Leaning back on the couch, Jim propped his socked feet onto the coffee table and gently pulled Pam towards him, allowing himself to revel in the way her body molded so perfectly with his. They'd been dating for a little over six weeks, and he still couldn't get used to this.
There was a part of him that almost feared it was too perfect, that any second the metaphorical rug would be pulled out from under him. It didn't help that his brothers felt the need to constantly inform him of the arguments they were having with their significant others, to tease him that he'd be next, making a small, ashamed part of him secretly worry that things would change. Because no way could this be perfect. No. The friendly banter that had came so easily to them as best friends would suddenly disappear. But so far - so far, there were no changes, save for the change of finally touching her whenever he wanted, to brush a curl behind her ear, to kiss her, to wrap an arm around her, comfort her, hold her as she fell asleep, or to simply buy her something from the vending machine, just because he could.
He ran his fingers up and down her arm, watched as she shivered in response.
"Mmm," he quietly hummed. "This is nice."
"What is?" Pam asked, remote in hand, aimlessly flipping through the television channels in search of something that wasn't an infomercial or a Judge Judy re-run.
"This… us... together, just... hanging out…" He gave her shoulder a gentle squeeze.
"Hanging out?" Her knowing smile purposefully teased him as she ran her fingernails over his t-shirt covered stomach in return.
"You know what I mean…jerk," he laughed, leaning down to kiss the top of her head. "We've been out every weekend, so this is nice, just being able to snuggle up and watch T.V."
"Snuggle?" She repeated, mocking him.
"Alright, that's it, I officially hate you."
"I can tell," she grinned, snuggling even closer and resting her head against him.
"Way to ruin a moment, Beesly." He laughed, unable to stop himself from touching her hair, captivated by the way her giggles were making it bounce.
"And here I was trying to be romantic."
"Aw, my little Casanova." Turning her head slightly, she kissed his chest and then quickly switched gears, "Oh! OH! Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. I love this show!"
He rubbed at his eyes, leaning back against the cushions behind him. "Pam, no. Seriously?" He reached for her right hand, lazily attempting to grab the remote control. "You cry every time you watch this," he laughed. Freeing herself from his grasp, she tossed the remote onto the armchair next to them, out of his reach.
"Back off, Mister," she proclaimed, leaning in for a kiss.
Jim yawned and looked at Pam curled up beside him, a smile crinkling his eyes. Tears streamed predictably down her cheeks from the hour spent watching a widow receive a complete home renovation. He kissed her temple.
"Alright, now that our heart has grown three sizes on this night," he laughed, a yawn overtaking him. "How about we visit the land of sleep?"
Pam looked across at him guiltily. "There's only one episode left after this one," she told him. "Please?"
"If you had Tivo, we wouldn't be having this conversation, you could series link this crap until your heart's content."
"Ooh, nice try! Do you know how much Tivo actually costs?" she asked, pulling her legs up onto the sofa and curling herself towards him.
"Seeing as I have it myself, yes I do."
"Not everyone in this room is a fancy Assistant Regional Manager, with a salary to match, so hush."
"Trust me; you'd save a ton of money by not having to buy all those damn videos." He grinned, pointing to her huge collection stacked up in the corner.
"I like my collection. So, suck it."
"Mmm, as good as that sounds right now, I'm way too tired. So, you," he told her, as he placed a pillow on her lap and laid down, "enjoy the last episode and wake me when it's finished, okay?" He punctuated his sentence with a kiss to her stomach.
Pam cringed when Jim startled suddenly in her lap, and she reached for the remote, anxiously attempting to turn the volume down for the commercials.
"Hey, you okay?" Pam asked as she ran her fingers through his hair, enjoying the way it slipped so easily through her fingers.
"The dinosaurs are coming…" He mumbled sleepily.
Pam stifled a laugh. "Yeah? Should I set the sofa bed up for them?"
She couldn't help herself, and continued the conversation with an extremely confused Jim.
"Your friends, the dinosaurs." She chuckled at the puzzled look on his face. "Apparently, they're on their way over for a sleepover."
"What are you talking about?" He asked as he opened his eyes slowly. For the life of him he couldn't remember where he was, was he at his place or Pam's? It took a moment for the fog to clear and for Pam to come into focus before he saw that they were at her place. He pulled himself up, arched his back and stuck his arms and legs out in front of him. He smiled bashfully, letting out a soft squeaking sound as he stretched.
"Sorry," he mumbled. "I have no idea what I just said to you."
"Apparently not," she teased, "but it was cute."
Pam smiled as she set her pillows into a certain order. Jim teased her about it, this need for them to be exactly right before she could sleep, but she'd found that Jim's teasing was fun and made her want to smile, and maybe, sometimes, beat him about the head with said pillows. Once everything was just how she liked it, she found herself gravitating towards the middle of the bed, to be closer to Jim.
"What are you doing?" Jim asked as he felt Pam run her foot down his leg.
He groaned softly as Pam ran her foot run up and down his leg. Turning onto his side so that he was facing her, he threw an arm around her. "Mmm, it doesn't feel like nothing." He smirked. "Beesly, are you trying to seduce me? “
"Well, unfortunately for you, I wasn't trying to seduce you. I was just trying to take your socks off."
