Jim sighs and takes a drink of his beer, dangling it between two fingers and swaying it back and forth. "A tub," he mutters. "A mother fucking tub."
Dwight tilts his head closer to Jim's face and squints at him rather carefully.
Jim wonders if he's being studied, like Dwight thinks of himself as Diane Fosse, Jim as the gorilla, and Poor Richard's as their very own mist.
"Fact:" Dwight says, "Your eyes are out of focus. Fact: Your words are slurred. Fact: You are unable to maintain your balance on this stool. Conclusion: You are drunk."
"Probably," Jim agrees, or rather he tries. He's pretty sure it comes out something like, "Profargnh."
Dwight studies him for another moment, then pronounces, "You can't drive. I'll take you home."
Jim raises an eyebrow before taking another sip from his beer. "And just why are you going to do that?" he slurs.
"You're useful to the company. You bring in money. I wish for Dunder Mifflin to remain open for a long time to come. You can't make sales calls if you're dead."
In the distant reaches of Jim's mind, he knows that this is Dwight's own, very weird, way of telling him that he doesn't wish him dead and Jim finds himself both shocked and pleased at this.
Dwight pulls Jim off the stool and slings one of Jim's arms around his shoulders to help guide him outside.
Dwight does not consider himself to be a designated driver. He imbibes alcohol with his laser tag team quite regularly, in addition to having a glass of beet wine with dinner every night. But he has built up a tolerance for these things over the years (the Schrutes have very adaptable bodies like that) and it is his duty as the only remaining sober member of the Dunder Mifflin Office Basketball Team to make sure that everyone gets home safely. By "everyone," Dwight, of course, means "Jim," as everyone else left after their first drink.
But still, a duty is a duty, and as much as Dwight hates to admit it, Jim does make a lot of sales, and thus is important to the company. So Dwight will ensure that he arrives home safely through whatever means necessary.
Currently those means involve Dwight carrying Jim up the stairs to his bedroom because he either seems to have lost the ability to move on his own, or perhaps only the motivation.
"Thanks," Jim mumbles as Dwight releases him onto his own bed.
Dwight gives a nod of acknowledgement and debates whether or not he should help Jim undress. He finally decides that he should help him get his shoes off and leave it at that; anything else would be inappropriate.
He tugs off first the right shoe, then the left, and places them neatly under the edge of the bed. He surveys the scene with distaste, taking in the cluttered desk and crowded floor. Typical Jim, he thinks.
"Well, good night," Dwight says and turns to leave.
"Wait," Jim says, and reaches out to grab Dwight's hand. Dwight looks down and raises a quizzitive eyebrow.
"Is there something you need?" Dwight asks.
Jim shakes his head and pulls Dwight closer to him, and suddenly Dwight is on his knees beside the bed and Jim has one hand on the side of his face and the other still clutching Dwight's wrist.
"Jim, what are you doing?" Dwight asks, and tries to stand up, but Jim holds him firm.
"I don't know," Jim admits, and kisses him.
Dwight does not understand.
There are few things in this world that he is unknowledgeable about. He considers himself to be well-versed on the topic of most things, as a matter of fact, and it has been at least six years since the last time something genuinely stumped him.
However, Dwight finds himself in an awkward position. After thirty-one years of perfect health, it occurs to him that he just might be…sick.
He can barely begin to fathom why his Schrute genetics have failed him. He suspects foul play from the Manheims, but his research so far has proved inconclusive.
And so, after an exhaustive search through the family's medical records and two lengthy visits to WebMD, Dwight declares himself defeated (by his own body, no less…how dare it turn on him?) and seeks professional help.
"You're pregnant," Dr. Horowitz says with a surprised look on his face. "I'm not sure how, but…you're pregnant."
Dwight blinks at him confusedly. "I don't understand," he admits for the second time in as many days.
"I don't either," Dr. Horowitz agrees, then holds up several charts. "But you are."
It happens on a Tuesday. Jim knows this because on his way to the train tracks, he stops to have a last meal at Cooper's and orders the Tuesday special. It's his favorite soft shell crab, and Jim thinks about how at least his final meal will be his favorite food.
