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we'll take a cup o' kindness yet

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Jim Halpert’s a guy. Really, he is. Okay, so strip clubs make him uncomfortable and he’d rather watch Miss Congeniality than Rambo. And maybe he talks about his feelings more than your average guy. And fine, one girl he dated in college was fond of saying he had a uterus. He’s still got the right chromosomes, though. He’s still a guy. And there are things guys think about – sports, beer, boobs. Especially that last one. Not that he doesn’t like the women attached to them. Sure, he enjoys their company and respects them as people, but he still thinks of them naked sometimes. And look, maybe some guys don’t ever think of girls kissing each other, but…well, Jim’s not that guy. And all right, maybe he’s imagined his ex-girlfriends making out with each other once or twice. Or…several times. But who’s counting?

It’s not like they don’t give him reason. They pal around all the time, huddling together behind Pam’s desk and giggling over something. Or Pam will squat next to Karen and they’ll talk in hushed voices, Pam’s hand on Karen’s thigh for balance. Once he even ran into them while he was out drinking with Mark. They spoke in some kind of secret girl-code and shared beers and danced together to Prince songs, arms draped around each others’ necks, hips bumping together as they leaned in close to talk over the music. Jim had to lean hard against the bar and duck into the bathroom to jerk off before they even got to “When Doves Cry.”

It’s a short distance from thinking about them dancing to thinking about them doing a little more than dancing to thinking about them doing a lot more than dancing.

He can’t say it wasn’t weird at first. Nothing strikes fear into the heart of a man quite like seeing his ex-girlfriends talk to each other. Since he’s a bit of a narcissist, he spent a couple of months convinced they did nothing but talk about him; his weaknesses, his annoying habits, his sexual proclivities. Self-absorption is hard to sustain, though, and at some point it switched from weird to…intriguing. And distracting.

One day he was walking back from the break room and saw Karen leaning over Pam’s shoulder, looking at her monitor. Her hair fell forward and brushed Pam’s collar. Pam looked back over her shoulder at Karen and laughed, her eyes bright, her mouth curved. Unbidden, the thought of Karen leaning forward and touching her lips to Pam’s sprang into his mind. It slammed into his gut like a fist and lodged in his brain and it hasn’t left since.

It’s one thing to think about it. It’s quite another to walk into your bedroom during a New Year’s Eve party and find it staring you in the face. So to speak. They’re kissing in his room, on his bed, on the sheets he just washed this afternoon. Pam’s hands are under Karen’s shirt and it’s better and worse than anything he could have imagined. He must be drunker than he thought. As if on cue, his glass slips from his hand and it falls to the carpet with a dull thunk. They’re slow to move apart, slow to focus on him.

“What…what are you guys doing?” His voice breaks like he’s a 14-year-old boy. Which is what he feels like, actually. Pam’s almost touching Karen’s boobs! the 14-year-old in his head screams. He sees them grin and feels like they can read his mind. One last chance to make an ass out of himself before the New Year. Fantastic.

They exchange looks with each other. Karen wrinkles her nose in that way that always makes him want to do untoward things to her.

“Comparing,” she says. “Care to join us?”

He struggles to clear his muzzy head, tries desperately to think; Karen and Pam don’t seem like the type to trick him, but you never know. He can see his answer ruining the moment, ruining the night, stretching years beyond to ruin his entire life.

He shakes his head and the room swims for just a second. They’re both watching him patiently, an invitation in Pam’s smile, a dare in Karen’s. He reaches behind him to lock the door. At the sound of the lock clicking, Karen’s grin turns downright evil.

“So…” she starts, beckoning him closer with an imperious crook of her finger. “We were talking about you. Comparing notes.” He’s in front of the bed, close enough for Pam to reach out and run her fingertip along the hem of his sweater before the words register.

“What? No you weren’t.”

“Oh, but we were,” Pam assures him solemnly.

“No, you couldn’t have been. That was just something I imagined, right? Please tell me I was wrong when I thought you guys were talking about me all the time.” A note of panic edges into his voice. This seems like a lot more talking than he’d imagined a threesome would involve. Not that he’d ever imagined this threesome. This whole situation is firmly outside the scope of his feverish imagination.

“Not all the time,” Karen soothes, reaching out to grab his hand and tug. She shifts to the side and pulls him down to sit on the edge of the mattress between them. They’re warm and soft on either side of him and it’s all he can do to keep breathing.

“But right now,” she continues. “Before you came in? We were talking about you.” The mattress jostles as she stands and turns, balancing her knee next to his hip, her other leg forcing his knees apart. He can smell her, her shampoo, her detergent, her perfume all layering over each other to bring every time he was ever close to her flooding back into his brain. And his crotch for that matter. Pam leans into his side. She slides her hand under his sweater, across his skin. He can feel her breath on the side of his neck, her breasts pressed against his arm. Oh, I remember those. Out of the corner of his eye, he sees his hand on her thigh, brushing rhythmically along the inseam of her jeans. How’d that get there? he wonders. Now the memories of her are all mixed up with the memories of Karen and Jim’s head is a very pleasant place to be right now.

