au100 Jim/Pam fic - You and Paris On My Mind
Title: You and Paris on My Mind
Fandom: The Office
Word Count: 1541
Rating: R (language and references to sex)
Disclaimer: Nothing belongs to me except for the plot/idea.
Author's Notes: This is my first Jim/Pam fic, I apologize for any OOC behavior but it is technically an AU. Written for au100.
There's an 8:15 flight leaving for Paris on Monday, and Jim isn't ready to admit that she's going to be on it. Two days. That's how long they have before she leaves and he fakes a smile as he waves to her disappearing figure.
He has the days planned out, every hour precisely scheduled. But when Saturday morning arrives, the schedule is forgotten and he spends five hours memorizing every inch of her body. They only stop for food and a bottle of champagne, then the rest of the day is spent watching bad movies from bed. Neither admits out loud, during the first ever Star Trek movie, that they're waiting for his penis to awaken. Or at least Jim is waiting... she might be happily cuddling.
Saturday quickly rolls into Sunday and he wakes up early to fix her breakfast in bed. She takes this as his way of suggesting morning nookie. Sex ensues.
By one in the afternoon, they are both showered and dressed, heading out the door to take a walk in the remarkably warm weather. They end up at a small outdoor cafe around the block that he's always wanted to try. She orders a salad, he smiles and asks the waiter if they can make him a ham and cheese sandwich.
Pam sits across from him and smiles that awkward smile that made him like her the first day that he met her. Her voice is soft and she tucks a hair behind her ear as she mumbles, "I can't believe it. Paris... tomorrow."
The excitement on her face is the only thing that keeps him from asking her to stay. Art is her passion, and art school in Paris, isn't an opportunity that should be passed up just to keep him happy. There will be phone calls and letters and Jim is fairly certain that she isn't the type to forget about him and go after some hot French guy.
Then again, nine months is a long time. Too long. He doesn't want her to go.
He looks up at her and the frown on her face lets him know that she's caught on to his foul mood. Putting on a smile, he pretends that everything is fine as the waiter sets their food down in front of him. She's not buying it and the first few bites of salad that she takes are accompanied by a worried look.
There's no way that she could have been naive enough to believe this would be easy on him. He's slowly fallen in love with her over the last few months and suddenly it's thrown away for art school and French men. Sure, he's happy for her. Sure.
"It's only a couple months..."
The next thing that slips past his lips surprises both of them. "Marry me." They both stare at each other for a long moment, forgetting about their food and the people around them. Pam's looking at him and it's obvious that she's questioning her own hearing. Jim is just questioning his sanity.
Remarkably, he means it. He nods as she starts to ask if he's serious. It seems like a great idea. If they're married... she won't feel so obliged to sleep with Bruno the French taxi driver. Jim laughs at his own ludicrous idea.
"This is crazy. Who are you and what did you do to my Jim?" His heart flutters at her words.
He doesn't want her to know his fears, but if he's going to propose marriage he needs to be able to talk to her about things he doesn't like. "I don't... I don't want you going to Paris and forgetting about me."
Pam sighs, "Jim, it's only a couple months."
"Nine. Nine months, Pam, and that's way too long. I want you to go, I really do. And I'm not going to stop you, but I just want a little reassurance that you won't forget about Jim Halpert from Pennsylvania."
She smiles at his shy voice. "I won't forget my Jim."
"Okay... will you marry... your Jim?" He seriously wasn't kidding and he was planning on marrying her anyways... what's wrong with speeding up the process?
"I don't want to rush this."
Jim knows when he's being turned down. It was a stupid idea anyways and maybe Bruno is Pam's true love. He's just a filler until she leaves. Then she can spend her days in Paris, painting old buildings while Bruno seranades her.
They don't speak anymore about the subject. Instead, they finish eating and then walk back to the apartment. The rest of the afternoon drags on like a slug, Pam finishes up with the last of her packing and Jim sits at the kitchen table, pretending that he's working. It's a joke, of course, because she knows that he doesn't even work when he's at work.
Dinner is frozen pizza and a cheap bottle of wine. They don't talk for a long time, and for the most part, he watches her instead of eating.
Finally, she looks up at him and her eyes are worried as she asks, "Are you mad at me?"
He looks up at her and waits a long moment before shaking his head. "No," his voice is a little too soft for his own liking. He's not mad though, he's upset... or at least that's what he thinks it is. "I just--- I don't know, Pam. I don't know what I'm feeling."
"Oh." She doesn't say more, he feels like shit.
By nightfall, he doesn't know what the status of their relationship is. She doesn't want to rush. He doesn't want to lose her. He loves her, but he's never really came out and said that. They just assume, and maybe that's the problem.
She curls up to him in bed, her hand laying on his chest and her head on his shoulder. Jim can feel the soft rise and fall of her chest and knows that she's asleep. He spends the whole night staring up at the ceiling and praying for just a few extra hours. The urge to wake her, rests in his fingertips, but he knows that she won't be able to sleep on the plane, so he leaves her be.
The alarm goes off at 4. They've got to be up, the drive to the airport will take an hour and she has to be there two hours early. He shuts the alarm off and turns to her, she's curled up on her side, her back to him.
"I don't want to go." The words startle him, and not just because he didn't think she was awake.
Jim sits up and throws his legs over the edge of the bed. "You have to go. It's a fantastic opportunity."
She's crying. "If the decision is either you or Paris, then I don't want to go."
He stands and walks around the bed, kneeling down in front of her. His hand comes up to brush a few strands of her hair out of her face. Her beauty in that calm moment is breathtaking. He wipes away the tears. "Pam... I'm going to be here when you get back. Nine months is a long time but I am going to be here waiting, because I love you." Kisses her softly and, "Go, please. I don't want to be a regret. Don't hate me because I'm the reason why you didn't go."
Three hours later, they're standing in the middle of a packed airport and his arms are wrapped so tight around her that he thinks he might just break her. Her tears are on his shoulder, he hides his in the mess of hair that is tickling his nose. Goodbye's are so hard.
"It's only a couple of months," he says, rubbing his hand along her back. "I promise that I will be standing in this same spot when you come back." Jim hears muffled words and it sounds like 'I love you' so he smiles, "I love you, too." The line of people going into the security checkpoint is getting longer, he realizes that he'll have to let go. "Pam---"
She pulls back, quickly wiping at her eyes. "I know." Her bag is sitting on the ground by her feet and she picks it up, placing the strap on her shoulder.
There's only one thing left to do. He weaves his hand into her hair and tilts her head back so that he can lean down and kiss her. For a moment, they're lost in a seperate world where Paris isn't calling and Jim doesn't have to worry about guys named Bruno. Then they finally pull apart and somehow he manages to say goodbye, to say I love you, one more time.
"Call! Write! Stay away from French men named Bruno!" He calls out, as she walks back towards the security gate. She smiles sadly and waves.
Jim waits until he can't see her anymore, before he finally turns around and heads out of the airport to go back to his car. A plane flys over his head as he's unlocking the door and all that he can think is that nine months is a fucking long time.