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Final gift for sideviewhotel

Title:What A Difference A Year Makes




Spoilers:Through 4x08

Disclaimer:Santa did not bring me the rights to The Office, so let me just say that I am in no way affiliated with The Office or NBC, and no copyright infringement is intended.

Author’s Notes: This is just some New Year’s Eve fluff, semi-smutty fluff. Fluff that requires a slight suspension of reality, okay, a big suspension of reality, but this is fanfic after all. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and have a wonderful New Year!

“Put your shirt back on, Jan!”

Jim watches an exasperated Michael run through the tiny living room to the kitchen where he can just see the top of Jan’s head over the bar. Pam hurries in from the kitchen, her eyes wide and sparkling as she tries to contain her laughter.

“They are pretty perky for being fake,” Pam whispers to him as she flops down on the couch. Her breath is hot on his neck as she tries to muffle her laughter.

His laughter escapes him in a gasp of breath as Pam’s hand comes to rest high on his thigh. Jim feels himself responding to her touch despite the fact that they are in Michael’s townhouse, surrounded by co-workers in various states of inebriation. Trying to quell the rising tide of lust, Jim tries to focus on Andy and Dwight having a karaoke battle in the dining room, but as Pam’s hand slowly drifts higher, Jim has the bad feeling that he’s in for an embarrassing situation.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, he remembers New Year’s Eve a year ago. He hadn’t been with Karen all that long, and there had still been the nagging pain and denial chipping away at his heart. He and Karen had gone to some bar where dancing and drinking had commenced early and lasted well after the ball dropped in Times Square. Jim had rung in the new year with strangers and had taken Karen home to help him forget the rest of his pain.

He remembers how he felt as they stumbled through the front door of his apartment. Karen giggled a lot that night, and as he buried himself inside of her—hard—she had giggled even more. And if he’s honest, that sort of pissed him off. He felt like she was laughing at him.
Jim swallows hard as he tries to push thoughts of unhappy times out of his head. The progression of Pam’s hand helps.

Instead his mind drifts to more recent times when he and Pam have been, um, less than cautious about their choice of locations. Like the time a few months ago, when he had to stay late to take a sales call and Pam stayed to keep him company. And even though he was careful to check the bathrooms before anything happened, they didn’t even think what would happen if someone walked in the front door and saw Pam bent over Jim’s desk.

Thinking about it now, Jim thinks it would actually have been pretty funny for someone to see his bare ass first thing coming into the office. Maybe he’s just thinking that way because Pam has snuggled closer, casually propping a pillow over his lap, ostensibly so she can rest her head on it, but really it is just a weak disguise for the work her hand has decided to do. He wishes he had chosen to wear pajama pants like everyone else invited to Michael’s New Year’s Eve party, but no, he had insisted on wearing jeans. Why can’t jeans have a little more give in them? Seriously.

Not everything about the past six months or so has been easy and fun. There were endless nights of confessions and apologies before the pain of the past few years had trickled away leaving only a faint memory. And Jim decided the first night that he kissed Pam as his girlfriend that he was okay if the pain stayed with him forever, because cheesy as it sounded, it really made his current happiness so much better, so much brighter.

A year ago, Jim hadn’t thought, hadn’t dreamed, hadn’t even allowed a flicker, that he could be so happy with Pam. He loves her. And as she edges his zipper down, he gasps, and she covers his gasp with a huge hacking cough, which should have killed the moment for him, but her fingers are already curled around him and his mind has suddenly gone blank.

She does exactly the right things to him at exactly the right moment to make him tip over the edge faster than anyone he’s ever been with. She just knows him so much better. Jim has to hold his breath to keep from making any noise as Pam feigns interest in the Times Square revelry on channel 3. When he comes, Jim exhales loudly, but no one notices except Pam, who smirks.

They sit still for a few moments before Pam withdraws her hand and says, “I think I need something to drink, do you want anything, Jim?”

All he can do is grin stupidly at her, and she heads for the kitchen careful not to touch anyone or anything with her right hand.

Jim knows that they’ll have too much to drink tonight, heck, clearly they have already had too much to drink if Pam is willing to get him off under a pillow surrounded by their co-workers. And he knows that he’ll end up in bed, buried deep inside Pam. But unlike last year, there won’t be any giggles because Pam has this incredible way of knowing exactly what to say in that moment. Usually she whispers “I love you” so softly he thinks he imagined it, but once they begin moving in rhythm, she says it louder, until there is no doubt.

Pam sits down on the couch next to him again and hands him a glass of wine. She smiles at him, and he can’t help but kiss her.

He’s so lost in this moment with her, that he doesn’t notice Kevin squeezing in beside them on the couch, or everyone else crowding into the room to watch the countdown. He manages to glance at the TV just as the ball drops, and he can’t help but think what a difference a year can make.