his ex-wife sends him pictures of Sasha, her first day of school, at her dance recital, as the flower girl when her mother remarries.

By the time she comes to visit him for summer vacation, she's so tall he almost doesn't recognize her in the airport. Her face has lost its baby roundness, and her hair is longer and more prone to tangles, but it turns out he remembers exactly how to comb it out after her bath. She's shy around him for the first day, and then he takes her swimming and she lights up all over.

When he first moved here, he called her every other day on a crackly international connection, and every time she asked him when he was coming home to Scranton, and every time it broke his heart. Now she snuggles against him as they sit out on the porch, a warm, sleepy weight.

"I like Costa Rica," she says, half asleep, and he kisses the top of her head. All the stars are coming out.


iv. you take what you get

Toby asks Pam out on January 3, because a New Year's resolution is a New Year's resolution. She doesn't get it at first.

"Oh, is that what Oscar was talking about earlier?" she asks, and he shakes his head, makes himself look up from his hands on the edge of her desk.

"No, I mean, like, just you and me, for dinner... or something."

"Oh," she says. "Oh." She looks surprised, but at least she hasn't laughed in his face yet. "Um," she says, and then the phone rings and she smiles apologetically.

"What?" she says, and he follows her gaze to Michael on the phone in his office. "Why can't you ask him yourself?" She pauses, listening. "Fine," she says, then covers the mouthpiece. "Andy," she calls. "Michael wants to see you in his office."

"What?" Dwight says, standing up immediately. "Just Andy? Why?" Pam sighs and rolls her eyes at Toby.

"I don't know, Dwight, he just--"

"Is that him now?" Dwight says, coming toward her and the phone, just as Andy walks by smugly, and knocks into Dwight with his shoulder. Toby sneaks back to his desk during all the yelling, and tries to focus on work.

Pam comes by after lunch to turn him down, and he braces himself. At least Kelly isn't at her desk.

"Hey, um," she says, shifting from foot to foot. "About earlier..."

"It's okay," he says quickly. "You don't have to... don't worry about it." She blinks.

"No," she says. "I was, um, going to say that I'm free Saturday."

It's weird, at first-- he's not sure if he should pull out her chair for her, but she's sitting down before he gets to decide either way, and they make stilted small talk about the paintings in the restaurant. It's Angela, of all things, that breaks the ice.

"Oh my god, you never got invited to any of the cat parties?" Pam laughs. "That's outrageous!"

Toby shrugs, grinning, and looks down at his half-empty plate.

"No, but she did complain to me that people weren't RSVPing in a timely manner." This is breaking about 14 rules of professional confidentiality. He doesn't care.

They get dessert, and he drives her home, and says "okay, well, um," when he pulls into her driveway. When she kisses him it's quick, and she's blushing when she pulls back, but he feels it all the way home.

She starts coming over his house in the evening sometimes, and they rent the movies he's appalled she's never seen, or the movies she's appalled he's never seen, or movies they've both seen twenty times. She's different outside of work -- happier, maybe. Less guarded. Sometimes he looks over at her sitting on his couch, feet on his lap, and feels strange. On the weekends, she has art school classes and he runs and watches Sasha, if it's his turn. Pam comes to one of his races and hugs him at the finish line even though he's all sweaty. He takes her to restaurants in Wilkes-Barre where she's never been and gives her daisies on Valentine's Day because she has a painting of them in her living room.

Every day he expects her to tell him this was all a mistake, and she never does.

"This is nice," she says instead, muzzily, after the second time they sleep together. "You know?" She's asleep a minute later, and he looks at the ceiling and listens to her breathe.

She's the first real relationship he's had since his divorce. He calls her his ex-wife's name exactly once, while he's washing the dishes at her place. It's okay, it's okay, it's okay, she says. She never talks about Roy at all, but sometimes Toby sees them talking in the parking lot.

They haven't told anyone at work, by mutual agreement; it's bad enough with Kelly all over Ryan, and Andy smarmily flirting with Angela, and Jim's hand on Karen's waist every time Toby turns around.

"They seem serious," Pam says watching, them across the conference room; Karen's leaning into Jim under the Kiss Me, I'm Irish banner, her hand on his chest, and he's smiling.

"What?" says Toby. "Yeah, I guess."

"Karen told me they might move in together when her lease is up," Pam says, but before he can say anything she looks away from them, back at him. "Hey, do you know what Sasha wants for her birthday?"

Pam leaves her earrings on his bedtable accidentally and he's giving them to her at her desk the next morning, when her gaze shifts over his shoulder, smile fading. When he turns around, it's Jim, looking at them both, and Toby can see him getting it.

