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18 October 2007 @ 11:53 pm
Stand By Me [The Office; Michael/Jan]  
TITLE: Stand By Me
FANDOM: The Office
PAIRING: Michael/Jan
SPOILERS: "Money" (4x04)
RATING: PG
SUMMARY:


*****

Jan Levinson was not one to enjoy the outdoors. All her years in New York bred her expensive taste and penchant for loving being shut indoors enjoying all her luxuries. But now, walking alongside the train tracks, her hand warm inside Michael's with the gravel crunching beneath her sneakers... Jan thought she could get used to a life like this. A life on the road. A life outdoors. "Implants aside, Michael, we'll do whatever we need to, to... stay afloat."

Michael looked up at her with a wry grin and quipped, "We could use your implants to stay afloat."

She whacked his arm half-heartedly, a smile plucking up her lips in response. "I'll get rid of the Porsche. We'll get bus passes, whatever it takes."

Michael sighed. "Why couldn't we just run away?"

"Because I told you, Michael," she responded calmly, softly. "Running away, as wonderful as that would be, wouldn't erase any of our problems."

"What if we ran all the way to Sandals?"

Jan smiled, reliving that life-changing vacation in a split-second. "Sandals would be amazing, Michael, but it's just meant to be a temporary escape."

"Even if we lived there?"

"Yes. There could be problems anywhere."

"What about the moon?"

"Be realistic, Michael." Her shoes were getting dusty from the gravel but she couldn't have cared less. She was finally able to admit to herself (and to him) that this, beside him, was where she wanted to be. Debt or no debt. Job or no job. Implants or... well, Michael really liked the implants.

She heard a soft sound emanate from him, a short hum of a laugh, and she looked up to see him watching their feet, strides matching step for step. He looked up at the long stretch of railroad tracks ahead of them and told her, "This reminds me of that movie."

"What movie?"

"That movie from when Jerry O'Connell was chubby. And they got leeches on them. And... I think that guy from '24' was in it."

Jan frowned. As much as she adored (loved) Michael, sometimes it was insanely difficult to figure out what he was talking about. "Um..."

"And River Phoenix was in it."

"'Stand By Me,'" she smiled.

"Yeah. This reminds me of that movie. Remember how they walked along the train tracks?"

"Yeah." Jan watched him watching their feet and was overwhelmed by the rush of affection (love) that hit her then. She glimpsed down at their hands, still joined, fingers intertwined, and tried to remember a time when she didn't adore (love) him.

It seemed that in the blink of an eye, Michael Scott had gone from a perpetual thorn in her side, a constant annoyance... to her entire world. She still wasn't completely certain of how they'd gone from point A to point B, but... it didn't necessarily matter anymore. "If we did run away, what would we do?" she heard herself asking softly, swinging their hands between them as her feet childishly kicked up some gravel in front of her.

Michael copied her gravel-kick with a grin, squeezing her hand. "I dunno. I guess, aside from living on a train, I didn't give it much thought. We could work at some little road-stop diner for awhile. You'd look hot in one of those uniforms with the apron. And I've kind of always wanted to flip burgers and wear a paper hat."

Jan chuckled.

"Then when we've had enough of that, maybe we could go live in some woodsy place... Vermont or something. You could work in a cute little gift shop and I'd become a lumberjack."

Jan couldn't help the smirk. "I... don't really see you as the lumberjack type, Michael." She lifted their clasped hands and stroked his cheek with her knuckles. "Although I think you'd look sexy with a beard."

"Really?" His mouth quirked and Jan could tell he was already considering growing one.

"Mm-hmm."

"Huh. Well, then after I get tired of the beard -- I hear they get kinda itchy -- then I'd shave it off and maybe we could do the Kerouac thing."

"What Kerouac thing?" she questioned with a furrowed brow, running her free hand along the last car of the train. Once they were past it, they stepped onto the railroad tracks and followed them.

"Jan, you've never read 'On the Road'?" Michael shook his head disparagingly. "For shame."

She giggled at his tone. "Well what's it about?"

"Um. It's... it's about... a guy. And he... goes on the road."

She fixed him with a look. "You haven't even read it, have you Michael?"

"Well. No. But I've heard Jim talk about how great it is, and how the guy goes on this cross-country, like, road trip and meets people and eats pancakes, so I mean it's gotta be really good."

