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26 February 2010 @ 09:15 pm
The Process of Making Amends [Parks & Rec; Ron/Leslie]  
TITLE: The Process of Making Amends
PART 4
FANDOM: Parks & Recreation
PAIRING: Ron/Leslie
SPOILERS: Sweetums (2.15)
RATING: PG
SUMMARY: Ann's words have been sticking in her head ever since they had that conversation about courting. She still doesn't think that's a word, but she'll give Ann the benefit of the doubt because she's prettier.


*****

Leslie decides to do a little investigative work the next few times Ron takes her out "as a way to make amends" -- even though it's been like a month now since they were fighting and he is well aware he doesn't need to make amends anymore. Ann's words have been sticking in her head ever since they had that conversation about courting.

She still doesn't think that's a word, but she'll give Ann the benefit of the doubt because she's prettier.

So when Ron takes her to dinner one night, Leslie puts him through a couple of tests (with Ann's prior, and secret, coaching). When he makes a joke, Leslie giggles and lays her hand on his arm. This earns her a smile. When he's about to order something for her, Leslie jumps in to correct him by grabbing his hand -- he doesn't let go right away, and when he does, he gives her hand a little squeeze. When they leave the restaurant and head for the car, she purposefully walks in the wrong direction and, just as Ann predicted, Ron's hand settles in the small of her back to correct her path.

The ride back to her place is tense, and Leslie can't stop thinking about everything that's just happened -- about how Ann is right, basically, and now she doesn't know what to do.

Ron glances over at her briefly while changing lanes. "You're awfully quiet tonight."

Leslie looks out the window, wondering why she suddenly feels as if she's been married for a year. This feels like a married conversation. "Just thinking."

"'Bout what?"

"Nothin.'"

Ron leaves it at that, and for that, Leslie's thankful.

He walks her to the door, this time with his hand just barely touching her elbow as he guides her along, and Leslie's stomach is doing a bunch of weird stuff. Turning and flopping, and... fluttering, maybe? It's really hard to tell. Ann can't be right about this, it's just not possible. Ron doesn't like her like this -- like he's been secretly wooing her and taking her on covert dates. Ann's so wrong. She's gotta be. Leslie will prove it.

So when they stop at her front door, she takes a deep breath, prepares herself, and turns to face him. "Ron, kiss me."

"Excuse me?"

"I think that... maybe you should kiss me." When she catches the way he's staring at her, all confused and kinda scared, she clarifies. "It's just been a really strange month and Ann keeps saying you've got a thing for me, and I think maybe if you just kiss me really quick, then I can prove to her that you don't like me that way and that nothing--"

Ron's mouth cuts her off. She'd expected it to be terrible, totally weird and awkward, but somehow... it's not. She'd thought maybe his mustache would tickle her too much, and it kinda does, but not really in a bad way like she expected. He doesn't kiss her all sloppy and gross and there's no tongue at all, it's just... his lips moving against her lips and his hands on her face and hers on his wrists and when he pulls away, her back is against the door and they're both kinda out of breath.

"Wow. Um..." She presses her lips together and can still taste the traces of scotch from his lips. "That didn't exactly go as I planned."

Ron frowns at her, and she realizes the warmth she feels against her waist is from his hands still resting there. "And how exactly had you planned this?"

"Well I thought it was gonna be weird and kinda gross, and we wouldn't feel anything so I could tell Ann that she was definitely wrong."

"And? Was it weird?"

"Weird? Um... kind of." Off his look, she tilts her head. "Only because it's... you and me."

"I see." He nods, and his hands still haven't left her waist. She feels like maybe she should ask him to move them, but she doesn't. "And..." he searches her eyes. "Was it gross?"

She thinks long and hard about that for a second and remembers the kiss in a split-second before she shakes her head. "No. It wasn't gross. It was... nice."

"Nice." She can't tell if Ron's pleased with that or offended by it.

"Yeah. Weird, but nice."

He nods for a few seconds, then says, "Okay," and Leslie nods back, glad that they've got that sorted out.

Then suddenly he's leaning in and kissing her again and Leslie's not stopping him; her hands are on his arms and his arms are around her waist and she even feels herself lean up on her tiptoes to get a little closer. Her stomach's going all nuts again, getting all fluttery, but... she thinks it might feel pretty good, actually, and--

Aw crap, she's just realized Ann was right.

