score

by zara hemla :: the office (us) :: phyllis & bob vance & todd packer :: pg :: go get 'em, honey.



Phyllis brings Bob to the Dunder-Mifflin Mid-June Soccer Tournament And Barbecue. She feels like she ought to. She has no idea whether she loves Bob, or wants to bring him to more office functions. But it seems like that's the thing to do, so she does it.

It's a cloudless summer day, and she feels the heat immediately as she steps out of her car with a bowl of potato salad. She hates hot days; she likes air conditioning; she wishes she could stay in the car. But Bob has opened the door for her, and she has to get out.

"Oh hey, honey, let me take that from you." He is such a gentleman. Phyllis never has to worry about that. She doesn't really like him calling her "honey," but it's such a small price to pay. They walk towards the large gathering at the other end of the field, and then Bob stops short.

"Todd Packer," he says, "I can't believe it." There's an odd tone in his voice, but Phyllis has no idea what it is, and she doesn't get a chance to ask. Michael comes bounding toward them in a referee's uniform and begins remarking on her outfit and the salad and the people and all the things he likes to talk about. She just tunes him out.

Phyllis is drafted, against her secret wish, to play on Pam's team. Pam gives her puppy-dog eyes and says, "If I have to play ...." And truly, they are both terrible soccer players, and Phyllis is afraid of Oscar and Jim, both on the other team. They look like they will kick the ball hard.

Before she goes in to play, she sits down laboriously to tie one of her tennis shoes. Bob sits down next to her, eating a chicken wing.

"Go get 'em, honey!" he says, but she really has nothing to say to that.

She sees Todd Packer coming over towards them and decides to sit there just for another minute, to catch her breath. Todd wanders over their way and then seems to make up his mind. He comes over and stands in front of Bob and says, "Hi, Bob, do you remember me?" He looks more serious than Pam has ever seen; he's usually cutting jokes at her expense, but this time he doesn't even look at her.

"Hi, Todd," says Bob. "I remember." He turns to her and says, "We used to meet each other on the road, when I was selling fridges for my dad and he was just starting in the paper business. It was, oh ... twenty-five years ago."

"I was only twenty-two," says Todd. Then Meredith, no doubt fueled up on vodka, comes running up to tell Phyllis that they need her, they need her now.

She plays about fifteen minutes and then has to sit down for a rest. Jim and Oscar haven't kicked the ball at her head yet, but you never can tell. She gets a cup of Gatorade and happens to glance over at the picnic table where Bob and Todd are still sitting. They have turned around so their backs are to her, but their heads are close together. She sees -- she thinks she sees -- Todd Packer put his hand on top of Bob's. Could it be? But she can't get a closer look, because Kelly sits down beside her and starts talking about how great Ryan looks in his uniform.

After the game they all sit down and eat. Michael has donned a chef's hat and does all the barbecuing. Phyllis's burger is redder than she likes it, but she doesn't say anything. She and Bob sit at one end of the enormous table, and Todd sits at the other, next to Michael. He is cracking jokes like a storm, keeping Kevin and Oscar and Jim in stitches. Bob eats his jello salad stolidly, not seeming to notice or care that they're supposed to be having fun. Phyllis picks at her burger and eats her carrot sticks. She wishes she'd stayed home.



--end--

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07.13.06