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Throw Me a Rope

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Jim wakes up.

Jim wakes up in Dwight's bed, with Dwight's arm around his waist. It takes a minute for it all to come back (Kathy, persistent, terrifying Kathy), and once the Kathy-related panic eases he relaxes into the comfortable hotel bed. And then bolts upright as he remembers Dwight. Dwight who is spooning him.

Well. Tries to bolt up.

“Hush,” Dwight says, pulling him in tighter until Jim's back is pressed up against Dwight's front, and yep, yep Dwight's sporting some morning wood. Jim struggles against Dwight's surprisingly strong grip, and Dwight, still mostly asleep, drags his hand across Jim's face. “Hush,” he says, “go back to sleep.”

“Dwight,” Jim says a little desperately, “Dwight, wake up. Dwight.

“Hm?” Dwight says.

“You're petting me,” Jim says, somewhere between freaked out and annoyed. Dwight loosens his grip.

“Jim?” he says. He's only confused for a moment, though, and then he sits, stretching and yawning. “I get first shower, since it's my room.”

“That's...yep, that's cool,” Jim says, turning onto his back and looking up at Dwight.

“You know,” Dwight says contemplatively, “with your feminine shoulders and yet freakish height, you're actually not unpleasant to spoon with.”

“We will never speak of this again,” Jim says.

 

 

Jim slips out of Dwight's room, looking both ways down the hallway to make sure neither Kathy nor Nellie are around.

They're not, but his hand is still on the doorknob when Stanley appears. He looks at Jim and then shakes his head.

“Oh, come on,” Jim says, “this is Dwight's room.”

“Slippery slope,” Stanley says.

 

 

Naturally, everyone else finds out.

“So you and Dwight, hm?”

“Nope, we're not doing this,” Jim says, ducking behind the Sabre folder in a feeble attempt to avoid everyone else.

“Did you two really sleep together?” Ryan asks, looking oddly jealous.

“No,” Jim says, “no, we did not.”

“Yes, we did,” Dwight frowns.

“Dwight!” Jim practically shouts, interrupting him, “sex, Dwight! They think we had sex.

“Oh,” Dwight says. And then, as realization dawns, “Oh! What? Of course I wouldn't have sex with you! If I were homosexual, I would have much better taste than you, and besides, I'm not a homewrecker!”

“Well, there was that thing with Andy and Angela,” Erin chimes in. Dwight glares at her.

“You weren't even there, and they weren't married.”

“Look, the point is that Dwight and I aren't sleeping together,” Jim cuts in.

“Well, we're not having sex together,” Dwight corrects. Jim sends a desperate look at the camera.

 

 

Erin:

“They would make such a cute couple! But poor Pam. But maybe Pam knows and is okay with it! Or! [gasp] Or what if Pam was part of it! Dwight mentioned his son, maybe he's Philip's dad instead of Jim!”

 

 

Jim:

[stares at the camera]

[opens his mouth to say something]

[closes his mouth]

[shakes his head]

 

 

Dwight grabs Jim's face, and he's desperate, and Jim owes him, doesn't he? For the Kathy thing? Even if Dwight doesn't he know what he did?

“I'm telling you, if you don't do this, I don't stand a chance. Please, Jim,” Dwight says, and Jim...

Jim says okay. Jim looks at Dwight, at this man he's made a life's work of irritating, and something gives.

“Okay,” he says. “I'll do it.”

 

 

(“Hurry up! Let me in, I want to watch you get dressed,” Dwight says, and oh, oh Jim clearly should've known better than to come to work today.)

 

 

The night Dwight gets the VP spot, he and Jim go out for drinks, partly to avoid Kathy and partly to avoid Nellie and partly to avoid the way Erin keeps taking fake pictures of them with her hands and mostly because alcohol is delicious, and they rarely if ever are celebrating the same things.

 

 

Things

fall

through.

Dwight comes home.

When Jim tells the story to Pam, she notices, but doesn't point out, how Jim sides with Dwight the whole way through.

 

 

When the debacle surrounding Angela's baby's paternity gets spread liberally around the office, nobody even pretends to be surprised – not about the possibility of Dwight as the father and not about the fact that no one's personal life at Dunder Mifflin is actually personal.

Dwight has the paternity results mailed to the office, though, and when they arrive he—standing on his desk because Angela's trying to grab for them—rips the envelope open and declares:

“Ha! I am not the father!”

Jim and Pam shoot each other worried looks as Dwight repeats, disbelieving, “I'm not the father?” and the rest of the office breaks out into confused murmurs. Angela, flushed, finally yanks the paperwork out of Dwight's hands.

“Angela?” Dwight says, and it's almost as if his strings have been cut as he sinks until he's sitting on his desk. “I'm not his dad?”

She skims the forms, and it's that and the red tint to her neck that lets Pam know just how near Dwight must have been, because Angela didn't know until now, either.

“No,” she says. “No Dwight, I told you. Robert's his father.”

Jim looks at the camera, and his eyes are as expressively wide as Dwight is silent.

Creed: “Damnit, I lost the pool.”

 

 

Dwight shows up that night on Jim and Pam's doorstep, and Pam lets him in, because that's the sort of thing Pam does.

“Hey,” she says, “you all right?”

“Can I see Cece and Philip?” he asks, which Pam wasn't at all expecting. She pauses, uncertain. “Pam?”