"We really need to work on your dirty talk."
"Shut up." She laughed, punching him softly in the chest.
"I'm serious. You have potential. We just need to practice a little more. Talk dirty to me, baby."
"You're gross," she laughed, finally managing to peel his socks off with her toes and tossed them on the floor.
"Talking dirty isn't gross…"
"I was talking about you wearing socks to bed. Its 80 freaking degrees outside…How can your feet be cold?"
"I can't help having poor circulation, Pam."
She brought her arm up, resting her head on the palm of her hand. "Poor circulation?" she asked, feigning concern. "That sounds serious."
"It can be. But you know what would help me out?" He grinned, leaning over and kissing her on the mouth, nipping her lips briefly before he pulled away.
"What would help you, Jim?" She asked, trying hard to maintain a straight face.
He moved himself closer so that their bodies were touching, allowing her to feel all of him, making it quite obvious as to what he meant. "Is that a gun in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?" she asked, unable to stop herself from laughing at her own joke as she said it.
He breathed heavily as he rolled himself on top of Pam, "Mmm, there's that potential I was talking about."
Pam woke up, desperate for the bathroom. The obnoxious neon red numbers from her alarm clock screamed 3:37. She needed to get up, but she was so warm and comfortable. She felt the velvety sheets all wrapped around them, with the soft sound of Jim snoring almost enough to lull her back to sleep. She sighed, resigned, and pulled the covers back, hoping not to wake Jim. She tiptoed her way across the room, thankful that there was just enough light coming in through the bedroom window, allowing her to leave the bathroom door open slightly. There was nothing she hated more than bright lights in the middle of the night when you're still half asleep and your eyes are not accustomed to the sudden change. She prayed Jim remained asleep; she'd never be one of those girls who could just...go...in front of her boyfriend. But Jim was respectful, that was the prime difference between him and Roy that she needed to remember. Jim always respected her privacy; even just six weeks in she knew that.
A few nights before, when she'd developed a pretty strong headache while staying at Jim's apartment, he'd left her alone to take a hot bath. Roy never let her just take a bath. Roy would get in said bath, would say "Come on, Pammy, this will make you feel better..." It led to sex with Roy feeling like a chore; a Fluorescent Adolescent mentality that drained their relationship. And if it wasn't sex, it was a reference to sex. It was Roy walking in, a newspaper under his arm, to stare at her relaxing in the bath as he took a seat. It was completely without respect.
Her thoughts quickly jumped back to the present when she felt something suddenly brush against her leg. She jumped up quickly, tugging on her shorts as she tried to stand. She felt it again, this time on her arm. Very close to screaming, she ran out of the bathroom, slamming the door behind her and quite literally leaping into bed. She turned to Jim, fully expecting him to be wide awake, and laughing at the way she just catapulted herself across the room, but he was still fast asleep, arm thrown over his eyes. She felt simultaneously determined to wake him up and bad about waking him, but there was no way she'd be able to fall back to sleep with that thing living in her bathroom. She'd heard about this woman who found a cobra in her bathtub - what if it was a cobra? Were there cobras in Pennsylvania? Okay, yeah, she had to wake him, there was a cobra living in her bathroom! Oh, God...What if it escaped into the bedroom? What if it was pregnant? A pregnant cobra was in her bathroom.
"Jim," she furiously whispered. "Jim!"
"Hmm?" he mumbled as he rolled onto his side, his eyes still closed. It was obvious just by the pattern of his breathing that he was still asleep.
"Jim!" she said his name a little louder, this time, throwing in a little shake of his arm to try and wake him. His eyes shot open then, at the sound of her panic. "What's wrong?" he asked; his voice still thick and gravely from sleep. "Are you okay?"
"I'm sorry if I woke you." The apology spilled out of her mouth quickly, as she wrung her hands together nervously. She hated to admit to herself that she was slightly anxious to wake Jim up; it was something Roy had hated. Especially if it wasn't for something important.
"If you woke me?" he teased, squeezing her hand to let her know he was kidding. "What's up? What's going on?"
She snuggled closer to him. "There's, um, there's something in the bathroom…an animal...or something."
"An animal?" he repeated in a mocking tone. "Has a dog moved in?" He teased, wrapping his arm around her and nuzzling her neck."
"You know what I mean. Please…can you just get rid of it? It's creeping me out."
"I need to know what I'm facing here, Pam."
"I don't know what it is, but I just want it out of my bathroom."
"Okay," he said, rolling on top of her and making himself comfortable. "But first, promise me it looked nothing like a Spectral Bat? Those bastards freak me out."
"Jim," she warned, but the moan she let out from him kissing her neck made her sound anything but annoyed with him right then.
"Oh, God, it wasn't an Okapi was it?"
"Okapi, Pam… it's only the closest living relative to the Giraffe, but whatever…"
She giggled as she tried to push him off of her.
"No, I'm thinking it's a pregnant cobra."
"It's a - what?" He grinned wildly. "A pregnant cobra? Wow. That's..."
"Shut up!" she laughed. "Go catch whatever it is!"