"Hey," he says, and Pam looks momentarily stricken. Toby tries not to take it personally.

"Jim," she says, as he walks by, but he doesn't stop. Toby finds him later in the conference room, buried in paperwork.

"Hey," he says, "I just wanted to make sure, um--"

"No, don't worry about it," Jim says without looking up. "It's fine. We're cool."

At Easter, Pam hides plastic eggs all over the apartment for Sasha to find, and laughs when she starts jumping on the bed, mouth and hands sticky. Sometimes Toby catches her looking at him with a strange, surprised look on her face, like maybe she didn't expect any of this. He knows the feeling.

They run into Jim and Karen at Poor Richard's and end up spending an incredibly awkward evening sitting together. Toby's known about Jim's Pam thing for as long as he can remember, way before Jim started complaining to him about her wedding plans and the workplace. He's always figured that will be why Pam leaves him.

It's warm out for early May when they finally leave the bar. Tomorrow night is Michael's annual casino event; the thought already makes him tired. Pam is quiet beside him, and when he looks at her she smiles wearily and winds her fingers with his. They walk all the way to her car that way, and he can't tell what she's thinking at all.


v. the things you choose to be

Michael Scott's retirement party is held at 4:45 on a Tuesday; Michael cries and everyone else stands around looking uncomfortable. Vintage Dunder Mifflin.

There's champagne that tastes more like fizzy vinegar, and Toby is thoughtfully swirling it around in his plastic cup, when Michael comes up beside him.

"Well," he says. "You must be pretty happy."

"Why?" says Toby, and Michael makes a face that could be either 'I loathe your being' or 'I'm trying not to cry'.

"Because you win," he says. "I'm leaving. The place is yours now."

"Michael," says Toby. "It's not really--"

"Don't you hurt these people," Michael says. "They are good people."

"... okay, Michael," says Toby.

"And don't you let them forget me, either," says Michael, voice thick.

"I won't," says Toby.

"Oh, why am I talking to you anyway?" Michael says.

After he leaves, the newest receptionist wanders up to Toby. They look younger and younger these days, which is strange because everyone else looks older: Phyllis, himself in the mirror, his kids. He has to drive Sasha back to college next week -- junior year already.

"So you guys must have worked together forever, huh?" Mindy says. Or is it Mandy? He's never been good with names.

"Yep," says Toby. "Just about." They watch Michael mournfully show a box of plaques to one of the sales guys.

"Are you going to miss him?" she says, and Toby shrugs before he realizes he knows the answer. He feels himself starting to smile.





Feedback?
 
 
 
Missparker: to: michael scott hates tobymissparker on November 21st, 2006 09:55 pm (UTC)
A-MAZING. costa rica made me verklempt.
Kyra Cullinan: winnerskyrafic on November 21st, 2006 10:03 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you! That's a great word.
Bright!  And shiny!calendae on November 21st, 2006 09:58 pm (UTC)
That was incredibly perfect. Just amazing. I loved the Toby/Pam because it feltjust unexpected and real. I love the idea of him in Costa Rica.
Kyra Cullinan: this will end badlykyrafic on November 21st, 2006 10:03 pm (UTC)
Thanks!! I wasn't sure if I sold it or not, so yay. :)
Jingledunce: Toby with Daughterjesshelga on November 21st, 2006 10:05 pm (UTC)
Wow. Just wow. Especially the last one.

But I especially liked the Toby/Pam one. I was JUST thinking today about how there hasn't been nearly enough good Toby/Pam.

Kudos!
Kyra Cullinankyrafic on November 25th, 2006 03:51 am (UTC)
Thanks so much! (And I don't think I ever told you that your Toby/Jan awhile back completely derailed one I was writing, so .... good job. ;))
(no subject) - jesshelga on November 27th, 2006 01:41 am (UTC) (Expand)
Freaky Math Girlkrishnaa on November 21st, 2006 10:08 pm (UTC)
AWESOME. And I love the one where Toby gets Pam--take that, non-fistbopping Jim!
Kyra Cullinankyrafic on November 25th, 2006 03:52 am (UTC)
Thanks! And seriously -- I know he's emo and all, but when you're mean to TOBY and PAM...
nodestro on November 21st, 2006 10:15 pm (UTC)
Oh, that got me sniffly.

