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20 January 2013 @ 10:09 pm
Fic: Witness Protection, part 19/??  
Title: Witness Protection, part 19/??
Fandom: Parks and Recreation
Characters/Ships: Ben/Leslie, Chris/Ann, Andy/April, Ben/Pawnee, ensemble
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: ~ 4,700
Summary: When corporate whistleblowers Ben Adams and Chris Robinson barely escape an attempt on their lives, they gladly accept the protection of the Federal Witness Protection program. What they don't count on is being sent to a city that feels more like something out of a movie or a sitcom than real life: Pawnee Indiana. An AU starting in "Master Plan."
Author's Notes: Once again, I haven't been great about replying to comments. But I read and adore each and every one of them. They really help keep me pumped about finishing this epic of mine, so keep 'em coming. Love you all! Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18



By the time eight o'clock rolled around, Leslie felt ready to jump out of her skin. She swiped the mop across her kitchen floor with a tense furiousness that she normally only brought to work projects.

She'd already done the dishes, started a load of laundry, scrubbed her toilet and bathroom sink and written a few memos. And Ben still hadn't called.

How long was this meeting supposed to last? It wasn't like they were packing up and moving away tonight.

She froze, the mop hovering over the ground, dripping a steady stream of pine-scented suds on the ground. Oh god. What if they were moving out tonight, and he just hadn't wanted to tell her?

Her heart raced in her chest and she set the mop down with a splat, before sinking into the nearest kitchen chair.

No, she thought. I'm over-reacting. He wouldn't do that me. He wouldn't leave without saying goodbye.

She took a few steadying breaths before returning to her mopping, the temporary panic now under control. Until it occurred to her that maybe it wasn't Ben's choice. Maybe the marshals had bundled him and Chris up and hauled them away before they had a chance to protest.

How dare they?

Leslie had almost worked up enough ire to dial up the Indianapolis Federal Marshals office to lodge a formal complaint when her phone finally rang.

Thank god. "Hey Ben!" she answered as cheerily as she could, trying not to think about the fact that at the worst he could be calling to say goodbye and at the best he spent the evening discussing the schedule for his imminent move. "I was just catching up on some chores. Keeping up with the daily grind. Focusing on my place. My home sweet home. And I wasn't thinking of you. At all. But I'm glad to hear from you. How did your meeting go?" There. That didn't sound too obsessive. Did it?

"Uh . . ." Ben sounded puzzled, ". . . it went fine, I guess. Are you okay? Do you want me to come over tonight?"

"Yes!" She stopped and took a breath. "I mean, yes to both. I'm fine, and I'd love to see you tonight. If you want to?"

"I do. I do want to."

"Okay."

"I'll be there in ten minutes."

"See you then."

Leslie did her best to act casual when he arrived, offering him some coffee and throwing out a few laid-back questions about when he thought he'd start packing. So why did Ben seem so fidgety and nervous?

He gripped his coffee mug tightly. "Can we, uh, not talk about the marshals, right now? I just—this is stuff I didn't want to have to think about, yet."

Leslie sucked on the inside of her lower lip, holding her tongue, and nodded. So, he didn't want to talk. That was fine. At least it meant he wasn't leaving tomorrow, or anything. Because if he was, he'd definitely talk about it. Right? So she could keep quiet for a few more days, and give him time to—

Ben abruptly set his mug down on the counter and crossed the kitchen in three quick strides to wrap his arms around her. His kiss was tender and lingering, and he cradled her against him as if she was something fragile and precious that he didn't want to break.

When their lips parted, Ben leaned his forehead against hers and continued to hold her close.

"Thank you," he said softly.

"For what?"

"For just—for being who you are. And for being here for me, even though I probably don't deserve you."

Leslie frowned a little. He didn't really feel that way, did he? "Ben—are you all right?"

He shook his head. "Not really. But I'm better when I'm with you. I'm just so glad I have you in my life."

Leslie's breath shook a little as she drew it in. A small part of her at the back of her mind recognized that there was something terribly unhealthy about her relationship with Ben. But the rest of her chose to move full-steam ahead instead of heeding that misgiving. She could deal with the consequences later. When he was gone.

"I'm glad I have you, too," she replied, and kissed him again. And again. And again.