“Are you paying attention?” Karen asks sharply, jerking him back to the present.

“Um,” he answers. She smiles in a way that can only be described as wicked.

“Naughty boy, Jim,” she purrs, hooking her fingers in the neck of his sweater and tugging. “How are we ever going to teach you if you won’t pay attention?” He struggles to clear his brain and focus on her words.

“T-teach me?” His tongue is thick. He can barely get the words out. “Teach me what?” Without his permission, his other hand has come up to feather along the waistband of Karen’s slacks. Her skin is still unbelievably soft.

She pauses and cocks her head. “Everything we know, of course,” she says. The words settle in the pit of his stomach and twist. They make him nervous, so he retaliates with silliness.

“You, uh, mean like French verbs?” Pam’s hand is sliding over the fly of his jeans and he closes his eyes and leans his head into hers. “Or Portuguese explorers, maybe.” Pam smiles against his neck.

“The periodic table,” she offers. Her hand squeezes and he can barely breathe let alone think. But still, he chokes out, “Agrarian economics.” He opens his eyes in time to see Karen roll hers.

“You guys are nerds,” she informs them.

“That’s why you love us,” Pam tells her, transferring her hand from Jim’s crotch to Karen’s hip. He’d protest, but watching her run her knuckles up Karen’s ribcage and along the underside of her breast is a good trade.

“I’m just using you for your bodies,” Karen retorts. Her eyes flutter closed and she steps closer to Jim, her thigh suddenly pressing up against his now ridiculously hard erection while he tries not to moan. Her right hand settles on his shoulder and her left covers Pam’s hand on her breast. She moves, her leg shifting against him, and he does moan, unable to stop himself, his arm snaking around the back of her thighs to increase the pressure. Karen pulls back abruptly. He’s on the verge of apologizing (though for what he’s not sure) when she grabs the hem of his sweater in both hands and tugs it over his head.

She’s not gentle about it. He can hear the crackle of static electricity as it jerks past his hair, which probably looks like he stuck a fork in an electrical socket now. He realizes he raised both arms above his head like a kid, and he lowers them sheepishly. The only problem is he’s not sure where to put them now. Around Pam and Karen? On the bed? In his pockets? Luckily Karen solves his problem for him. She places both hands flat on his chest, leaning her face in close to his. He can see all of her freckles, can see the flecks of green around her irises. She’s so close that her breath comes in puffs against his lips and when he nervously licks them, he gets a swipe of her lip gloss.

“Class in session,” she breathes, and shoves him with both hands, hard. He bounces a little when his back hits the bed and he lays there with his arms flung out on either side, wondering what just happened.

“Lesson number one!” Karen barks, one hand on her hip. “Woman on top. Miss Beesley, would you be so kind as to do the honors?”

“It would be my pleasure, Miss Fillipelli.” Pam inclines her head regally at Karen before crouching to remove his shoes. He hears them hitting the carpet as she peels his socks off.

“Wait, w-what?” Jim stutters, pushing himself back on the bed with his heels and rising up on his elbows. He’s distracted by Pam obligingly stripping her sweater off over her head and tossing it aside. Lace. She’s wearing lace.

“Down,” Karen commands him, putting her hand on his chest and pushing until his elbows slide out from beneath him and he’s flat on the bed again. “We’re teaching you everything we know, remember?” Pam’s unbuckling his belt, now, tugging his pants down his legs. It’s a good thing he wore nice boxers.

“This is something you have experience with?” he pants. He can see down Karen’s shirt and at the bottom of the bed Pam has her knees on either side of his legs. She’s got some lacy boy-short things on, and her lacy, gravity-defying bra, and he’s pretty sure she never wore either of those when they were dating. He thinks he’d remember.

“No backtalk, Halpert,” Karen tells him. Pam’s crawling up the bed by now. Her calves press alongside his hips and she’s hovering just above him.

“Help us help you,” Pam adds, and he laughs, he can’t help it. She’s straddling his crotch in lacy underwear and Karen’s watching approvingly and he’s laughing and it’s officially the craziest thing he’s ever done in his life.

“No hands first time, I think?” she’s saying to Karen, who nods.

“A demo,” Karen offers.

“Exactly.”

“No hands?” Jim asks dumbly.

“Right,” Pam answers. She’s still straddling him and they’re having a conversation. Insane. “Well, no hands for you. A good teacher always demonstrates proper technique first. With an experienced partner.” He sees Karen wiggling her jeans down her hips and it occurs to him what Pam’s talking about. He groans and surges up into her. She raises her eyebrows like she’s impressed.

“This one’s a quick learner,” she tells Karen, who’s climbing onto the bed beside her, shirt unbuttoned.