I love how you have their voices down so well, especially:

"
"Don't you hurt these people," Michael says. "They are *good* *people*."
"

God, I could so see Michael saying that, his face all red and his voice all serious and gah! I love it!
Kyra Cullinankyrafic on November 25th, 2006 03:53 am (UTC)
Aw, thanks so much! If there's one person who'll never change, it's Michael Scott.
Sophia: OFFICE: tobysophia_helix on November 21st, 2006 10:40 pm (UTC)
*incoherence*

Just! With the! Oh. You are killing me. And I want #4 so much it hurts.

also, I am the shittiest person ever for not getting back to you on beta, but I have been in this insane fugue-state of avoidance trying to finish a term paper that was due yesterday, and you will get beta on your very good story the minute after my paper goes out, sorry!
Kyra Cullinankyrafic on November 25th, 2006 03:54 am (UTC)
Thanks!
She was mean and she had seashells in her hair!: office; i do illustrations--dollsome on November 21st, 2006 10:45 pm (UTC)
Gaaah, this is so good that I can already tell I'm going to be completely incoherent trying to attempt feedback. :D

Absolutely amazing. I love Toby (does anyone not love Toby? Er, save for Michael) and you just had him so perfectly here. Every single section of the story was so perfect, I don't even know where to start. Absolutely loved the Jim part, since it made me so strangely depressed when Jim rejected the knuckle-bumping in The Merger and it's nice to see their friendship examined and sort of salvaged after awhile.

"I like Costa Rica," she says, half asleep, and he kisses the top of her head. All the stars are coming out.

NO WORDS. I almost cried. Guh, perfection. (And yeah, okay, I've used the word 'perfect' so many times already that it's probably getting old, but . . . oh well.)

And, okay, ever since The Convention I've been seriously enchanted by the idea of Toby/Pam, and now, I NEED THEM TO GET TOGETHER. Because, oh, that was just so lovely and unexpected and kind of bleakly sweet. He's always figured that will be why Pam leaves him. Oh, Toby.

And having the last section be devoted to Michael's Toby hate? Oh, dear. You completely succeeded in making the Toby hate poignant. Michael's "they are good people" was so Michael, and I absolutely love Toby starting to smile. What a perfect place to end it.

So, er, yeah. In conclusion, I have truly psychotic amounts of love for this. YOU ROCK. :D
Kyra Cullinan: winnerskyrafic on November 25th, 2006 03:54 am (UTC)
Oh, wow, thanks so much! I'm all aflutter now. And yeah, I think Toby's like peanut butter -- he goes great with EVERYONE. (Jim? Pam? Michael? Yes please!)
Jandy the Gnome Whisperer: Jim - Eyesjandjsalmon on November 21st, 2006 10:50 pm (UTC)
Totally wonderful. I love Pam I love Jim I love Toby -- I love ToJam.

Every one was perfect Alternate futures. I really Really enjoyed. I think I liked the one where Jim comes back sadder the bestest! (*goes to check the number* Number ii.) LOVE it!

Love how the girls have become friends. Love how Toby get's his friend back. Love how it incorporates canon.


Though I adore the last one too -- TOTALLY Michael! ;)
Kyra Cullinankyrafic on November 25th, 2006 03:55 am (UTC)
Haha, ToJam. Threesome? Thanks!
Wipe your filthy boots.: tobyagate on November 21st, 2006 11:05 pm (UTC)
<3 <3 <3 <3 <3
Kyra Cullinan: interracial homoeroticismkyrafic on November 25th, 2006 03:55 am (UTC)
ALL YOU.
zh.: the office | tobyzarahemla on November 21st, 2006 11:14 pm (UTC)
Much much love! Best office fic I've read in, oh, quite awhile. Perfect Toby.
Kyra Cullinankyrafic on November 25th, 2006 03:55 am (UTC)
Wow, thank you!!
elsbeth_lynnelsbeth_lynn on November 21st, 2006 11:40 pm (UTC)
Aw, you sold me on Pam and Toby! I didn't think it was possible!

I love Toby, and I love each and every one of these.
Kyra Cullinankyrafic on November 25th, 2006 03:56 am (UTC)
Aw, thank you! I think Pam/Toby is really interesting, so I'm glad this ended up working for you.
lianhanshee: Office - Jim pyramid - B-daylianhanshee on November 21st, 2006 11:48 pm (UTC)
Oh, man. Soooo good. You killed me ded with goodness.
Kyra Cullinankyrafic on November 25th, 2006 03:56 am (UTC)
Hee, thanks!
Tall drink: pamalama--myoverkillsciachick711 on November 22nd, 2006 12:28 am (UTC)
Wow, the Pam/Toby section almost made me cry. I didn't expect that. You just wrote them so heartbreakingly well, Jim figuring things out, and Pam being quiet before casino night.