Jan just nodded. She learned that often times, with Michael, there were no good replies.

"So then maybe we could go on the road and end up in California. Your boobs would land you a really great job in Hollywood. Or maybe some soft-core porn or something."

"Michael!"

"What? I'm cool with it if you are." His lopsided grin clued her into the joke, and she leaned into him, shoving him lightly. He just pulled her with him, laughing, and wrapped his arm around her waist.

Her arm naturally found its way around his waist in return. "You're not going to suggest that we hitchike back to New York and do a Salinger thing, like 'Catcher in the Rye'?"

Michael shook his head. "Nah. I barely remember that book. Except for that one carousel part."

"What carousel part?"

"That part where Holden is watching his little sister on the carousel, and he's talking about how all the kids are trying to grab for that gold ring?" Michael smiled, his focus once more on their feet as his thumb rubbed her waist. "That part always stuck out to me for some reason. I kinda thought that whole 'grabbing the gold ring' thing was kind of symbolic."

Jan's eyebrows quirked at that comment, so uncharacteristic of Michael. Just when she thought she knew everything about him...

"And I know, I normally don't clue in to that kind of stuff, but... it just kinda screamed at me. Like them grabbing for the gold ring was like chasing their dreams or something." He looked up at her with a smile. "You're my gold ring, Jan."

Jan twitched a smile back, oddly touched by such a simple comment.

Then she watched the smile spread into a devilish grin. "And I'll always try to grab you."

She rolled her eyes. "Oh, Michael."

"Where would you want us to go, Jan, if we ran away?"

Jan sighed, giving it a moment's thought. "Well... even though it's impossible, I'd want us to go someplace where we could start fresh. Maybe rebuild our credit with some bonds or certificates."

She practically heard the eye roll she got in response before she looked up to see it. "So logical, Jan."

"Fine, fine. Somewhere that we could start fresh. A quaint little town in the Midwest, maybe, or in Colorado near the mountains."

"Yeah. I like that. We could go skating. I could teach you how to play hockey."

"Maybe near an inexpensive ski resort or something," she giggled. "I wouldn't mind being somewhere snowy."

"You'd look cute in a wool hat."

She smiled and dropped her arm from around his waist, reaching for his hand again. She linked their fingers together slowly, one by one, missing that simple connection. "Maybe you could get a job as a skating teacher or a hockey coach. We could live in a log cabin."

"Mmm, sounds nice. Fireplace?"

"Sure."

"With a big bear rug in front of the fireplace that we could have sex on?"

She whacked his arm again. "Other than that, owning some cheap beachside property would be nice."

"Yeah. With a white-washed porch that looks right out on the ocean. We could get some old-fashioned white-washed rocking chairs and just sit out there together while we play the stock market and let our money do the work for us."

She laughed. "Sure, Michael."

"If we're gonna have kids, though, maybe we should stick with your Midwestern plan."

Jan looked up at him, watched him watching their feet again, and she stopped. This drew Michael's attention, and his hazel (very pretty) eyes met her blue (apparently less pretty) ones. "What, Jan?"

"You really want to have kids with me?"

Michael laughed, as if she was insane for even asking. "Yeah, of course. I mean, we should get married first, but... we could get started on the baby-making on our honeymoon."

He leaned in for a kiss, their hands still joined, and Jan stopped him when he was just millimeters away from touching her lips. "Even after all of this? After how I've treated you, all the craziness, everything?"

"Yeah."

Her brows twitched upward slightly, and again she found herself amazed at how easily Michael was willing to devote the rest of his life to her. "All without a thought."

"Definitely."

Jan blinked, unsure if it was traces of gravel dust hitting her eyes or actual tangible emotion causing the tears. And she kissed him. Hard. She grabbed his face and he grabbed her waist, and for the longest time she didn't think she'd be willing to let go. Once he'd stolen all her breath and she had to break away, she leaned her forehead on his and hung on to the lapels of his (now slightly dusty and dirty) suit jacket. Her heart swelled with that rush of affection (love) again and her mouth ran off without her. "I love you."

And he smiled, that heart-stopping childlike beam of wonderment, "I love you too, Jan," as he kissed her softly again.

He was definitely a man worth standing by. Through craziness and boob jobs and debt and... everything. Jan's smile was unstoppable when they pulled away a second time, and she linked their hands together once more before resuming their walk along the tracks.