“Teaching can be so rewarding with a good student,” Karen says, her voice full of exaggerated pride. Pam nods, wiping an imaginary tear away with her finger. Then she leans forward, her hair falling like a curtain around Jim’s face.

“Are you ready?” she asks. Jim can only make a guttural sound in the back of his throat. Pam’s face turns serious.

“Are you sure about this?” She studies him carefully. “We don’t have to if-”

“I’m sure,” he rasps. Her eyes soften and she smiles, leaning down to kiss him once, sweetly.

“What are you two whispering about down there?” Karen asks impatiently.

“Don’t tell Karen I went soft on you,” she murmurs before straightening up. She glances over at Karen. “Same place?” she asks, inclining her head towards Jim’s nightstand. Karen nods and stretches across Jim’s chest to rummage in the drawer. The edges of her shirt brush over his face and she’s right there and if he just raises his head a little…but before he can she’s got a fistful of condoms and she’s pulling back, handing one to Pam and chucking the rest on the bedspread next to her.

“Shall we begin, Miss Beesley?” They nod formally to each other, their faces serious. But he can see their lips quirking, their eyes gleaming with mischief. He closes his eyes and makes a quick prayer to any available deities that he won’t end up humiliating himself before they even get his boxers off.

“So,” Pam says. “Woman on top.” His eyes snap open. No way he wants to miss this. “You may have noticed,” she continues, “that this position has excellent visuals.” She makes vague, circular gestures around her torso. Karen moves her hands around Pam like she’s modeling a product on The Price is Right.

He has to clear his throat twice before he can say, “I noticed.” His hands start to creep up her sides of their own volition and she smacks them away in mock-annoyance.

“Halpert, hands!” she chastises. “Demo only.” He can barely hear her over the roar of his blood in his ears. Who knew this Pam existed? He obediently rests his hands on her thighs again and whimpers when she rewards him by rocking her hips.

“Good noise,” Karen says approvingly. He’d be embarrassed except he’s kind of busy watching her run her finger along the top of Pam’s underwear. Is she gonna…? Oh god, she is. Her fingers dip below the waistband and Pam’s eyes drift closed as Karen finds her clit.

“It’s good to…help. With your hands.” Her voice sounds dreamy and heavy. “To make sure she’s ready. Oh, right there.” He feels her tilt her hips forward and Karen moves her hand obligingly and he’s pretty sure his heart stops beating entirely. Karen leans in and kisses Pam, hard and fierce, and suddenly Jim sees with awful clarity how embarrassed his mom is going to be when the paramedics tell her how he died. Thank god they’re not still filming the documentary. This would be about the time the cameras would barge in and his mom would be really embarrassed if he had to be pixilated at any point.

Then Pam’s moving back, stripping off her underwear; she’s working his boxers down while Karen rolls the condom on, she’s sinking down onto him with a shuddering moan, and it takes every bit of control he has to keep himself from going off like a rocket right then and there. She starts to move. He hopes she’s fast because there’s only so long he can last after months of what amounted to foreplay.

“Your turn,” Pam breathes, and covers his hands with hers, slides them up her thighs until his thumbs come together at her clit. When he circles his thumb, her response is gratifying.

It’s Karen nipping Pam’s bra down with her teeth, applying those teeth to Pam’s skin that sends him over the edge. He jerks up into Pam, comes so hard it’s like he’s turning inside out. He can only hope that she’s with him. She must be, because he feels her tighten around him and soon she slumps against Karen, her breath coming in ragged gulps. He knows how she feels. For a long moment she rests her head on Karen’s shoulder, shivering, until she rises up on her knees and collapses at Jim’s side. Karen, he realizes with a guilty start.

“Karen,” he rasps. “I’m sorry, I didn’t…you didn’t…” She looks at him. Smiles.

“It’s okay,” she tells him. “I’ll let you make it up to me. Ready for the next lesson?” Jim wouldn’t have thought it was possible, but he’s getting hard again just at the thought.

“God help me, but I think I am.”

“Good,” she says, and reaches for another condom.

*****

Jim doesn’t think he can move. Ever. He’s just going to stay right here on his bed and never get up for the rest of time. He has a cell phone and a laptop, he can carry on a normal life from right here. Pam’s pressed up to his right side; Karen’s sprawled along his left. All three of them are panting, their breath mingling until they sound downright pornographic. Which seems fitting, really, considering the…five “lessons” they just went through, maybe six? He lost count somewhere around the congress of the cow or whatever the hell that position was. Karen said it was from the Kama Sutra but he thinks she might have made it up. If she did make it up she should patent her brain.

“Everyone okay?” Pam asks weakly. “No one’s going to die or anything?”

“I might,” Jim tells her. “But I don’t think I’d mind.” He feels her shake against him as she laughs. Voices drift up from downstairs, calling ten … nine … eight … seven … six … five … four … three … two … one! Happy New Year! Noise makers sound, people cheer. They sound muffled and far away, like it’s a different world the three of them are in. A whole new world.

“Happy New Year, indeed,” Jim exhales.