After he finishes, he wipes his mouth carefully—he doesn't want to be found any more horrific-looking than he knows he has to be—and drives back to the office. He parks his car in the parking lot, leaves the keys on the front seat, and crosses the street to the train tracks. He's not sure he'll be able to stand there knowing what's about to happen once the train starts coming, so he sits down, figuring that at least the extra effort of getting up and then moving will deter him from chickening out. He can't go on like this after all.
Not knowing that…
Well. It was the biggest mistake Jim ever made, and he does not need the evidence of it getting bigger and bigger over the next nine months. And he especially does not need for the biggering to happen in front of everyone he knows. And on national television.
Nope, Jim thinks, and settles down to wait for the train.
Pam checks the clock on her computer and frowns thoughtfully. Jim usually doesn't go out for lunch. Ham and cheese sandwiches taste just as good in the break room as they do elsewhere, after all.
But even the few times he has gone out for lunch, he's usually not gone this long. It's been an hour, and people are starting to get worried. Well, to be more accurate, Michael is starting to get worried. He's called reception at least six times now to ask her when "J-Dog" is going to be back in the "hizzouse."
Pam is just getting ready to call Jim's cell phone to ask him if he's finally decided to quit Dunder Mifflin and didn't tell her (they'd always planned to do that together) when one of the camera men shuffles closer to her desk looking shiftily around to make sure that his coworkers are otherwise occupied.
"Psst," he hisses from behind the camera.
Pam glances up from her opened cell phone as her fingers stop dialing.
"Oh, did you want to do an interview now?" she asks, then gestures to her phone. "I'm kind of busy right now, but I'll meet you in the conference room in a few minutes."
Jack shakes his head from side to side and lowers his voice. "We're not supposed to interfere," he says, eyes darting around again. "But…come here."
She raises an eyebrow, but follows him into the conference room. It's not every day that the documentary crew behaves like this, and her curiosity is getting the best of her.
"Look," Jack says, leading her over to the window and holding the camera at her eye level so she can look at the viewfinder.
"At what?" she asks, squinting against the glare from the fluorescent lights.
Jack presses a button and the camera zooms in at a spot across the street from their parking lot.
"What am I looking at?" she asks again, unsure what the train tracks have to do with anything.
Jack glances over his shoulder to make sure no one has joined them, then taps a spot on the screen.
"Who is that?" she asks as she stares at the person-shaped spot on the viewfinder.
"It's Jim," he tells her. "One of the other guys followed him."
"Is he--? He's not, is he?" she asks, her eyes widening as she stares into Jack's face.
"He is. I'm not supposed to have told you. But I like Jim. He's always been nice to me. You should—" he gestures out the window, "go. He'll listen to you."
Pam doesn't need to be told twice. She's gone before he can say anything else.
"What the hell are you doing?" Pam shouts as she approaches.
Jim looks up and sighs. He had not expected her to show up, and he knows that if she asks, he'll back out.
"Just…you know. Hanging out," he shrugs.
"Jim, whatever it is, it's not that bad," she says softly.
Jim gives a bitter laugh. Oh, to be that naïve. He would give anything to go back to a time when he could believe that. "Oh, trust me, it is," he mutters.
"Jim, nothing is worth dying over."
Jim looks up at her for a long moment, then says, "Dwight's pregnant. With my kid."
There is a long silence in which the two of them stare at each other, and then Pam bursts out laughing.
"Yeah, that was my reaction, too," Jim continues. "I thought, 'He's always trying to get me back for the pranks, but this is just pathetic.' Except then he starts showing me doctor's results. Sonograms. And just to prove that he didn't fake it, he took a home test right in front of me. It's true," he finishes morosely, and picks up a pebble to roll over in his hands.
Pam catches her breath and says, voice still full of amusement, "But it's just not possible."
"I went with him to the doctor," Jim replies. "Apparently there's going to be an article in the paper. The jackass actually asked for our permission to write a paper on it for some kind of Medical Monthly Digest or something. He thinks he could get a Nobel Prize out of it."
"Jim, but it's just not possible," Pam repeats. "It's a good prank, I'll give him that, but come on. Dwight's a guy. And you're a guy. And A) guys can't have babies, and B) you and Dwight never…" but her sentence ends abruptly at the look on his face. "Oh. I…I'm sorry. I didn't know. I thought…are the pranks like—like you pulling his pigtails?"