~ ~ ~

Ben eyed the hastily-printed invitation in his hands, bemusedly reading the request that he bring "Avatar," a 3D television, and 50 pairs of 3D glasses. He wondered how many of April and Andy's guests would actually bring whatever outlandish items they'd been assigned. Maybe he'd bring a nice bottle of wine instead . . .

He glanced across the office at Chris. "What did they ask you to bring?"

"Cake," said Chris, he voice only slightly less melancholy than it had been the past few days. "I do have a wonderful recipe for a fruit-reduction sweetened vegetable loaf. Perhaps this would be a good opportunity to try it out—"

On second thought, maybe I'll buy a cake, thought Ben, as Chris began to wax poetic about the vegetable loaf.

When Andy had first rolled up on his in-line skates and shoved the invitation at him, Ben hadn't been sure he wanted to spend one of what might be his final precious nights in Pawnee at what would undoubtedly be a highly disorganized and crazy party hosted by Andy and April. But the more he thought about it, the more he wanted to go. If he decided to leave on schedule instead of prolonging his stay (his throat still constricted at the thought) this would be the perfect farewell to all the great people he'd become friends with. It would also give him a chance to really think about what it would mean for all these different relationships if he chose to stay longer.

When he met up with Leslie a little later in the day, she agreed that going to the party was absolutely the right thing to do. But they agreed to arrive separately—Ben would ride with Chris. Ben was determined that the dubious ethical appropriateness of their relationship wouldn't cause her any problems after he'd left.

That evening Chris raised an eyebrow at him as Ben carried a store-bought cake to the car, but refrained from comment. After they'd settled into the car and headed out to Andy's house (Or was it his friend's house that he was just crashing at? Ben still hadn't quite figured out how Andy survived to adulthood.) Chris asked, "Have you told Leslie about the change, yet?"

Ben squeezed his lips together and shook his head. "No. I don't know if I should. I don't want to force this decision into her lap, or make her feel obligated to ask me to stay or anything like that."

"I understand," replied Chris. "However, if you choose to stay, your presence here will undoubtedly make a huge impact on her life. Doesn't she have the right to participate in the decision-making process when her future is at stake? As you once pointed out to me, I made all the decisions for Kelsey. I denied her the right to choose for herself. And that was a mistake. One I most sorely regret." Chris shook his head slowly. "I think you need to tell her. Make her a part of this process."

Ben's gut stirred uncomfortably. He hated to admit it, but Chris was right. He couldn't make this choice unilaterally. Leslie had too much at stake.

Now he just needed to find the right moment to bring it up.

~ ~ ~

Leslie chatted with Ben and Chris for a few minutes when they first arrived (thank god Ben brought a real cake—that vegetable thing looked like something out of her nightmares), but then moved on to circulate the room. Ben had been adamant that he didn't want their relationship going public, because he was afraid it would leave her open to accusations of favoritism that could haunt her for months.

It was a sweet sentiment, and probably had at least a grain of truth, but she still didn't like it. She wished she could be allowed to pretend they were in a real relationship, even if it was just for one night.

Not long into the party, Leslie noticed a distinct imbalance in the ratio of food to guests. Way too many guests to way too little food. If she couldn’t hang out with her boyfriend, maybe she could at least be of service to the hosts.

She made her way to the kitchen to offer Andy some help, only to be surprised by April appearing to ask his opinion of her little white dress, followed quickly by their confession that the party was in fact a surprise wedding.

Oh god. They've been dating less than two months. They aren't ready for marriage. They're going to ruin their lives over this.

She cleared her throat, trying to regain her composure. "Why are you doing this? Why is this . . . wonderful thing happening?"

Their story of a spontaneous decision to marry just yesterday did nothing to reassure her. No. She had to stop this. She had to save them. A reasonable person couldn't upend their whole life to marry someone they'd dated for less than two months. Could they?

A little voice at the back of her head nagged her that it had been just under two months since the first time she kissed Ben, but she shook it off. It was time to act.

She had to save her friends from themselves.

~ ~ ~

Ben had been stressing over finding the right moment to share his news with Leslie ever since arriving at the party. But really, there was no right time to share something like this. He'd learned his lesson about keeping secrets from her. He needed to just man up and tell her.