But then there's more kissing, and Leslie kinda forgets to be disappointed she can't prove her friend wrong, and instead she asks Ron if he wants to come in for some coffee.

**

Ann's on her almost immediately the next day.

Well... not on her on her, because that would be really inappropriate, and Tom would probably ask if he could film it or something gross like that. But, y'know, she's on her for details. And Leslie is bound and determined not to say anything incriminating, because she did have a very nice night last night, with Ron, as strange as that sounds.

But then Ron comes in and he's all energetic and happy to see everyone, and then Ann notices that he's wearing his red shirt and black pants, and well... there goes the whole 'nothing incriminating' thing.

Yeah, she kinda slept with Ron a little bit. And much like the kissing, it was weird the first time but the second time was really good. She inadvertently says this to Ann and Ann just about blows a gasket. She actually gets a mixed bag of reactions from her -- on one hand, Ann is really happy for her, and loudly -- she kinda has to ask her to keep her voice down. On the other hand, she looks a little weirded out like she just ate a bad burrito or something. Leslie figures Ann just needs time to adjust to the fact that she has to share her now.

Ron comes by later that afternoon while Tom's out getting a piggy-back ride from Andy and April's off hanging out at the shoe-shine stand. He leans against her desk just a little and greets her with a tilt of the head. "Deputy."

She smiles. "Director, Sir."

"I, uh..." He glances around, making sure nobody will be witness to whatever he's about to say or do, and oh God, is he going to suggest sex in the office? Because she's so not ready for that. "I had a wonderful time last night."

Leslie smiles, relieved that she won't be asked about desk sex anytime soon. Or at least not for today. "So did I."

"Weird, huh?"

She can't help but laugh. "Well... it is you and me."

"Yeah." And Ron smiles, and the way he says his next sentence makes her stomach go all fluttery again. "It's you and me."

And maybe what's weirdest is that that doesn't sound weird at all.


*****

The whole her-and-Ron thing has been going on for pretty much a year, now. Ann's okay with it -- she was okay with it really fast, actually. Now she calls them the "McMarrieds," which kinda makes them sound like one of those annoying couples from Grey's Anatomy or something, but Leslie still thinks it's cute. Ron, surprisingly, still does all of that sweet stuff he did when he was pretending to apologize -- he still leaves her candy necklaces and gets her flowers from time-to-time. He's pretty much claimed that spot at the small of her back for himself, and Leslie doesn't mind his acts of chivalry. He still uses the booze chart unless he's in one of his moods, in which case Leslie does her thing and sits on his car until he's less drunk and less grumpy.

They haven't changed that much, though. He still calls her 'woman' when she's, in his words, "annoying the piss out of him," and Leslie still makes him put on a jacket when he goes outside in the cold to smoke his cigars. They've argued over his eating habits and he's gotten on her for her excessive use of whip cream (though he doesn't seem to mind when she suggests that they bring it into the bedroom). They're still them, but just... together now. He has a drawer at her place and she has some of her work suits hanging in his closet. And that harp he made to prove his point a year ago is now sitting on her mantel.

There are some things that are different though, in ways both obvious and not. He doesn't call her 'Deputy' anymore, because she's not the Deputy anymore -- she's the Director of Parks and Recreation now. And she doesn't call him 'Director,' because he's with Public Safety. That change happened about a week ago, and tonight Ron is taking her out to celebrate their new jobs... and because it's Valentine's Day and he wanted to stage another protest.

This time they get the string quartet to play 'Oops... I Did It Again,' and laugh about it while having their very non-romantic dinner of mini corn dogs (off the kid's menu) and walleye fingers.

"Well..." Ron raises his glass of whiskey in a toast and Leslie does the same with her wine. He tilts his head at her and toasts, "To new beginnings."

Leslie echoes him and clinks her glass against his, smiling at him over the rim while she takes a sip. "Can you even believe we're here after a whole year?"

"I was certain we would've killed each other by now," Ron jokes, and she giggles. "By this time in my last two relationships, I was already married and wanting out. And we were trying to kill each other in various ways."

"A-ha, but I am not a Tammy, you see," she grins, and they clink glasses again.

"No you are not, which is why this relationship remains infinitely better than any other."

On the drive home, this time it's Ron that's quiet, so like he did last year, Leslie breaks the silence. "You're awfully quiet."

"Just thinking," he tells her, and he's got that look on his face like he's contemplating something either really confusing or really unpleasant. She hopes it's just confusing.