Jim laughs, for real this time. "What? No. I'm not…I mean, a little but not…not him." He takes a deep breath and corrects, "I've been with guys and girls. And I'm not in love with Dwight. I was just sad, and he was just there, and it was the biggest mistake of my life, and some how or other, there's a kid in the mix, and I'd just rather not be here for the public humiliation. So." He gestures towards the train tracks. "You might want to go back to the office. It'll probably be pretty disgusting."
"Jim," she says, grabbing his hand and pulling him to his feet. "I am not letting you do this over something that isn't true, okay? There's just no way. Even if you did…do that with Dwight, he's a guy, and it's just not physically possible, okay?"
"Oh, to still have a drop of optimism. What's that like?" Jim asks.
She smiles and pulls him off the tracks, and in the distance a whistle blows.
"We Schrutes have always been one step ahead of evolution," Dwight proudly informs the cameras. "I plan to name it Janet."
"I thought the doctor said it was because the fetus you resorbed was a girl and her DNA caused you to grow ovaries?"
Dwight's proud smile slowly slides off his face. "Well, that too."
It happened like this: after the basketball game, Pam had left with Roy talking about having sex in a bath tub and Michael had came up with the brilliant idea to invite "the team" down to Poor Richard's for a beer, and Jim had said yes mostly because a beer sounded pretty enticing just then.
And some how one beer had turned into three and everyone else had left, and Dwight offered to give him a ride home because, "The Schrutes have a higher tolerance for foreign substances," and Jim was really too fucked up to drive so he'd said okay, and then…well, then Dwight had had to practically carry him up the stairs to his bedroom.
And Jim's always been a handsy drunk. Put him in a bar, give him a couple beers, and he'll have his tongue down the throat of the first person sees, no matter what they look like, and well, Dwight was the first person Jim saw.
And he'd been so out of it that he barely knew what had happened the next morning when he woke up in bed alone until Dwight came back from the bathroom and informed Jim that he'd borrowed his toothbrush because well, what did it matter now anyway?
It was the biggest, stupidest mistake of Jim's life, and, well, now he's paying the price for it. His dad always told him, "Don't stick your dick into anyone you're not willing to have a kid come out of nine months later," but honestly, it's not Jim's fault that he didn't apply that advice to Dwight. How was he supposed to know that Dwight and his damn resorbed twin fetus or something were going to end up being some kind of medical miracle and their doctor would be giving presentations and lectures about their "case" for years to come?
So it's totally not Jim's fault. Dwight should've told him that he wasn't on the proverbial pill.
And the whole thing with the train tracks? Well. Jim defies anyone on earth to find out that Dwight fucking Schrute is having their child and not try it.
They do a lot of tests on Dwight to figure out how it's all going to work and if the baby will even be safe growing inside of him since he doesn't have a uterus. It involves a lot of poking and prodding and Dwight never once asks Jim to come with him to the doctor's, just sends him occasional e-mails with the results. Jim's kind of glad because clinics freak him out and at any rate, he has no idea what to do or say to Dwight or…anyone, really. So far none of their coworkers know other than Pam and she's honestly too weirded out to say anything.
Jim can identify.
He doesn't even know how to tell anyone, anyway. Quite aside from the insanity of a man somehow conceiving a child, Jim just doesn't even know how to explain the simple fact that he slept with Dwight. It kills him. Every time he thinks about it, he gets a little sick to his stomach.
It's not the idea of having slept with a guy. Jim went to college, after all, and he did his fair share of same-sex experimentation. But it's just…it's Dwight. How's he supposed to come back from that? As a human being, how is he supposed to come back from having put his…in Dwight's…oh, God. You'd think Jim was the one having morning sickness with how much he's been vomiting lately.
"Are you all right?" Dwight finally asks one afternoon when Jim returns to his desk after having rushed off to the men's room covering his mouth.
"I'm fine," Jim says shortly. He'd thought they had some sort of unwritten rule not to speak to each other directly.
"If you're ill, you should see the doctor," Dwight says without taking his eyes off of his computer screen. "The baby will need both of us to be health—"
Jim rises from his chair and claps a hand over Dwight's mouth.
"Get off me!" Dwight mumbles through Jim's hand.
"Shhh," Jim hisses, then sits back down at his computer. "Don't talk about that here."
Dwight looks around, then nods sagely. "Wise idea, Jim. They say it's bad luck to talk about it in the first trimester."
"You're in your second," Jim can't help but correct.