The next time he saw her, coming out of the kitchen where Andy and April stood laughing conspiratorially in a corner, he pulled her aside. "Hey, can we talk about something in private for a minute?"

She blinked in surprise. "No. What? Yes. Uh—sure."

"Is something wrong?" There was no such thing as a right time, but there was certainly such thing as a wrong time, and if this was one, he needed to hold back.

She shook her head. "I don't know. There's a thing." She gestured strangely, half-pointing back in the direction of the kitchen. Her eyes narrowed. "But you need to talk?"

"I was hoping we could, but if now's not a good time—?"

"No. Let's go talk."

Ben nodded warily, wondering if he really had cause to be nervous (other than the obvious), or if he was just being paranoid. He led her down the hall and pulled her into the bathroom, locking the door behind them.

Leslie frowned at him. "What's going on?"

Ben took a deep breath. "The marshals told us something last night, and I wasn't sure if I should tell you, but I've been thinking about it, and you have the right to know."

"What is it?"

"The trial's been delayed again. Until the first week of March. The marshals gave us until Sunday night to make up our minds if we want to try to maintain our current cover and stay here, or if we want to be relocated again."

Leslie took a faltering step back, and leaned against the vanity, gripping the lip of the counter with her fingers.

Oh boy. Was this good shock, or bad shock?

"I—I—I don't mean to, to put pressure on you," Ben stammered. "I know that if we stay it could cause a lot of problems for you. You'd have to keep lying to all your friends. You'd have to be a part of our little conspiracy, and check with us regularly to make sure we all have our stories straight. And the longer we stay here the greater the risk that evidence of us will get out and Everson will find us, which would put you and everyone around us in danger. There's just—there's a lot of really good reasons why we should leave." He still couldn’t read the shock on her face, so he kept babbling. What else was he supposed to do? "So—so I guess what I'm trying to say is: I want to stay. I have a really, really good reason to stay. But—uh—I think maybe it would be for the best if I go." He ran his fingers through his hair and shook his head. "I don't know. I just don't know. Leslie?"

She looked as utterly thrown and flustered as that afternoon a week ago (had it really just been a week?) when he first confessed the truth of his identity to her.

Crap. Maybe this had been the wrong time, after all.

"Leslie?" he repeated.

She shook her head a little before looking up to meet his eyes. "People can't just turn their lives upside down for someone they've been with for less than two months."

Ben's stomach clenched and his throat felt tight. He coughed and nodded. "Yeah. I get that. I know. I don't expect anything from you. Really. I just—I just wanted you to know."

He had to get out of here. He'd screwed up. Badly. Again.

He nodded at her. "Okay. Okay." He fumbled with the lock and doorknob until he got it open and slid out of the room, leaving her behind.

~ ~ ~

Leslie's heart beat as fast as a hummingbird flapping around in her chest.

What the hell was she supposed to do now?

She could barely process the thoughts going through her head, let alone make sense of them.

Why had she been such an idiot and said that? He'd looked like she'd just kicked his puppy. She couldn't blame him for running away as fast as he could get out.

She closed her eyes and rubbed her forehead.

Ben could stay. But should he? Did she want him to? Well, of course she wanted him to, but should she?

He was right. His staying would complicate her life. A lot. And there was potential danger involved. And lying. Lots and lots of lying. And how could he expect her to upset her whole life to make room for him and his truckload of complications? A two-week lust-fueled goodbye was one thing. But another three months? That was something else.

Something she was completely unprepared for.

She walked down the hall in a daze when she ran smack into April's parents. Her eyes went wide in surprise at their pleasant greetings and casual chit-chat. Didn't they know what their daughter was about to do?

Leslie might not be able solve her own relationship problems, but maybe she could still help her friends. Time to start talking fast.

~ ~ ~

Ben stood in a dim corner, leaning against the wall and clutching a bottle of beer. He wasn't sure how much time had passed since his disastrous conversation with Leslie. He didn't really want to think about it.

What he wanted was to evaporate into some sort of harmless gas and drift away, becoming one with the universe and losing all consciousness of his pathetic, miserable life.

Leslie cared about him. He knew she did. But she didn't love him. He'd known that already, but still—to have it thrown at him like that . . .