He sighed dramatically as he climbed off of her and made his way towards the bathroom.
"What?" He laughed, watching as she hid under the covers.
"Don't let it out in here."
Walking back over to Pam, he pulled the covers back and gave her a quick kiss.
"I won't. Let me go check it out, okay?"
"K," she nodded, as she pulled the covers back firmly over her head.
Jim made his way into the bathroom and shut the door quickly behind him. He hadn't even turned on the light and he'd already spotted what it was that had frightened her and forced her to hide under the sheets. He smiled to himself, the fact that she was so scared of a tiny little firefly made him love her even more. He felt along the vanity for something to capture it in. "Pam?" he called, hoping she'd hear him in the little nest she'd made herself.
"Did you get it?" he heard her ask, her voice muffled from the layers of blankets she was hiding under. "Should I call Animal Control?"
"We don't have to call them just yet." He grinned. "Can you grab me a glass from the kitchen?"
"What?" He placed his hand over the small beetle and opened the door.
"Jim! Close the door!" she shrieked.
"My hand is covering it," he assured her.
"Pam!" he laughed. "Can you just get me a glass or something from the kitchen?"
"Are you sure it'll stay in your hand?"
"Yes. Now go get me something to put this little guy in."
She ran to the kitchen and grabbed a glass from the cupboard, making her way quickly back to Jim. "Here," she said, handing him the glass and blushing slightly at how silly she was acting.
Babe? He'd never called her that before and it made her skin tingle.
He took the glass from her and shut the door, opening it a second later with the bug happily sitting inside.
"Don't throw it at me." Even though the rational part of her knew Jim would never do anything like that, she couldn't stop herself from revisiting yet another Roy flashback. It was just early enough in their relationship that the scars from that one were still openly on the surface.
"I’d never do that. I promise." The look he gave her as he said it made her heart melt. Of course, he'd not do something like that.
"Thanks… babe." She smiled, trying out the new nickname for him. They weren't the sort of couple to throw those sorts of names around all the time, but coming from Jim… she could get used to that occasional moment of cute.
"Follow me a sec." He said as he walked out of the room.
"Just come here. You know I won't let this...thing," he grinned, remembering her earlier freak-out, "anywhere near you."
Carefully, she followed him into the living room, where he'd already turned on a lamp.
She could see he'd placed the cup on the table, a book covering the top, preventing the bug from flying away.
"Okay, seriously. How can you hate these little guys? They're tiny."
She must have made a face because he laughed. "Did you not catch these in jars as a kid?"
"That would be a no." He held out his hand. "Come here."
She hesitated for a second before she joined him.
"I promise I won't let it touch you, okay? Just have a look at it. Isn't it pretty?"
"Pretty wasn't the first word that popped into my head." She leaned against him as he wrapped his arms around her. "The only pretty thing related to fireflies is Nathan Fillion and you'll never convince me otherwise."
"I don't get what you see in that guy." Jim couldn't quite keep the pout off his face.
"Are you kidding, talk about ruggedly handsome!" She bit her lip to stop the smirk from playing out and spoiling her fun. It really was too easy to mess with him sometimes. He went on, either pretending he hadn't heard what she just said or just outright ignoring her assertions about Mr. Fillion.
"They can't hurt you."
"I know they can't hurt me, but that's not the point. Bugs just…creep me out I guess, no matter how pretty you think they are, they're still bugs and there is nothing pretty or cute or any other word that softens my opinion about them."
"Really? Are you sure about that? You know, it's kinda sad… these guys, they die after they find 'the one.'"
"It's true, fireflies die after they mate."
"Ok, maybe, just maybe, on some tiny, minuscule level, that could possibly, on a good day for me, be classed as 'almost sweet'"
"It's kinda cool, though, because, after the eggs hatch, the larva injects its prey with saliva, turning it's insides into goo."
"And now you ruined it."
She felt his smile as he nibbled at her neck.
"Nope, still cute.”
“Did you not hear yourself? They turn each other's insides to mush…"
“Yeah, poor little guys,” he mumbled, as he continued nibbling on her exposed neck.
"Mmmm,” she hummed. “So, if you bite me, would you turn my insides to mush?" she asked, slightly breathlessly while moving her head to give him better access.
"Mmhmm. Can't you feel it?" He asked as he ran his hands underneath her tank top and over her stomach.
"Now who needs to work on the dirty talk?" She couldn't help herself; the tease could not be withheld.
"How can you not think that was hot, Pam? What woman wouldn't be turned on by that?"
He grinned, his faux offended look fading.
"I'm sorry, you're right. That was totally hot." She laughed, turning her head to place a kiss on his cheek.
"Fine, I'm going to take this outside." He said, pulling away from her, but steered her towards the bedroom.
"You get back into bed and I'll be there in a minute."
Once she was out of the room, he carried the bug outside, and let it go, watching for a few moments as it flew away, before he made his way back inside and back to his 'one.'
Climbing into bed, he pulled her towards him and smiled as a thought struck him.
"So, not only are we buying you Tivo tomorrow, we're also buying you screens for your windows." He laughed, snuggling down beside her. "I'm opening your mind, Beesly."