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15 February 2010 @ 06:02 pm
The Process of Making Amends [Parks & Rec; Ron/Leslie]  
TITLE: The Process of Making Amends
PART 3
FANDOM: Parks & Recreation
PAIRING: Ron/Leslie
SPOILERS: Sweetums (2.15)
RATING: PG
SUMMARY: "Leslie, it... it sounds like Ron's trying to court you."


*****

So Ron takes her to a documentary at the art house. And it ends up being really good. A lot of it is about the oceans, and Leslie's always loved sea creatures.

Mostly because of 'The Little Mermaid,' but also 'Finding Nemo.'

Ron really seems to enjoy the documentary too. Or at least that's what Leslie thinks, since the few times she looked over at him while it was playing, he was smiling up at the screen in this kind of sweet way. Sweet for Ron, anyway. It's that cheek dimple thing, she thinks.

After it's over, Ron suggests they grab a quick bite to eat at this nearby place called SmashBurger; Leslie agrees because, to be honest, movie popcorn's never really been her thing. And they didn't have any candy necklaces at the concession stand.

"You know, I really admire sea horses," he tells her, while they sit in the car having their burgers and splitting an order of fries.

"Really?" She munches on a fry. "Why?"

"The men carry the offspring. That takes balls."

Leslie grins. "Well, sure. Or, male sea horse parts."

"I'm just saying it takes a real man to be able to carry a child."

"Are you saying that women are real men?"

"Leslie, I've always admired a woman's ability to create a life. It's why you remain genetically superior to men."

"Wow." She definitely hadn't been expecting that. Especially from Mister Ron Manly-Man Swanson.

"Wow what?"

She smiles, picking at the lettuce on her burger. "Nothing, I just... never would've thought you of all people would... think stuff like that."

"A man can be manly and still have a great admiration for the gentler sex."

"Hey now," she warns, shaking a french fry at him.

"Fine, the superior sex," he corrects, and she nods her approval.

"Thank you very much, sir."

"You're welcome."

The rest of their drive-in dinner is pretty fun; they listen to the oldies music that plays from somewhere above them, while Ron pretends not to check out the cute waitresses with the short skirts on roller skates. Leslie maybe teases him a little about this.

He drives her home again, and this time he walks her to the door. "Well, Leslie, thank you for another lovely evening."

"Thank you, Ron, for inviting me to see that movie. It was great."

"I'm glad you enjoyed it."

"See ya tomorrow?" She smiles.

"Absolutely. Um..." Ron glances around her yard for a minute, looking for... something, Leslie's not sure, before he turns back to her looking kind of unsure of himself.

That's when he leans in just a little and gives her a little peck on the cheek. Leslie kinda looks at him in surprise for a second, though she can't help the smile, and Ron smiles back, following up by giving her one of those soft rabbit-punches on the arm. "G'night, Knope." And then he heads pretty quickly for his car.

"Later, Swanson!" Leslie calls after him, and heads inside, watching as he drives off.

It's kinda weird that she's still smiling, but she shrugs it off and instead goes to find her Planet Earth DVDs.

**

Ron's little apology process goes on for another couple weeks. It's just simple stuff, really. They're out trying to get some sponsors for the next Parks Department event and he buys her a CD she sees that she's been wanting to listen to. Another time, they go back to the Sweetums company to sever their contract for the Nutri-Yums and Ron turns a blind eye while Leslie grabs all the candy she can fit into her purse (and she made sure to bring the really big one that day).

One afternoon they have to do a park inspection at Ramsit Park, and Ron buys her ice cream afterward. He tells her they can't bring it back to the office without getting stuff for everyone else, so instead they just sit on one of the benches by the lake and watch the ducks while enjoying their frosty treats.

Other times, he takes her to dinner when they've both been working late. Sometimes he walks her to the door, sometimes he doesn't. But more often than not, she gets a kiss on the cheek and a little friendly shoulder-punch. It's sweet, and it almost feels kinda nice that they have this little routine.

When she tells Ann about it, though, Ann gets kinda weirded out. Leslie's not sure why, Ron's just being a nice guy after all trying to make amends. Even if she can't really remember what they fought about in the first place, it's still a nice gesture.

"Leslie, um... I really don't think he's trying to apologize anymore."

"Are you sure? Because he keeps saying that he is."

"I know." Ann kinda looks down, as if searching for the right words to say. "Leslie, it... it sounds like Ron's trying to court you."