He closed his eyes and took a few slow breaths.

They'd have to leave. The sooner the better. Staying would only make this hurt worse.

"Hey man," said Tom.

Ben sighed and opened his eyes. "Hi Tom. How you doing?"

"Have you heard the news?" Tom leaned in with a grin.

"What news?"

Tom spread his arms and gestured excitedly. "Tonight isn't just a party. April and Andy are having a secret wedding ceremony."

That was enough of a shock to take Ben's mind off his troubles. His eyebrows shot up. "They're getting married? Really? My Brita filter is as old as their relationship." He frowned. "Wait—should I change my Brita filter?"

Tom rolled his eyes. "Dude, your priorities are seriously messed up. What really matters is that I get to be Best Man. Which has been one of my life-long ambitions."

Ben nodded, trying to work up some enthusiasm. "Wow. That's really great."

Tom shook his head. "Whatever. I gotta go call Jean-Ralphio." He strode off, leaving Ben wondering who Jean-Ralphio was. And pondering the unexpected news of about the wedding.

The memory of Leslie's recent words rang in his ears. People can't just turn their lives upside down for someone they've been with for less than two months.

Oh. She'd heard. Just before he talked to her.

I have the worst fucking timing in the world.

~ ~ ~

Leslie was at her wit's end.

No one cared that her two sweet, wonderful, idiotic friends were about to ruin their lives. Not their parents. Not their co-workers. Not their friends.

Everyone seemed totally cool to stand back and watch this train-wreck happen, and there was nothing she could do to stop it.

Even her girl-talk with April and a hasty phone call to Ann seemed to be fruitless.

Two months wasn't enough time to know that you're ready to make a major commitment to someone. It was barely enough time to fall in love.

Leslie leaned against the wall near the front door and drew in a shaky breath as she remembered Ben's face when he walked out of the bathroom.

But two months was enough time to fall in love, wasn't it?

She blinked back tears and clutched at her aching chest. She had to do something. She had to make a choice.

The problem was, she wasn't sure she trusted herself to make the right one.

~ ~ ~

Ben was still standing in his corner, pondering his many, many bad decisions over the past few months, when Andy bounded up, a joyful grin on his face.

Ben couldn't help but smile back. Andy was the type of person who carried happiness with him wherever he went, and if anyone deserved to marry the love of his life—no matter what the circumstances—it was him. "I heard the good news. Congratulations."

"Aw, thanks!" Andy gave him a rough hug and a pat on the back before stepping back with a more earnest expression coming over his face. "Hey, you've been a super great friend, and you gave me all kinds of awesome advice about all the April stuff over the summer and it's been so cool taking those ass-kicking classes with you. I love you, man. Will you be one of my Best Men?"

Ben's chest swelled with emotion.

He may not have gotten much right in his relationships here in Pawnee, but at least he got this one right. He had a true friend in Andy Dwyer, and right now it meant the world to him.

"Yeah. It'd be my honor."

~ ~ ~

When Andy officially announced the wedding, Leslie trailed after the crowd filing into the living room for the ceremony. She hung back in the kitchen, biting her bottom lip, struggling to contain her emotions.

Ben stood there at the front of the room, in amongst Andy's cluster of "Best Men."

He looked so proud to be included.

The simple ceremony made Leslie's heart swell a little bigger, and as her friends shared their first kiss as a married couple, she couldn't take her eyes off of Ben's face. But he didn't look at her.

Not even once.

Immediately after the ceremony Andy's brothers took down the folding chairs to morph the room into a raucous celebratory dance party.

Leslie couldn't take it. She slipped along the edge of the crowd and stepped out the front door to sit on one of the chairs outside.

Was she in love with Ben? Was that why this hurt so much?

It doesn't really matter if I am. Whether he leaves next week or in three months, he's still leaving. Even if I love him, he's not mine to have. He's given himself to a higher cause.

The thought hurt like hell, but she'd have to learn to accept it if she hoped to get through this.

After a few minutes, Ron stepped outside to join her, handing her a glass of wine.

"You wouldn't have been able to stop it, you know," he said, sinking into the chair beside her.

"I could've yelled something. Or tackled someone."