"False. The second does not begin for three more days."
Jim almost rolls his eyes, but stops midway. "You're not supposed to be having trimesters anyway," he mutters.
"Tell me about it," Dwight replies, and idly rubs his stomach.
The doctor is doing an ultrasound today to determine the sex of the baby. If you wish to come, I would not be adverse.
Sincerely (Not) Yours,
Dwight K. Schrute
"Ah, hello, Mr. Schrute," Dr. Horowitz says as he enters the room and pulls on his glasses. "And who is this?"
"Jim Halpert," Jim says, rising from his chair and offering his hand to the doctor.
"And who might you be, Jim Halpert?"
"Uh—" Jim stutters and waves a hand towards Dwight. "Um…that. It's mine."
"Ah," Dr. Horowitz says with a smile. "I see. Well, gentlemen, let's just have a look here and see if we can't find out the sex of your baby."
Jim hesitantly steps closer to Dwight as the doctor lifts his shirt and squirts some kind of goo onto his already-bulging stomach. They're going to have to tell everyone at work soon, but Jim tries not to think about that. It's going to be a nightmare, he just knows it.
And then there's a picture on the screen, and this tiny little person is inside.
"Now, let's see," the doctor says, almost as if he's talking to himself. "At nineteen weeks it should be…yes. Here we are."
The movement on the screen slows down as the doctor's hand comes to rest.
"Well?" Dwight says testily. "Can you tell the sex?"
Dr. Horowitz smiles at him and nods. "I can. You're having a little girl."
Jim lets out a breath he didn't realize he was holding and stumbles backwards into his chair.
"Are you all right?" the doctor asks him, but Jim can't seem to find the words to answer.
"Ignore him," Dwight says. "He's always been weak. I'm hoping she takes after me."
"I'll just leave you two alone for a moment," the doctor says, handing Dwight a tissue to wipe his stomach off with. The image on the screen remains still on their little girl.
"Are you all right?" Dwight snaps once the doctor has left. "I'm starting to think you're stroking out."
"I'm…fine," Jim says after a moment. "I just…I knew you were pregnant, but I didn't realize…I guess it just didn't occur to me that there was…"
"The image of your child has brought out paternal instincts from within," Dwight says clinically. "It's quite common among expectant parents. Your reaction is typical."
Jim runs a hand through his hair and steps closer to the screen, running one hand across his daughter's tinier one.
"I'm sorry," Jim says softly. "I'll…I'll be there for her. You know that, right?"
"Of course I do," Dwight says, reverting to his snappy tone again. "You and I may have our differences, but I know you wouldn't abandon our daughter. I'm not a fool, Jim."
"That makes one of us."
"You can continue coming to doctors appointments if you'd like," Dwight says, ignoring Jim's comment. "I realize that she is your child, too. It's only fair that you should be allowed to monitor her development."
"Jim, could you at least look at me?"
Jim turns and faces Dwight, really looks him in the eye, for the first time since that night. "What?"
"This doesn't have to be awkward. People who are not involved raise children together all the time. It would of course be preferable if we were married, but that's not legal, and even if it were…" Dwight surveys Jim critically, "I think we can both agree that that particular course of action would be a disaster."
"Instead, I propose a truce. If we are to tell our coworkers, we must present a united front."
"Yes. You stop pulling pranks on me and I, in return will…try to be kinder to you. And we will make decisions regarding our child together. Agreed?"
Jim considers this, then nods. He has a little girl to think about now. "Agreed."
Dwight holds out his hand, and they shake. Somewhere in the distance, Jim hears the screams of Hell's inhabitants come to a halt as it freezes over.
"I'm pregnant," Dwight announces on a Friday. Jim knows this because Pam had a Hot Pocket for lunch and she always has Hot Pockets on Fridays.
Phyllis and Oscar laugh. Angela frowns at what she deems to be a frivolous use of company time. Stanley doesn't even look up from his crossword puzzle.
"Good one, Dwight," Michael chuckles. "But if you want time off, you're going to have to come up with a better excuse than that."
"No, it's true," Dwight says, and lifts his shirt to show off his protruding belly.
Michael turns away and covers his eyes. "God, Dwight, put that thing away."
Dwight lowers his shirt. "I have sonograms," he offers, and holds out the stack of tests and sonograms and documents Dr. Horowitz has given him so far.