I loved the Costa Rica section too. That was awesome. Wonderful, lovely job.
Kyra Cullinan: this will end badlykyrafic on November 25th, 2006 03:57 am (UTC)
Thanks very much! Glad you liked.
lightning rod for criticism: office: tobyannakovsky on November 22nd, 2006 12:43 am (UTC)
Oh my GOD, are you serious with this? I had to keep stop reading it due to AWESOMENESS and how I couldn't even handle it and wanted it to last forever. I COULD NOT EVEN HANDLE IT, I'M TELLING YOU.

Okay, can we start out by talking about #4??? Holy God.

When she kisses him it's quick, and she's blushing when she pulls back, but he feels it all the way home

OH TOBY.

Sometimes he looks over at her sitting on his couch, feet on his lap, and feels strange.

and

Toby's known about Jim's Pam thing for as long as he can remember, way before Jim started complaining to him about her wedding plans and the workplace. He's always figured that will be why Pam leaves him.

asd;klghasgd;hhagds; omg.

And Sasha, and how sweet and weird the whole thing is, and this Pam/Toby is HAPPY, sort of, as happy as they can be, and you have mortally wounded me with this thing. Good lord.

And the other ones, omg. Michael with his inexplicable loathing and his *good* *people*, and Costa Rica, and dumbass dick Jim, and and and. MARK! Toby's ex-wife. Dude. GOOD WORK. THIS FEEDBACK IS NOT EVEN ADEQUATE.
Kyra Cullinan: winnerskyrafic on November 25th, 2006 03:58 am (UTC)
Mark cameos = mandatory!
Great feedback, OR GREATEST FEEDBACK?

Oh my GOD, are you serious with this?

HEEE, uh, yes?

<3 <3 <3
(Anonymous) on November 22nd, 2006 01:05 am (UTC)
This is a great showcase of the sad sweetness that is our man Flenderson. And thanks for making Jim admit he hasn't been himself, in ways that are even worse than Pam. That lack of respect knuckles has been bothering me ever since Thursday.
Kyra Cullinankyrafic on November 25th, 2006 03:58 am (UTC)
Oh, thanks very much! And yeah, me too. Stop being an asshat, Jim!
otahyoni on November 22nd, 2006 01:05 am (UTC)
TOBY LOVE. Adored each and every one of these. Fabulous.
Kyra Cullinankyrafic on November 25th, 2006 03:58 am (UTC)
Thanks! :)
nomadshan on November 22nd, 2006 01:45 am (UTC)
Every single one is right on. I particularly love #s i + iv - they feel all the more realistic for not having an 'ending' - you know what I mean? And I love that you've filled in so nicely Toby's thoughts for those moments when, on the show, he would appear to be slow on the uptake, but he's really just thinking. You had a nice moment like this in #ii:

"Yeah," says Toby dumbly. Mark always claimed Toby brought the best beer when they were having people over. "Why can't you be more like this guy, Halpert?" he'd say, knocking Jim on the shoulder. Toby realizes he hasn't said anything else and Jim is looking awkward.

And: love love love that your Toby isn't a broken man.
Kyra Cullinan: this will end badlykyrafic on November 25th, 2006 03:59 am (UTC)
Oh, thanks so much! Yeah, I'm all about endings-that-aren't, since that's how life is, and this show works so hard to be true to life. Really glad you liked. :)
Baby Mamagreenfish on November 22nd, 2006 01:50 am (UTC)
I think Toby is an interesting, sad character and you captured that really well, especially in the whole "if we went to Costa Rica" story. I really liked his determination in learning how to surf and how he sort of found himself eventually blending into the lifestyle there, slowly, but surely and the little bits about Sasha - oh, heartbreak.

And Jim.... damn, you just captured him so well here, in both the second and fourth one. *sigh* I'm really curious how it's all going to go down and I have to admit, I love the idea of Jim and Karen breaking up and Karen and Pam becoming best friends and taking two hour lunches. Why does that tickle me pink? I don't know.

