The Right To Remain Silent

by zara hemla :: the office (us) :: r :: angela's got a black belt in kissing. set before 1x20, "Drug Testing," when Dwight turns in his uniform.

The office is a hotbed of intrigue. Dwight knows that behind every corner and in every drawer, people are keeping secrets. He can feel it when he walks by; the whispers follow him everywhere. Secrets need to be made known. Secret-keepers need to be found out -- just, not yet.

And why not? First of all, because people owe him favors. When the time comes -- people like Oscar will pay and pay. No one can get away with crimes, with cheating the company. Not with Dwight K. Schrute on the case. No, their nasty little fetishes will be ferreted out and made public, or at least written down on a complaint form and submitted to Toby.

But there's a bigger reason, a reason even Dwight himself can't quite wrap his head around. He sits at his desk and listens to Jim's inane jabbering, he pretends to do work, and all the time he can feel her staring at him. Hear her moving around. He could swear on a Bible that sometimes he hears the swish of her hair against whatever jacket she's worn that day.

They had made out for an hour at the Christmas party, and that was a shock. She had seemed to uptight, so, well, Christian. Dwight can appreciate a church-going girl, but he has never met one who, once encouraged enough, could unwind enough to satisfy even a Schrute. But Angela's got a black belt in kissing; a mere purple belt doesn't stand a chance.

Dwight tells himself that by giving up control, he is really the one that's in control. It's the way he justifies the secret.

--

Late on a wintry Saturday night and Angela has come over as she sometimes likes to do. She will not call him, she will just show up. And if he isn't there, she will punish him all week with sidelong looks and lip-quirks, just to test his resolution.

He's on his bed in his underwear and she comes into the room, but she's found his deputy sheriff's uniform and she's wearing the hat and shirt. With her hair down, she looks like a girl from a Byzantine painting, all angelic face and gold halo, and her bare legs are very long.

She is tapping his baton against one hand, and she says, "Dwight Schrute, you have the right to remain silent." As she comes toward him, and then props her foot up on the bed, he squeaks at her complete lack of underwear.

"You're giving up that right?" she asks, and her mouth curves up into that hint of smile she drives him crazy with all week.

"Go ahead," he says, and puts out his hands to be cuffed. "Use it against me."

--

Jim has -- had -- a secret. It's out now, and Dwight thinks it's idiotic, just like everything Jim does. Who makes a play for a girl who's totally engaged? Stupid. Lame. No action there.

Kelly and Ryan think they're being sneaky, but Dwight sees all. Meredith pours vodka into her Sprite every morning at 9am. Oscar is such a work-skipper, and Creed steals almond bars from the machines. Dwight hasn't found secrets for Toby or Phyllis yet, but it's only a matter of time.

They think they're hiding it so well. They think they can flout the rules, cheat Michael out of time and candy, but someday there's going to be a reckoning. Someday, there's going to be Dwight.

He does a slow office scan, searching for miscreants. Over at the reception desk, Pam is reading Jim's palm. Ryan is out on an errand for Michael. Stanley is on the phone, talking slowly and doodling aimlessly with a company pen on company paper.

His gaze slides past Oscar (personal call) and Kevin (snacking on company time) and over to Angela. She is typing something into her computer, but then she turns her head -- as if she can feel his gaze! -- and looks at him. Then picks up a pencil and taps one end of it, lightly, into her other hand.

"Are you okay, Dwight? Hey, earth to Dwight!"

It's Jim, and Dwight tears his gaze away from Angela to look over at Mr. Annoying.

"What? I'm fine."

"Okay. It's just that you made this little, I don't know. Squeak. You squeaked."

"I did not!"

"Yeah, you ... Pam. Did he squeak?"

Pam's grinning that funny, cute grin of hers. "Yeah. He did, a little."

"You two think you're funny, but you're not." Dwight focuses down onto his papers. "I did not squeak." On the edge of his desk, the bobblehead Dwight is nodding, as if it too agrees with Jim. Oh, and it can agree all it wants, but at least it will keep his secret. At least, it will never tell.



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07.12.06