"So what?" Michael says as he rifles through them. "You could've faked these."
"Would you like me to get my doctor on the phone?" Dwight asks.
"No, I don't want you to call up your cousin Mose and have him pretend to be a doctor. God, Dwight, how stupid do you think I am?"
"It's true, Michael," Jim says, and stands close to Dwight. "He's really pregnant."
"Yeah, right. And how would you know, anyway?"
"Because," Jim says, and glances at Pam, who shrugs.
His thoughts exactly.
"Because it's mine."
Now Kevin and Meredith join in the laughing.
"It's true," comes a third voice, and they turn to find Toby standing by the door to the break room holding up a newspaper. "Here, look."
He offers the paper to Michael, who takes it and skims the article indicated by a large post-it note.
Michael looks up, looking frankly bewildered. "No way. This is a fake. I can tell because Toby's Photoshop skills are so crappy."
"It's real," Dwight says, and grabs Michael's free hand, pressing it against his stomach. "There, feel that? That's the baby."
Michael looks back and forth between Dwight and Jim for a long moment, then bursts out laughing. "Are you telling me that you two…" he says, gesturing between them.
"I'm taking the day off," Jim announces. "You coming Dwight?"
Dwight waits to see if Michael will stop laughing, and after two minutes have passed and Michael's giggles still fill the air, he nods.
"I made love to many people in the sixties, some of them men," Creed says with a shrug. "It's possible that a child got created. There would be no way of knowing."
"Babies are a gift," Angela informs the camera. "But not when they're the product of that! I can't believe they're going to have a gay baby. I simply can not believe it."
Dwight shows up to work on Halloween dressed entirely in green, with two…protuberances sticking out from behind his ears.
Jim stares at him for a long moment before asking, "What the hell are you supposed to be?"
"I'm Shrek!" Dwight announces happily. "Thought I'd use it," he gestures to his bulging abdomen, "to my advantage."
"So you decided to be an ogre?"
"What? It's kid-friendly."
Jim shakes his head. They have a truce. He's not going to make fun of Dwight, at least not while the health of his child depends on it.
"We have a doctor's appointment this afternoon."
"Yeah," Pam informs the camera with a forced smile that she can almost kid herself into believing. "Jim and Dwight are having a baby. I'm not sure why," she adds with a small laugh, "but Dwight's pregnant and they go to doctor's appointments together and…" her smile falters.
"This is weird," she says finally.
The documentarians don't argue.
"I think we should decorate her room pink," Jim says as they stroll through the baby store amongst the cribs and diaper pails.
"Pink is a weak color," Dwight informs him.
"Pink is a girl's color," Jim counters.
"My child will not be some weak-willed frilly pink thing," Dwight insists. "She will be a strong, intelligent, highly-trained force of nature." He pats his stomach to emphasize his point.
"You're going to enroll her in kung-fu classes before she starts kindergarten, aren't you?" Jim sighs.
"Someone has to teach her how not to be a pansy," Dwight replies, and has the audacity to augment his statement with a smirk.
"So just so we're clear," Jim says thoughtfully, "You get pregnant with my child—"
"—pregnancy being something that until now only women had experienced—"
"…you call me at four in the morning for assurances that our daughter won't be born with two heads…"
"It's a valid concern!" Dwight protests. "I don't know what kind of freaks you might have in your family tree. Just look at what the Halpert bloodline did to you!"
"…and let's not even think about how you got pregnant in the first place, because I think we can both agree that if one of us was submissive in that situation, it was you."
"I…simply chose to experience the act from the other side, as it were," Dwight responds haughtily.
"But no, no, no, if one of us is going to make our daughter too much of a 'pansy,' it's going to be me. You're absolutely right, Dwight. What was I thinking? You should definitely be the one to toughen her up."
"You're not funny," Dwight says after a moment's pause. "I hope she inherits her sense of humor from me."
"And if that's all she gets from you, I'll consider myself a very lucky father."
"No pink," Dwight replies as though Jim had not spoken.
"Fine. What about yellow?"
"Question: How should you test to see if the milk is too hot for the baby?" Dwight asks.
Jim heaves a sigh. "You squirt some of it onto your wrist. And I told you, I've been babysitting Sasha for years. I know how to take care of kids."
"You lie," Dwight replies simply.
"Toby told you, too."