“I”m just worried that this might not be the healthiest way to move on,” she says. Dwight narrows his eyes and his jaw clenches.

“Pam,” he says, “don't try your new-age hippie fake therapy mind junk on me.”

Pam's eyebrows shoot up, but she keeps her mouth steady. “No, Dwight, I wouldn't dare,” she says.

“It wouldn't work anyway,” he says, “my mind is an impenetrable fortress, and I know for a fact you possess no mind-reading abilities.”

“Dwight,” she says, “do you know what therapy is? Cuz I'm pretty sure you're talking about something else.”

“Quiet!” he declares. “And lead me to your children!”

And Pam's pretty sure it's unfortunately telling about her life when she does just that.

 

 

It's the seventh time in two weeks that Dwight's come over to their house, which Pam thinks might be a bad sign but which no one's really talking about. It's a Friday, though, and it's late, and the kids are in bed and Dwight's still there, which is more out of the ordinary than anything else that's been going on lately, which is really saying something.

Dwight finishes another of Jim's “fancy boy” beers while they all watch the Empire Strikes Back.

“I would be an excellent father,” Dwight says, kind of out of nowhere but also immediately after Vader tells Luke he's his father, which makes Jim make a face at the wall and Pam bite her lip.

“Of course you would,” she tells him, and she pats his knee.

Sometime after the movie is over, and both Jim and Dwight have had a beer too many, Dwight crowds into Pam.

“Pam,” he says, “Pam, will Jim spoon with me? He's excellent to spoon with. It's his feminine shoulders.”

Pam isn't sure, but she thinks she might've been waiting for this moment her entire life. “Yes, Dwight,” she says. “Of course he'll spoon with you.”

 

 

When Jim wakes up in the middle of the night, Pam's slipped into the bed in front of him, sandwiching him between their bodies. Dwight's arm is resting on Jim's waist, but his hand is resting on Pam's hip.

Jim thinks what is going on and SERIOUSLY what is going on and it's way too early for this and what is going on and then he realizes Philip's crying is what woke him up. He's just deciding how best to untangle himself when Dwight shifts behind him, sitting up on the bed.

Jim stays still as Dwight moves, and then Dwight drops a light kiss on Jim's shoulder and then stands up and leaves the room, and over the baby monitor Jim can hear Dwight talking to Philip and calming him down.

Jim lies in bed tense for a while, and then finally drops off to sleep, and when he wakes up again he's alone in the bed, and Dwight and Pam are making breakfast as if it's the most normal thing in the world.

 

 

They don't talk about it, and they certainly don't bring it up at the office.

Dwight makes dinner sometimes, and he really is great with the kids, and he's actually helpful and yes, he does make disparaging remarks about everything they do, but he can also get Philip to sleep and stay asleep, and that right there makes him golden.

So sometimes he sleeps on the couch and sometimes they hear him crying, muffled, into the cushions, and sometimes Pam or Jim will go out and just sit with him—it's not as if anything major has changed, right?

 

 

“The kids aren't here,” she says when she opens the door. Dwight nods distractedly.

“Okay,” he says, stepping past her into the house.

“They're with my mom,” she says. “It's date night.”

“Okay,” Dwight says as he walks into the kitchen. She trails behind him, shooting Jim an amused look as he pauses in the hallway and watches them.

Dwight grabs one of Jim's beers out of the fridge and sits down at the table, and Jim pads out in his date jeans and bare feet.

“Hey Dwight,” Jim says.

“Hello,” Dwight says. He glances between the two of them expectantly. “So what are we doing tonight?”

 

 

They end up going out to dinner, the three of them, and Dwight holds the door open for Pam and smiles that smile he's only ever given to her. He and Jim naturally start bickering five minutes into the—what, the date?—but it doesn't escape any of them that it's warmer and more affectionate than it used to be.

(They're warmer and more affectionate than they used to be.)

 

 

Pam and Dwight are sitting on the couch and Jim's in the bathroom when Dwight catches her hand in his.

“Pam,” he says. “Do you think I would've made a good father?” Dwight rarely looks for reassurance, but he's always had a soft spot for Pam, and she squeezes his hand.

“I think you're good with Cece and Philip,” she says.

“Babies like me,” he says, but his voice comes out softer than he means it to. They can hear Jim in the hallway drawing nearer, and Dwight looks up at her, his eyes uncertain behind his glasses. And she knows what it's like to have life press in on all sides. In the space of just a few months Dwight's lost Michael and he's lost his chance at being the manager and he's lost his chance at being VP and he's lost the son he never really had.

She leans in and kisses Dwight's cheek. She means it as just an affectionate kiss, but she lingers, and Dwight sucks in a shaky breath. Jim, standing behind them, feels something tight clench around his chest, something possessive and needy that he can't name.

Maybe he says something, or maybe Pam feels the weight of his gaze on her skin, but she pulls back and looks up at him. They stay looking at each other for a long, heavy moment—her fingers still threaded with Dwight's, her lip gloss still shiny on his cheek.

Jim exhales slowly, his eyes never leaving Pam's.

“Dwight,” he says, his voice low, and Dwight's shoulders tuck in further, curling in protectively. “Dwight,” Jim says, “come to bed.”

 

 

In the morning, Dwight wakes up between the two of them—Jim the little spoon in front of him and Pam a surprisingly adequate big spoon behind him.

Dwight squeezes Jim's feminine shoulder and closes his eyes, content.

 

 


Finis