"'Bout what?"

"You," he says, and squeezes her knee a little before returning his hand to the steering wheel.

Leslie's satisfied with that answer until they get to her door and Ron still looks a little confused about something. "Everything okay?"

"Yeah. Leslie, what time is it?"

She checks her phone. "Couple minutes past midnight. Why?"

She then finds herself pinned to her front door with Ron's lips on hers, and she smiles, immediately filling in the blanks -- because he wanted to make sure Valentine's Day was over before he did anything romantic. She pulls away still smiling. "I see," she teases.

"Yeah. I just wanted to make sure it was definitely February fifteenth before I did this."

Ron reaches into his pocket then and takes out a little black box, and Leslie's thoughts go really, super quiet. She thinks that even years later when asked, she won't be able to remember the way Ron did this, because all she can see is him kneeling in front of her, his mouth moving, but she can't seem to understand any of the words. She just barely comes back to herself enough to realize he's staring expectantly at her, and then it's just knee-jerk to nod and throw her arms around him.

When they're recovering from the post-engagement sex, Ron sees her staring at the ring and tells her that that's the reason he'd asked for the transfer to Public Safety. And that he'd been half-planning that move ever since their tenth date when he realized he loved her more than any dark-haired woman and breakfast food... combined.

Yeah. Ron loves her more than breakfast food. Imagine that.

All this because he wanted to make amends a year ago. If this is how well things are always going to turn out when he acts like a jerk, Leslie thinks maybe he should be a jerk more often.

No way is she ever gonna tell him that, though.



FIN




{x-posted to ronleslie and parksandrec}
 
 
 
(Deleted comment)
a.: parks; tammyregalish on March 2nd, 2010 10:43 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much!! So glad you enjoyed this fic. I definitely want to attempt some more Ron/Leslie very soon; they're an absolute delight to write for.

I actually really want to tackle that Leslie/Duke Silver prompt you gave me forever ago. I started something awhile ago, hated it and scrapped it. I shall try again!!

And hee, the small of the back thing was actually a shout-out to a few different OTPs of mine -- but technically, that love of the hand-on-the-small-of-the-back, for me, started with Mulder and Scully. :D
(Deleted comment)
a.regalish on March 3rd, 2010 08:28 pm (UTC)
YES! Those spoilers are getting me all excited for tomorrow's show! I am going to be shamelessly trolling my download comms looking for a link, lol.

Haha! Everybody needs more of the Duke in their life ;)

And heeee, Jack/Liz was definitely in mind along with Mulder/Scully when I did the hand-on-the-small-of-the-back thing. It's too pretty.
lz1982lz1982 on February 27th, 2010 10:17 pm (UTC)
Awww, that was so cute. (And I was thinking the same thing as doesnt_go_away, about the "small of her back" thing reminding me of another couple.) I loved the proposal scene.
a.regalish on March 2nd, 2010 10:44 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much!! (And hehe, the small-of-the-back thing was a total shout-out to Mulder/Scully, personally -- though it definitely would apply to plenty of other OTPs too :D)
berserk_dragonberserk_dragon on February 27th, 2010 11:30 pm (UTC)
A great ending to a very great fic. I really enjoyed reading this.
Thanks for writing such amazing Ron/Leslie fic!:]
a.regalish on March 2nd, 2010 10:45 pm (UTC)
Aww, thank you!! I'm so happy you enjoyed this fic, because I definitely had fun writing it. :D
(Anonymous) on March 1st, 2010 01:17 am (UTC)
great story first story i've read of this pairing and you have converted me :)
a.regalish on March 2nd, 2010 10:45 pm (UTC)
Thank you!! So glad I could convert you, hehe -- these two are so delightful together :D
Uther Pendragon's Loyal Wench: parks - ron leslie futurefirthgal on March 2nd, 2010 04:04 am (UTC)
Dooooooooh! OMG, sweetest ending ever. THEM BEING ALL SMILEY THE DAY AFTER THEY SLEPT TOGETHER. And oh, that kiss, so lovely. And the glimpse of them a year later! The proposal was so utterly perfect. Loved this!
a.regalish on March 2nd, 2010 10:47 pm (UTC)
HEEEEEE! Thank you thank you!! So glad you liked it. I totally had that kiss situation planned out from chapter one, lol -- I just built the rest of the fic around it. They probably need to kiss on the show soon, Y/Y??

...Well okay, they should at least hug. That would be adorable.