"But you didn't. Because deep down, you knew it wouldn't have mattered. Those kids are going to do what they want to do."

Leslie gripped her wine glass a little tighter. "They may have just ruined their lives on an impulse decision." Just like asking Ben to stay would probably ruin mine. But what if it didn't? That was the thought that kept her brain swirling.

Ron sighed. "Leslie, I got married twice. Both times I was a lot older than those two. And both marriages ended in divorce. And a burning effigy. Who's to say what works? You find somebody you like, and you roll the dice. It's all anybody can do."

Leslie nodded quietly and took a sip of her wine. Would the risks she'd be taking in asking Ben to stay be any worse than the risk Andy and April just took?

Ron cleared his throat and looked down at his wine. "Ben was in the kitchen, last time I saw him."

Leslie smiled and let out a laugh with more than a little sob around the edges. Ron cared way more than he liked to let on in public. "Thanks."

He nodded quietly as she stood and gulped down the rest of her wine to fortify herself.

She still wasn't entirely certain what she wanted to do, but she knew she needed to talk to Ben. They had to figure this out together.

~ ~ ~

Ben chatted with a few of Andy's band mates as they set up their equipment, trying to take his mind off of Leslie. He could probably convince Chris to leave soon without anyone noticing. Maybe a half hour more is all it would take.

He hung back by the backyard door as a crowd gathered for a few quick wedding speeches.

He thought back to the magnificent pomp of his brother's wedding. His sister-in-law was an event planner, and she made certain that her wedding advertised her skills at their best. Everything had been opulent, stylish, and meticulously timed. But the emotions at that perfectly planned event hadn't been any different than the ones here at this hastily thrown-together celebration.

It wasn't about the wedding. It was about love, and friendship, and family.

The three things he'd given up to pursue justice for victims of Everson's schemes.

At times like this it was hard to convince himself that it was worth the sacrifice.

As Andy's grandmother finished her speech, Ben felt someone's eyes on him.

He looked up to see Leslie staring at him from across the room. She looked—nervous. And a little sad.

Ben looked away. There was nothing he could do to make this right. It hurt too much. He couldn't deal with it.

As Andy stepped to the mic, Ben quietly slid open the back door and stepped outside, shutting himself out.

~ ~ ~

The ache in Leslie's chest intensified as Ben made his escape. Not that she could blame him, after the way she'd treated him tonight.

God, she'd screwed up.

She needed to find a way to fix things. Or to at least make them less bad.

Andy and his band mates stood at the ready, and Andy took the mic with a contented grin.

After a few words of thanks, Andy grinned even more broadly. "Oh my god, I'm married!" He laughed. "It's crazy! What happened! But seriously, life is short, right? Uh, I just really thing you should just do whatever makes you happy. That's what April and I did. We are in love! So we didn't over think it. Seriously. I cannot emphasize enough how little we thought about this. Am I right?"

He glanced at April and nodded, smiling. "He's right."

Leslie drew in a shaking breath while Andy launched into a song he'd written for April.

Andy's speech had touched her on so many levels.

Who knew better than Ben just how short life could really be?

"Do what makes you happy," Leslie whispered to herself. "Oh my god, I'm about to take life advice from Andy." But even that scary revelation wasn't enough to stop her.

In spite of all the complications it would bring—in spite of how much it might hurt in a few month's time—right here, right now, she knew exactly what made her happy.

He was standing just outside the back door.

~ ~ ~

Ben stared up at the moon, his hands shoved in his pockets, and shivered a little in the brisk November breeze.

He wondered how easy it would be to find Chris without having to talk to Leslie.

When he heard the back door open, his heart sank. He knew exactly who it would be.

He turned to face Leslie as she stepped toward him anxiously. He opened his mouth, struggling to find the words to say to her.

She beat him to it. "I want you to stay."

His jaw dropped and his heart stopped. "What?"

She stepped closer. "I'm sorry about what I said earlier. I was shocked and confused, and I never should have said that. But now that I've had time to think, I know what I want. I want you to stay."

Ben felt faint, and realized it was because he'd forgotten to breath. He sucked in the cold air. "You'll have to lie to Ann. And Ron. And everyone else. Every single day."

"Yes."

"And I'll still have to leave at the end of February."

"Yes. I know." Her voice shook a little on that answer.

