ryan paces around the carpeted room, dwight is trying to comfort him by pretending to ryan’s mother, and jim is on the couch, legs crossed and chin on his fist.
“-what if i screw up? there’s so many people here and like, if i mess up you won’t be vp and i’ll be fired and---” ryan runs his hand through his hair, he’s still pacing, and he really needs a sports drink.
“dwight,” jim says, he can’t stand his ryan like this.
“what?” dwight turns over to jim, he’s probably the most annoyed out of everyone.
jim looks at him. “leave.”
“what?” he repeats. jim is tired. ryan is stressed. jim wants to go back to the hotel and watch basketball.
jim sighs. “do you want ry to give his presentation or not?”
dwight turns and heads out the door without a word or a look back.
ryan hasn’t said a word this entire time, but he’s stopped pacing and his foot is tapping at a quick rate and jim’s heart aches at his boy.
jim gets up and pads over slowly to ryan. he approaches ryan like he is a fragile animal in need of help, as if he is glass that would break if jim says anything above a whisper.
jim wraps his arms around ryan’s waist and buries his nose in ryan’s hair. he presses kisses to ryan’s dark, messy hair. (but only they know how long it takes him to perfect his hair.)
jim feels ryan relax against his chest and jim hears ryan sigh and breathe and they don’t talk, they bask in the warmth of the other and time feels like it doesn’t exist and jim wants to stand like this forever.
they stand there together for a minute, arms around each other and jim’s nose in ryan’s hair and ryan’s face in jim’s neck and they are impossibly close and this does not feel out of place; this feels like where they both should be. this is home.
ryan breaks the comfortable silence by saying, “i don’t wanna do it.”
jim feels ryan’s warm breath on his neck and jim kisses his head again and he replies, “i know, baby.”
“what if i mess up?” ryan’s voice is soft, as to not disturb jim’s ears, he is timid in this moment, fragile and unwilling.
“but you won’t,” jim smiles.
“but i will,” ryan argues, without much venom. ryan could never feel any emotion for jim that isn’t complete adoration and love.
“hey, you’re capable of this, ry. i know you are. i believe in you and you’re smart and you can do it and i love you.”
ryan makes a soft whimpering sound and buries his face deeper into jim’s neck.
“hey, hey,” jim lifts ryan’s head up with a finger and presses soft kisses on his forehead, then to his cheeks, then to the tip of ryan’s nose and down to ryan’s jaw line before coming up to kiss ryan’s lips, soft and gentle and sweet.
jim kisses ryan feather light, he is soft with his boy and this is not a kiss to benefit him, this is a kiss to benefit his ryan and this is a kiss of encouragement.
ryan has to tiptoe to kiss jim, but he kisses jim back a touch more rougher but it doesn’t matter, jim seeps confidence into ryan and maybe, just maybe, ryan can do this.
jim pulls back and he whispers against ry’s lips, “i love you.”
“i won’t let you down.” ryan says. ryan could let anyone down, sabre, andy, robert california, but never jim. jim’s the only important person ryan has and he doesn’t want to disappoint jim.
“that’s my boy.” jim says, he is proud of his boy and seeing ryan confident and happy and successful, well, nothing really compares to that.
“--and that, my friends, is why you should choose sabre.” ryan finishes, grinning.
the powerpoint closes and applause is released into the room and ryan is happy. he didn’t mess up and he made jim proud and that’s all that really matters.
ryan spots jim in the crowd and jim gives him a proud smile and a thumbs up.
minutes later, jim waits in the backroom like dwight, erin, cathy, and the rest of them.
ryan walks through the door and dwight says to him, “you really did it, kid.”
ryan doesn’t hear him because jim has picked ryan off the ground and jim spins both of them around.
jim pins ryan to the wall and reaches up to kiss ryan. ryan’s hands are on jim’s neck and ryan kisses jim firmly and cathy and erin are whistling in the background but it doesn’t matter. none of it matters. as long as jim is proud of him.
ryan pulls away and says to jim softly, “i did it.”
“you did it!” jim exclaims, “i knew you could do it! i’m so proud of you, ry!”
ryan smiles and jim lets him down and he yells. “this is my boy! he made this sabre project happen!”
“yeah, ryan!” erin congratulates him and yeah, maybe he didn’t think about everyone else being proud of him, but he welcomes it, anyway.