Her eyes widen. "What?"

"Yeah."

"He's taking me to court? Why?! I didn't do anything!" She's about to get up and storm into his office -- damn that Ron Freakin' Swanson -- when Ann gently stops her.

"No, Leslie, Leslie. Easy. Breathe."

Leslie listens to her friend and takes a breath, sitting down when Ann tells her to. "Why is Ron taking me to court? Did he say something to you?"

"I think you misheard me. It seems like Ron's... courting you."

"Courting? That's not a word. Court's not a verb, Ann. Aww." She tilts her head. "You're so pretty. Like a dumb blonde." And she grins at her super-awesome joke, because hah -- she's the blonde, not Ann.

Ann just smiles indulgently. "I know. I mean courting in the old-fashioned sense. Leslie..." Ann reaches over and takes her hand, like she's about to tell her she has cancer or something.

Wow, she really hopes Ann doesn't tell her she has cancer.

"It sounds like Ron has been taking you on dates."

"What?" Leslie wrinkles her nose now, and laughs a little, because... yeah, what? "Ann, you're pretty, but super crazy."

"Just think about it for a minute. How many times has he taken you to dinner in the last three weeks?"

Leslie counts off on her hands, frowning when all fingers of both are all used up. "More than ten?"

"How many times have you guys gone to the movies?"

"Three."

"Has he taken you out for drinks?"

"Only with dinner, and he makes sure never to get to the 'impaired' level -- he always follows my booze chart."

Ann nods. "Okay, so he's respecting your principles. Does he open doors for you?"

"Sure, but he's always done that."

"Does he walk you to your door at the end of the night?"

"Sometimes."

"Has he ever kissed you?"

"Only on the cheek when he walks me to the door, and then he always punches me right after."

Ann frowns in confusion then. "In the face?"

"No! On the arm."

"Arm-punches," she nods, "Interesting," and suddenly it's like Ann's the dating expert.

"Why? What do arm-punches mean?"

"Well, it's been said that arm-punches are the platonic-friends' version of sex."

"What?!" Leslie has to laugh at that, because... again, what? "They're not even sexy!"

"I know." Ann throws a glance over her shoulder into Ron's office, where he's talking on the phone with someone. Probably with Mark, about fantasy football or something. She remembers one dinner where Ron was extolling the virtues of the fantasy football leagues.

That was a long dinner, she's gotta say.

"Leslie, I just... don't take my word for it, but I'm just saying, that's what all of this sounds like. It sounds like Ron is courting you, the old-fashioned way." After a beat, Ann lays it all out there. "I think Ron has a thing for you."

"No he doesn't. He's... Ron!" She shrugs. "He's my boss, first of all."

"Yeah. Yeah, that's a little sticky, but just from what you've told me, and from everything I've seen since I've known you guys, it just... seems like he's kinda leaning that way."

"Huh." Leslie looks over again, through the glass into his office, and this time he catches her stare.

He smiles a little and gives a half-salute, calling out, "Deputy!"

Leslie smiles back, just barely since her stomach's doing some pretty weird stuff and smiling makes her feel like she could throw up; she flutters her fingers a little bit in a wave and looks back at Ann. "He likes me?"

Ann nods. "I think so, yeah." Ann watches her for a second before she speaks again. "Do you like him?"

Leslie stares at her desk blotter as she thinks back over the past few weeks, wishing she knew how to answer Ann's question.

There's no way she could like Ron... like that.

Right?



TBC



Like what you've read? Why don't you watch or join the community?

{x-posted to ronleslie and parksandrec}
 
 
 
berserk_dragonberserk_dragon on February 16th, 2010 12:53 am (UTC)
Darn you TBC, darn you!
Aww this is too cute, seriously. You write each character so perfectly! It all seems SO believable.
The whole punching discussion was hilarious. :D
*claps* Keep it up!
a.regalish on February 23rd, 2010 02:27 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! I should have more ready soon :)
(Deleted comment)
a.regalish on February 23rd, 2010 02:27 pm (UTC)
Thank you!! I do so much love the Leslie/Ann BFF'ness :D

More is on its way!
ameezfollie20 on February 17th, 2010 12:23 am (UTC)
TBC - those three little letters are the bain of my life right now!
omg please continue...this is such a cute story...love leslies leslie-isms lol
HURRY! lol
a.regalish on February 23rd, 2010 02:27 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! Glad you're enjoying this still. I hope to have more posted soon :)