July 7th, 2009
|02:56 am - A Fifth Fourth (Angela) PG|
Title: A Fifth Fourth
Pairing/Character: Angela (Dwight/Angela)
Summary: Independence: Another Fourth of July. (A companion piece to Four Fourths.)
Word Count: 665
Spoilers: Company Picnic (not really)
Disclaimer: I don't own The Office or the characters, no copyright infringement is intended
July 4th, 2009
A kitchen should be hot, her mother had said, to remind oneself that cooking is work. Angela agrees with this sentiment almost, at least until the sweat starts to work it's way down her forehead. She runs her sleeve across her brow (a disgusting habit, albeit necessary) as she systematically puckers the edge of the pie crust against the pan. She likes making apple pies, doesn't mind the work, especially on the Fourth of July when she can feel that much closer to Betsy Ross. (Sewing her own American flag is still on her to-do list.)
Taking an appraising step backwards, Angela smiles cooly at her work, she's perfected the art, and feels pride swell in her breast. She hasn't felt a love for this sort of craftsmanship in a very long time, not since kitchens with antique tin colanders and handmade soap.
Dwight, of course, would've loved this pie, would've shared her passion in the kitchen, would've hummed America the Beautiful to himself and kissed the back of her neck to the syllables when he'd gotten to purple mountains majesties, sliding his hands across her hips, slipping beneath her apron. He would've done all these things had they not both made several fatal miscalculations, loved each other fiercely without actually understanding what they were loving.
But there was always a certain brutality in his eyes, she reminds herself quickly as she slides the pan into the oven before working the window above the sink open a crack, the slight breeze easing the oppression of the heat. It's nice to remember this fact, especially on days like today, holidays that make her recall their time spent together.
They are all better off, she tells herself, forearm on the windowsill, hot skin thirsty for cool air, because sometimes, at the right angle (or wrong angle, she can't decide) Princess Lady looks exactly like Sprinkles, so much so that Angela can almost feel that afternoon again, remember the way she'd doubled over against the refrigerator, muscle memory.
She thinks, Independence Day, and thanks God for such a thing.
The sun is setting when she checks her seat belt twice and starts up her car, the now cool pie in the empty seat beside her. The sky is orange towards the horizon, tangerine actually, and the pink settled between that and the dark purple above is a color she remembers vividly. Her fingertips, almost all of them, had been stained that same shade from a summer afternoon spent eating strawberries purchased at the farmer's market, and then only made more vibrant when she'd helped Dwight slice beets.
The red-pink juice had dripped down her wrists, her forearms. Spiritual, almost.
And yes, his eyes were cruel, but his hands had been different, soft when they patted the soil, a beet seed nestled safely beneath. Angela had always likened herself to that seed, something special that escaped his rougher edges, but she'd been wrong, of course, hadn't been protected one bit and probably hurt the most by his callousness. She still debates whether the mistake was more hers or his.
(She doesn't really want to know the answer. It makes her think of how his eyes must've stung at her own acidic mistakes.)
She's forgotten how long the gravel driveway goes, almost considers turning back before she sees the three of them in the fields, preparing the fireworks. Rolph is joining in this year and something vile is on her tongue when she spots his hideous hat from her car. His words had been a surprise. Her reaction even more.
The pie is placed on the front steps and Angela leaves quickly, hopefully unnoticed. She's not sure if it's intent is in futures or in pasts, mostly she just knows that Dwight of all people will appreciate how cleanly and uniformly she'd sliced the apples, counts on that fact actually when she hears his laughter on the wind and remembers almost sadly that others celebrate independence too.
aww, this was so great! i loved your previous story about Angela's 4th of Julys and I was so excited when i saw this one!
This is perfect, esp. this line:
He would've done all these things had they not both made several fatal miscalculations, loved each other fiercely without actually understanding what they were loving.
Dwangela lives on forever!
Thanks! That was my first real Office story so it was fun to return to something similar a year later :)