And the last one: isn't that just what Michael would say if Toby outlasted him? Heh. Wonderful.
Kyra Cullinan: winnerskyrafic on November 25th, 2006 04:00 am (UTC)
Thank you! Glad you enjoyed. And man, I know, how uncomfortable would it make Jim if Pam and Karen were friends? DELICIOUS.
And TV's Brett Ratnerpennylane83 on November 22nd, 2006 01:57 am (UTC)
Wow. I just found myself thinking "Tobbbbbyyy" during all of these. I'm not sure what that means exactly, but this was just absolutely wonderful! Every single one of them, but especially the Costa Rica one because the idea of Toby surfing has me all kinds of tickled. Just, awesome.
Kyra Cullinankyrafic on November 25th, 2006 04:00 am (UTC)
Ah, yes, the "Tobbbbyyy" reaction, second cousin to "Oh, JIM." Hee. Thank you!
(Deleted comment)
Kyra Cullinan: winnerskyrafic on November 25th, 2006 04:01 am (UTC)
Oh, wow, thank you so much. :)
alittlesting on November 22nd, 2006 02:26 am (UTC)
WOW.
Okay, so, firstly? THIS IS AMAZING.

You know how sophia_helix basically wrote a complete manifesto about Pam a while back? I didn't even get to part iii (well, I read the whole thing over and over, but) before I realized that this is so perfect, this is such great INSIGHT into Toby. I never even think of him as a minor character anymore.

Of course Toby sleeps with his ex-wife during New Year's, and things still don't work out, because...oh, this is wonderful and painful.

I loved Jim and Toby's friendship, and the way things quietly fall apart between them and hey, Jim can be a dick sometimes, but he invited him back over and yaaaaaay, Mark!

And although I always thought the idea of Pam/Toby would be cute, but not at all possible, you changed my mind. Guh.

When he first moved here, he called her every other day on a crackly international connection, and every time she asked him when he was coming home to Scranton, and every time it broke his heart. Now she snuggles against him as they sit out on the porch, a warm, sleepy weight.

"I like Costa Rica," she says, half asleep, and he kisses the top of her head. All the stars are coming out.


I loved this. Oh, Sasha, my heart.

In a word? TOBYYYY.

This is simply wonderful! I'm definitely saving it.

Kyra Cullinankyrafic on November 25th, 2006 04:02 am (UTC)
Re: WOW.
Oh, wow, thank YOU so much! Really glad you liked this. (I've actually had the whole Pam/Toby thing in my head since The Convention, but from Pam's pov, and it never went anywhere -- apparently it needed Toby to make it work!) Thanks for commenting.
lano_ficlano_fic on November 22nd, 2006 02:34 am (UTC)
Since I just lost my reply in a tragic modem rebooting accident, here's the truncated version:

You are awesome.

No, but really: "and every time she asked him when he was coming home to Scranton, and every time it broke his heart" totally broke my heart.

"Pam comes by after lunch to turn him down, and he braces himself." I love how he's just so sure she's going to turn him down.

Wonderful, wonderful.
Kyra Cullinankyrafic on November 25th, 2006 04:02 am (UTC)
Awww. Thank you so much!
amerella on November 22nd, 2006 04:31 am (UTC)
This is really incredible. #1 makes my heart hurt, Dick!Jim is sad and awesome and I can see that whole section taking place, I seriously can, #3 is PRETTY and lots of other good things, #4 is exactly what I've been looking for, and #5 is a great ending to a great fic.

I hope Karen and Pam do become best friends. That would be the best.
Kyra Cullinan: interracial homoeroticismkyrafic on November 25th, 2006 04:03 am (UTC)
<3 <3 <3 THANKS, DUDE!

And yeah, Karen and Pam, I know, right? It would be weird and *awesome*.
stella_pagan: _stellariconsstella_pagan on November 22nd, 2006 04:38 am (UTC)
Oy, I have been so bad with the reviewing lately, but this is so awesome (made of the awesome, in fact) that I feel the need to redeem myself.

First of all, I <3 Toby. So much. So, you rock for writing a story all about him. :D

Second of all, I want #4 to happen so badly. #4, it killed me dead. Dead, dead dead. OH TOBY. I LOVES YOU SO.

Also, Sasha!!!! In Costa Rica!!!! LOOOOOOOVE.

This comment is pretty much incoherent, and I apologize for that. Just know that you are one of my favorite Office writers, and you pretty much knocked it out of the park (city, state, etc,) with this one. :D
Kyra Cullinankyrafic on November 25th, 2006 04:03 am (UTC)
Oh, wow, what great feedback, thank you so much! Very glad you enjoyed. :)
Abby Dickinsonabbylovestv on November 22nd, 2006 05:28 am (UTC)
I LOVED this fic. Oh Toby! The above commentors were right: you totally sold Pam/Toby. I loved the implied Pam/Toby in #5. Great stuff!
Kyra Cullinankyrafic on November 25th, 2006 04:04 am (UTC)
Thanks so much!