"And the danger," he said, "the longer I stay—"

She cut him off. "I understand the danger. I still want you to stay. It's worth the risk, if I can be with you."

At that moment Ben couldn't think of anything other than how much he loved the woman standing in front of him, and how he couldn't stand to go another second without her in his arms. He closed the distance between them and pulled her into his embrace, kissing her with every ounce of emotion in his body.

~ ~ ~

Chris stood in the corner having a lengthy discussion on the futility of existence with April's oddly-attired friend Orin, when he noticed Ben and Leslie coming in from the backyard hand in hand, smiles on their faces.

So that answered his question about where he'd be living for the foreseeable future. He wasn't certain if Ben had made the right choice, any more than he was certain he'd made the right choice when he left Kelsey. Only time would tell.

"Hey—there's a deer carcass next to Timber Ridge Drive," said Orin. "Do you want to go look at it?"

Chris frowned. "I appreciate the invitation, but I think I'll have to pass. Excuse me."

He slipped away from Orin and made his way to the door. He was done with being social for the night, and he felt pretty confident that Ben could find his own way home.

~ ~ ~

Ben couldn't stop smiling as he swayed to the music, holding Leslie in his arms.

Andy and April stopped beside them on the dance floor and Andy raised his eyebrows. "Wait a minute—are you two together?"

Ben and Leslie both laughed. "We are," replied Leslie. "It's pretty new. But it's good." She looked back at Ben. "It's really good."

"Awesomesauce!" exclaimed Andy, raising his hand to high five both of them in turn before moving onto his other guests.

Ben pulled Leslie close again and they continued dancing.

"It is good," she murmured in his ear. "I'm really happy."

"Me too," he replied.

Ben wasn't a religious man. He'd given up going to church in his teens when his mom decided it wasn't worth a weekly fight. But as he swayed with Leslie in that crowded living room, surrounded by friends, he silently prayed to whatever deity that might be listening.

Please let this be the right choice. Please.


TBC


Part 20 here
 
 
 
( 29 comments — Leave a comment )
Hana of the Clan Anorexi-Lion: april/andyc00kie on January 21st, 2013 05:29 am (UTC)
I love the tension in this and the way you fused April and Andy's wedding with this storyline.


jncar: ben leslie kissjncar on February 1st, 2013 08:34 pm (UTC)
thanks!
caity | tulita pepsishornt on January 21st, 2013 05:33 am (UTC)
Ahhh I was so scared of this chapter being really heartbreaking but it wasn't! I like that things are going this way, that Ben came clean and Leslie decided to take a leap, because the problem with their relationship in canon was never their actual relationship. It's everything else. So I really appreciate that being paralleled here, that there's no doubt that they want to be together and they're falling in love, but everything else surrounding it is so scary. This was just, ah, perfect.
jncar: ben leslie kissjncar on February 1st, 2013 08:35 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'm working hard to parallel the relationship growth in the show, only at an accelerated pace/more intense circumstances, so I'm glad you are enjoying that aspect of it.
tbhftbhf on January 21st, 2013 05:40 am (UTC)
I love this story SO much! I can't even tell you how excited I was when I saw this update! You've done such an amazing job creating this story and developing the characters within it, while still keeping lovely parallels to the actual show. Your insertion of lines from the show was particularly killing me tonight...especially "It's worth the risk if I can be with you." I think I might have made an involuntary noise when I read that line. It didn't even hit me until the end how perfect a choice it was to have her ask him to stay at this time. Again, the parallels with the actual show are perfect. I want things to work out for them so much! You do such an incredible job of making me feel emotions STRONGLY as I read. Can't wait to see where you go next with this!
jncar: ben leslie kissjncar on February 1st, 2013 08:36 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'm happy to hear that I can excite such big emotional reactions. It makes me feel a real sense of accomplishment.