"He works in human resources. You can't trust a word he says. Learn that, and learn it well, Jim. The father of my child will not be a gullible loser. I won't tolerate it."
Jim resists the urge to glance at the camera to point out the irony of Dwight's words.
He's been trying his best to ignore the cameras ever since he found out Dwight was pregnant. He knows that the documentarians want the "inside scoop" on it all, but they came here for a documentary about business, not Jim's tragic personal life, and that's exactly what they're going to get if he can help it.
"Fine. I can't trust Toby. Can I go back to work? If you want that kid to eat when it gets out, one of us has to make some money."
"It's not my fault that my numbers have dropped lately. Pregnancy hormones make a person less patient with idiocy."
"Just go back to reading What To Expect When You're Expecting, Dwight."
"I'm not reading What To Expect When You're Expecting," Dwight snaps. Then, after a pause, he mumbles, "I'm reading Cosmo. They've got a great article in here about losing the pregnancy weight."
Jim tries not to roll his eyes. He really, really does.
He also fails horribly. Oh, well.
He never claimed to be perfect.
Jim blearily forces his eyes open and glances at the clock. "Dwight, for the last time, my family does not have a history of liver failure. Go back to bed."
"That's not why I'm calling."
"I, um…" Dwight goes silent for a moment, and Jim wonders if maybe he's fallen asleep and is dreaming that Dwight hung up on him. "She's going to be born tomorrow and we still haven't picked out a name."
"Can't we do this after the C-section?"
"I don't want her to be born without a name," Dwight pleads, and Jim sighs. Dwight sounds every bit like an expectant mother.
"Fine," Jim says, propping himself up into a sitting position amongst his pillows. "What names did you have in mind?"
"I like Janet," Dwight says evenly.
"As in 'Dammit?'"
The line goes quiet for a moment, and Jim knows without seeing that Dwight is blinking confusedly at the phone.
"From Rocky Horror. You know, the song?"
"Isn't that the movie where the men wear bustiers and get up and dance?"
"Janet is off the table, then."
"Fine, how about Anna?"
"As in Banana?"
"The other kids made fun of your name at school, didn't they, Dwight?"
"They may have called me a kite on occasion, but that's rather beside the point."
"Fine, then you suggest a name."
"I like Helga."
"That's a very harsh name," Jim comments. "It makes me think of beefy Sweedish nursemaids."
Dwight sighs. "Then you pick one."
"Oh, wonderful, now our daughter is a Biblical whore. Have you heard the things Angela from accounting says about us? If we name our daughter that, she'll be smirking at the camera constantly."
"Why do you care about Angela's opinion?"
Dwight goes quiet for a moment, then says, "I believe it is your turn to choose a name."
"How about Charity?"
"I don't believe in charity. Hope?"
"Well, Jim, I'm running out of options!"
"So we'll wait until she's born and then pick something."
"I can't let my daughter be born without a name."
"Miracle?" Jim suggests.
"Oh, God," Dwight sighs. "I revoke your child naming privileges."
"I'm hanging up, Dwight."
"Fine, you can have your naming privileges back. But with that power comes responsibility, Jim. We can't just name our daughter something stupid."
"You're right, Dwight. A stupid name would be a tragedy."
"Are you calling my name stupid? I'll have you know that it's a family name and—"
"Dwight it's five thirty in the morning. I need to sleep. And so do you. Our daughter is being born tomorrow and all you're doing is revoking my naming privileges. So you know what? You pick a name and I'll see you in a few hours."
"Fine." The click of Dwight hanging up the phone some how manages to even sound angry.
"Wow," Jim says as Dwight, looking exhausted, hands him their daughter. "She's so beautiful."
"I'd like you to meet Mabel," Dwight says with a smile.
"Mabel? That's what you named our daughter?"
"I like it. Mabel Louise Halpert-Schrute."
"You put my name first? That was…unexpectedly decent of you."
"I think you'll find I am 'unexpectedly decent' quite often. Besides, 'Schrute-Halpert' didn't have the same ring to it."
"Well…thanks, Dwight," Jim says after a moment, and smiles down at his daughter. "Mabel is a…nice name."
"Mmm," Dwight says sleepily. "I'm just going to close my eyes for a moment."
"Say goodnight to your daddy, Mabel," Jim says softly. In his arms, their daughter closes her own eyes as well.