“Ben.” Ann smiled, answering the phone, seeing Ben’s name light up the screen.
“Hi, Ann. I’m trying to surprise Leslie next week. Is there any way you and Chris could make it to Pawnee?” He asked. “I can pay for your flight and everything, I just know Leslie is dying to see you.”
“Of course!” Ann exclaimed, making Ben laugh. “Leslie is so lucky to have you as a best friend.”
Best friend. Those words still felt like a stab in the chest for Ben. He loved Leslie a lot, but dating just wasn’t for them. They refused to make things seem weird, and they’ve managed to stay best friends. Ben was super thankful for that, he’d almost lost Leslie when he was stupid enough to push her away while she was working on her campaign.
Things got a little difficult when one day, Leslie called Ben, hopelessly confused and crying. Saying she had a crush on Ann, and she thought she was bisexual but she didn’t know. She didn’t know what she was yet, all she knew was that she loved Ann. As much as that pained Ben, he did what he could do. That one thing was taking her to Michigan.
One trip to Michigan four years ago, Leslie and Ann were dating. It absolutely killed both Ben and Chris to watch. Especially with Chris being the father of Ann’s child. As much as Chris wanted to give their kid home with two parents, Ann is a lesbian. He knew she was, which was why she decided to ask Chris to donate sperm in the first place. Chris knew that, so why does this pain him so much? With Leslie living far away, Ann has been struggling. They’ve been dealing with long-distance since that trip to Michigan, and Ann was tired of it.
“I think I’m gonna ask her to move in with me.”
And for the second time this phone call, Ben got stabbed in the chest.
“That’s amazing! I think she’s about ready to leave Pawnee.”
An absolute lie. They both knew it.
“I don’t think so, Ben.” She laughed. “I might come back to Pawnee with her. I know she’d do anything for me, but she’d love staying here.”
“What about Chris and your son?”
“That’s the one thing I don’t know what to do about. We’ll see when Chris and I come down.” Ann replied.
Ben nodded, even though Ann couldn’t see him. “She’d love it, Ann. She misses you.”
“We both know how she can get with long-distance, and I think it’d help her a lot if we were together.”
A few weeks later, Ann had arrived in Pawnee. She was hanging out in the Parks Department that City Hall gave Ben access to.
“Les,” Ben yelled, bursting into Leslie’s house. He ran up the stairs, and into her room. Once he reached the room, he ripped the covers off of her. “I have a huge surprise for you, come on!”
“Ben.” Leslie sighed, putting the pillow over her head. She was struggling today, she’d woken up much earlier to a text from Ann telling her she’s going to be super busy, she’ll text when she can and that she loves her. Leslie is not the clingy type. But when it comes to long-distance, she spirals, she overthinks. So to avoid the overthinking and spiraling, she went back to sleep.
“Trust me, Les, you’re going to want to wake up for this one.”
Leslie rolled out of bed as she heard Ben yell from downstairs, “Dress nice! We’re going to City Hall!”
She was confused as hell, but Ben was always full of surprises. She dressed in one of the outfits she’d normally wear while working for the Parks Department.
She came down the stairs, Ben already having a hot chocolate in hand for her. She smiled at him as he led her to the car. He was so unusually giddy it was almost scaring her.
“Ben? Are you all good?” She asked, chuckling. Ben nodded.
“Oh, I’m better than good Leslie Knope. Just wait until you see what I have in store for you.”
As he led her into City Hall, she brought up Ann. How much she missed her, how Ann was going to be busy all day today. Just went on about how she really needed the distraction.
“I’m sorry.” He frowned. “How about you tell her how much you miss her in person?” He suggested as he opened the doors, Ann coming around the corner.
“Hi.” Ann smiled, giggling as she watched her girlfriend tear up.
“Oh, Ann’s here.” She exclaimed, running towards her girlfriend. “Ann. Ann’s here.”
Leslie crushed Ann in a hug, loosening her grip to look at her and kiss her. Leslie was sobbing happy tears, as Ann rocked her, rubbed her back, and held Leslie close to her chest. Leslie sobbed into Ann’s shoulder, listening to Ann’s soft voice whispering sweet nothings into her ear. She missed that, listening to Ann say adorable things to her over a video call is one thing. But when Ann is right there, holding Leslie as if the second she let go she’d be back in Michigan, whispering how much she loved her into Leslie’s ear was something entirely different.
