Title: The Madonna and the Whore
Fandom: The Office
Disclaimer: I don’t own them, don’t claim to, and make no profit.
Archiving: This will be at www.realmoftheshadow.com/harper with the rest of my drivel. Thanks to Kim for archiving it.
A/N: There’s not much to this. You can reach me at email@example.com if you want to make any comments.
Karen couldn’t quite believe that no one in the office had noticed how sexy Pam was. The observation, as bizarre as it was, had prompted an epiphany, as the realization of the underlying phenomenon came to her as a universal truth she’d never before had the insight to comprehend.
Some girls were lusted after. Some girls were loved.
She was the former, but more importantly, Pam was the latter. Pam was hearts and flowers and candy and love poems. She was a collection of stuffed animals won at fairs and from the inside of claw machines. Pam was shining goodness and blind devotion.
She was the Madonna, but never the whore.
Karen had only noticed this because of her passive-aggressive scheming. Jim had told her that he still had feelings for Pam and she’d seen the truth of it in his dopey, big brown eyes. She’d thought briefly about punching him rather squarely in the nose, mainly because it would have made her feel better, but had decided to leave the situation with her dignity intact.
At the time, she’d congratulated herself on her restraint.
Revenge was a dish best served cold anyway, if the platitude was to be believed, and she was more than willing to wait if the payoff was worth it. In this case, her anger was such that she could almost guarantee that it would be, though she hadn’t hit upon the idea for her plan for almost a week.
Karen had a hunch – not based on any evidence or objective fact – that if she played her cards right, Pam would go for it. It being her. Sex with her.
That would most certainly show Jim.
At first she’d felt dirty for even contemplating the plan, because it was one thing to use a man for her own purposes but quite another to use a woman. It was a sisters-in-arms kind of thing, though she doubted that if born in another time she would have been a suffragette or feminist or anything else that would have taken that much single minded intensity.
Then she noticed the sexiness.
A lot of it was in the eyes, though the smile did its fair share of enticing. Both were devilish, mischievous. But, because Pam was a girl who was loved, Karen figured that most people saw the eyes and the smile as playful. She knew better.
The eyes and the smile made promises – naughty promises. They stripped her, fucked her, sometimes even tied her up, and always left her yearning for more. They were good. Very, very good.
It quickly became an obsession. She drove herself crazy with it, literally crazy, to the point of bringing her psychoticism with her wherever she went. Soon, the very sight of a sweater set left her weak in the knees.
It would have been a good plan, if she’d remembered that the plan was the reason for watching Pam, for spending breaks and time normally wasted on trying to hide the fact that she was playing solitare focusing instead on ways to bring about this incredibly important thing she had decided must happen.
Pam liked pranks? Pam shared a special simpatico with Jim because of their shared love of pranks?
Karen could do pranks.
Jim enlisted Pam’s help to glue all of Dwight’s paper clips into a ball that would never, ever allow itself to be shaken free of his paperclip holder? Karen could admit that was funny, particularly when Dwight held the melded ball of now useless paper clips aloft and ranted aloud for 15 minutes about misuse of office supplies and the lack of respect in the workplace. It was good. It was distracting. It was classic.
She could do better.
So Karen enlisted Pam’s help in gluing shut all of the drawers on Dwight’s desk. She didn’t tell Pam what she was planning and she didn’t reveal her methods, but the way Pam struggled to keep her grin in check while pretending to be clueless awakened her inner Neanderthal. On the outside Karen looked blandly innocent. On the inside she was standing on her desk and screaming out her superiority while beating her chest in triumph. Dwight spent the rest of the day jerking uselessly at drawer handles and muttering, the occasional hate-filled ‘Halpert’ whispering from his glued-in corner of the world.
Karen didn’t mind the misplaced credit. Pam knew who had done it, and that was all that mattered.
Jim unconsciously recognized the challenge, and even if he couldn’t explain it, he found himself escalating their little war. By the end of the week, Dwight looked positively terrified of every small motion, and unbelievably, was even more paranoid than before. He’d taken to inspecting his desk for IED’s every morning, and though Pam thought that his melodrama was a little over the top, she almost couldn’t blame him.
On Friday she stayed late, partly out of a misplaced concern for Dwight that made her nauseated and confused, and caught Karen just as she was about to affix a block of something to the underside of Dwight’s desk. It had a short fuse running out of it, and Pam was afraid that it was real until she caught a whiff of the tangy smell of freshly opened Play-Doh.
“This is getting creepy. And scary. And weird,” she said, gently taking the fake explosive out of Karen’s hands. “He’s already on edge and the fact that I’m scared for Dwight’s sanity makes me question my own.”
Karen looked properly chastised, down on her knees behind Dwight’s desk, hands gummy and cold from the Play-Doh. She wanted to speak, but could only nod dumbly.
Pam sighed, then held out her hand. “So, why don’t you get up from there and maybe we can go get a beer and you can explain this to me?”
This was why Pam was loved, Karen realized. And this is why she had to try something different.
She took Pam’s hand, letting the other woman pull her to her feet, but once standing didn’t let go. Pam looked down at their still joined hands in confusion then back up at Karen, a look of concern on her face, but Karen only tightened her grip.
“I want you,” she said bluntly, deciding to put it all on the line. “I think you’re sexy. I think you’re beautiful, and I want you.”
She said the last part slowly, deliberately, eyes serious as she looked into Pam’s. She didn’t want there to be any miscommunications or misunderstandings. She didn’t want to get trapped in a vicious cycle of hearts and flowers and candy.
Pam, for her part, looked shocked. “Oh, okay.” Then her eyes narrowed shrewdly, hesitation in her voice as she asked, “Is this about Jim?”
Three weeks before, and Karen would have been lying when she said, “No. This has absolutely nothing to do with Jim.”
Pam’s smile was slight, barely even there. It sent a chill through Karen nonetheless.