I'm hoping to write more this weekend - wish me luck!
KyrieAnnekyrieanne on January 21st, 2013 06:10 am (UTC)
I love how you used Andy and April's wedding to juxtapose the decisions Leslie and Ben had to make. It was just like the show, but here the stakes are even higher. Perfect way to have them choose each other.
jncar: ben leslie kissjncar on February 1st, 2013 08:37 pm (UTC)
thanks!
sullen_aquariansullen_aquarian on January 21st, 2013 06:31 am (UTC)
Fancy Party is one of the best episodes the show has ever done, and you gave it even more emotional depth. Brava.
jncar: ben leslie kissjncar on February 1st, 2013 08:37 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
sunnyday678sunnyday678 on January 21st, 2013 08:56 am (UTC)
You did such an amazing job mirroring Fancy Party with your fic .. just perfect, the dialogue, the actions, everything ... and I'm really glad Leslie asked him to stay (I think? I have a feeling you've got a twist coming up soon ... cant wait to find out!)
jncar: ben leslie kissjncar on February 1st, 2013 08:37 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
angelica_rulesangelica_rules on January 21st, 2013 05:53 pm (UTC)
awww, amazing!!! i loved that you gave april&andy's wedding as the background to this and prompt leslie&ben to make their choice!
jncar: ben leslie kissjncar on February 1st, 2013 08:37 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
you know her life was saved by rock 'n' rolllizinstereo on January 21st, 2013 09:54 pm (UTC)
You've done an excellent job fusing the canon with your scenario. I can't wait to read the next installment!
jncar: ben leslie kissjncar on February 1st, 2013 08:38 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
shut up, bulgaria!americnxidiot on January 22nd, 2013 01:45 am (UTC)
Oh this was wonderful. And throwing Fancy Party into this mix to push their decision making was really clever. Thanks!
jncar: ben leslie kissjncar on February 1st, 2013 08:38 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
blondebadwolfblondebadwolf on January 22nd, 2013 02:53 am (UTC)
This was so well thought out. The parallels were beautiful, and every chapter makes me so happy. I love this story, I love this chapter, and I love you as an author.
jncar: ben leslie kissjncar on February 1st, 2013 08:38 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much!
craponaspatulacraponaspatula on January 22nd, 2013 05:28 pm (UTC)
Oh wow! I was not expecting this story to intersect with canon any more, but I'm so glad you did it! And they intersected BEAUTIFULLY. Such a lovely chapter and as always I'm DYING to see what happens next!
jncar: ben leslie kissjncar on February 1st, 2013 08:39 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! I'm hoping to write more this weekend - wish me luck!
hplssrmntc8688hplssrmntc8688 on January 22nd, 2013 05:37 pm (UTC)
Wow. You put me though a crazy amount of emotions in this chapter! LOVE all the parallels to Fancy Party and how many lines you are able to make work in this chapter! Poor Ben in that bathroom scene! And his doubting that Leslie loves him while she struggles to come to grips with the realization that she does. I'm so happy they are public now although isn't that still asking for trouble work-wise? I'm afraid your having Ben stay is going to kill me too when its time for him to really leave! Amazing as always and I can't wait to read more! Here's to wishing your chapter count remains '??' for many more updates! :)
jncar: ben leslie kissjncar on February 1st, 2013 08:39 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! I love hearing about all these emotional reactions to me work. I must be doing something right!
saucydivasaucydiva on January 23rd, 2013 12:21 am (UTC)
This is glorious. I love the way you played with canon- the wedding here is just perfect, the way you reimagined it to include corporate whistleblowers, and I love how you have Ben staying, and Chris too (possibly to reunite with Ann?) and it's all just too perfect, really.

Also, A+ for Orin and his deer.
jncar: ben leslie kissjncar on February 1st, 2013 08:40 pm (UTC)
Thanks!

And I had to fit Orin in somehow, so I'm glad someone appreciated it. :)
courtkneescourtknees1 on January 27th, 2013 12:56 am (UTC)
Yayyyy! Oh I loved this so much. Smallest Park parallels during Fancy Party, how could it be possible to fit more emotion into a chapter?! Wonderful wonderful.
jncar: ben leslie kissjncar on February 1st, 2013 08:40 pm (UTC)
Thanks!
liebfraumiliebfraumi on May 19th, 2013 04:10 pm (UTC)
You took the canon timeline and made it your own in such a brilliant way. The world you created is so perfect and well-lit in every aspect that the references to canon feel so natural and simply fit. (Sorry for these weird sentences, but I am very emotional right now and it is all your fault.) Thank you for this story!
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