FIN




{x-posted to michaelandjan}
 
 
 
lovely surprise: {Office} Crazy Lovegirlie_girl_23 on October 19th, 2007 05:43 am (UTC)
*fLAILS AT YOU! HARD*

Hee. I always have to start like that. Because your fics always make me flaily! And this one is definitely no exception!

Oh my god, just... sooo awesome! I know you said that you literally heard them having this convo in your head, and that translated so well because I could hear it plain as day in my head as well!

Implants or... well, Michael really liked the implants. HEE! Love that!

And the whole thing of them dreaming up places they could go and people they could be... SO AWESOME! ajfklaghajfa! I love it so much, all these lives they could hypothetically have. And how Jan is resistant at first, trying to be logical, but then breaks down and tells him her ideas too.

And just the image of them walking together, holding hands. jaklfjaghafj. I LOVE that you extended that!

And all the literary references! You know I love them already, but seriously... sooo good! And how he talks about Jim having read it... tiny hint of the MIM. LOL. But no, seriously, I love that he pretends to have read it, but then does come off with the great thing about Catcher in the Rye.

And speaking of, that statement, about Jan being his gold ring... FAVORITE PART! JA;FAHGKAJF;AGHKALJ!

And of course, her saying I Love You just in that moment was PERFECT!! Him wanting kids with her and it finally, finally hitting her that this is the man she's in love with.... gaaah!

*Ficular homicide*

And of course, all the fun little parenthesis parts... with the adore (love) and the mentions of their eyes... just perfect!

Honestly, you kill me with these! Sooo soooo sooo good!

*FLAILS SOME MORE. JUST BECAUSE*
madsfadsy on October 19th, 2007 06:12 am (UTC)
Ooooh, you're fast! (That's what she said. No time. But she did.)

Loved it. Jan saying "I love you" seemed like it should have gone into that scene.

That's the perfect book for Michael to have actually read, too.
Yeah, that's me...: The Office [shoes]corellianjedi2 on October 19th, 2007 07:04 am (UTC)
This is beautiful! It made me tear up!

Amazing job!
Xtalinextaline on October 19th, 2007 07:47 am (UTC)
You, my friend, rock so fucking hardcore for writing this!

Love it.

I had to totally LOL at this, though: This drew Michael's attention, and his hazel (very pretty) eyes met her blue (apparently less pretty) ones.
She was mean and she had seashells in her hair!: office; michael & jandollsome on October 19th, 2007 08:02 am (UTC)
Awwwwww! ajdklfa;kld Well, now, that was just completely lovely. :D Which seems to be the theme of the evening with these two crazy kids.
Margaret: [Michael/Jan] first kisses::my therapist_missmargaret_ on October 19th, 2007 10:47 pm (UTC)
Oh my god- the amazingness that this episode has produced....WOW! I loved this story. Those last few minutes made me laugh, they made me cry, the made me all giggly- and your story just kept it going! Wonderfully written!
Blackbird. Delivers.: Michael/Jan - Perf. Review Elevatorablog_ortwo on October 20th, 2007 12:10 am (UTC)
GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!

I could hug you right now!!

I have the stupidest smile on my face right now. That was perfect. I love their plan...it really could work,

And "On The Road"....I still have that book from college. I never finished reading it...maybe I will now.
gossipcom: Michaelgossipcom on October 20th, 2007 12:27 am (UTC)
Aww man, it makes me want to go watch the episode again. *sigh* You wrote Michael and Jan perfectly. Well done!
нσω ∂σ уσυ нσℓ∂ α мσση вєαм ιη уσυʀ нαη∂?: M/J - That's what she saidfiddlings on October 21st, 2007 04:18 am (UTC)
*LOVES ITTTT*

Seriously, you just capture them so well. There were some one-liners that were just freaking MADE of brilliant. :D

Implants or... well, Michael really liked the implants.

HA!!

I also adore (love) how you wrote adore (love) all the time in Jan's thoughts. It made me smile. In fact, this whole fic made me smile. Great job!
Kristenkristendotcom on October 25th, 2007 12:44 am (UTC)
Hee! Awesome! I really, really loved this episode and this fic just cemented that love even further. Great job as always. Perfect beyond words.
csiAngelcsiangel on February 2nd, 2008 08:49 pm (UTC)
Awww. This is lovely. It was so sweet when she sped to his side in that ep, and this is a lovely addition to it.