Leslie sat in her old chair, Ann was sitting atop the desk, in Leslie’s old office. Ann smiled, tucking a piece of Leslie’s hair behind her ear. Leslie’s head rested on Ann’s lap, closing her eyes at Ann’s touch.
“You wore my favorite suit.” Ann quipped with a giggle. Leslie nodded, melting into Ann as she continued running her fingers through Leslie’s hair.
“I can’t believe you’re here.” Leslie sighed sleepily.
“That best friend of yours is incredible. He had a flight booked for Chris and me and everything. He wanted me here so badly. All for you.”
Leslie picked her head up off of Ann’s lap. Ann followed her gaze and saw her looking out the window into the office at Ben, who was intently engaged in his conversation with Chris.
“Sometimes I feel bad.” Ann continued. Leslie nodded in agreement.
“Yeah, I do too. But how much I love you tops everything.”
Ann smiled, nodded. She leaned down to kiss Leslie. Kissing her always felt amazing. With them being so far apart all the time, Ann loved kissing Leslie.
“Hey. I’ve been thinking, what if we moved in together?” Ann asked. A huge smile broke out onto Leslie’s face.
“Really? Yes. Of course.” Leslie smiled. “I’ve always wanted to see Michigan.”
“Actually, I was thinking. What if we stayed in Pawnee?” Ann asked. Leslie’s jaw basically hit the floor.
“But what about Chris, Oliver, being close to family?”
Ann moved from the desk, to sit on Leslie’s lap. Leslie’s arm moved to Ann’s lower back.
“Family, we can always just go visit. Oliver would stay with us if that’s okay.” Ann began gently. Leslie nodded and smiled, clearly very on board with the idea.
“As for Chris, I was thinking, what if we got Chris and Ben an apartment together? They’re best friends so they’d make awesome roommates. That way Chris doesn’t have to be away from Oliver, and I’m not ripping you away from Ben.”
“Ben’s been looking for a roommate anyways. I’m in.” Leslie smiled, pulling Ann in to kiss her again.
“I love you so much.” Ann grinned, pulling away. The two left Leslie’s office and pitched the idea to Ben and Chris.
“It’ll definitely be a change, but if you two are happy that’s all that matters to me,” Chris commented.
“Yeah.” Ben agreed, without a thought. “I’ve been looking for a roommate anyways. I’m in.”
Ann and Leslie smiled at each other. Things were finally falling into place for them.
Leslie came in the door a little bit after Ann did. She walked in to see Ann sitting on the floor, while Oliver ran around the living room. When she shut the door, both Oliver and Ann dropped everything to greet her. She giggled as she scooped up Oliver, and leaned in to place a soft kiss on Ann’s lips.
“How was work, babe?” Ann asked, heading into the kitchen to finish off dinner.
“Good, quiet. I missed you a lot.” She smiled, as she held Oliver’s hands. He jumped up and down on the couch, before flopping down, bursting into a fit of giggles.
“I missed you too.” Ann giggled, coming into the living room just to drop a kiss on her neck. Leslie subconsciously moved her neck to give Ann better access. “Later Knope. He goes with Chris tonight.”
Chris came to pick up Oliver before they ate dinner, so they got a nice quiet meal together. Them having alone time is incredibly rare, as much as they loved having a little boy romping around the house, and making them laugh, they were looking forward to a night with just them.
“As much as I love him it’s so nice to have it be just us.” Ann sighed happily. Leslie nodded, taking her hand.
“I love you.” Leslie smiled softly.
“I love you, more.” She replied softly. The two cleaned up dinner together, skin bumping skin when it didn’t have to just because they’ve been so deprived of each other forever.
Ann dragged Leslie upstairs that night. They showered together, just to be near each other. It was all quiet “I love yous”, soft kisses, and just skin touching skin. When they finally dragged themselves to bed it was more of the same. Ann cuddled up to Leslie, while Leslie played with her hair making her sigh in contentment.
“Hey,” Ann said suddenly.
“Let me see it again.”
Leslie giggled, holding out her left hand so they both could admire the ring Ann put on her finger the week before.
Leslie tilted Ann’s head up so she could kiss her.
“You said yes,” Ann whispered looking up at Leslie.
“Yeah. I did.”