Fandom: Parks and Recreation
Warnings: Spoilers for 3x10
Summary: The first time it happens, it takes them a while to actually realize they’re on a date.
Disclaimer: I do not own Parks and Recreation.
A/N: Written for the lovely mollivanders, who said there needs to be a fic about Ben taking Leslie on secret dates, and was nice enough to let me steal the idea :) I haven’t written Parks fic in such a long time, so this is pretty bad. However, I really want to get back into the groove of writing for this show, because writing Parks fic makes me so happy! (Than again, everything about this show makes me happy :) Title taken from The Who song “Won't Get Fooled Again” because I suck and couldn’t come up with a decent name. Oh well, it’s a political song anyway.
If Ben’s learned anything from Pawnee, it’s that hard work does in fact pay off, crazy people are the most loveable, and secretly dating your coworker is a lot easier than one might think.
The first time it happens, it takes them a while to actually realize they’re on a date.
It’s Friday night and they’ve been retooling ideas for Chris’s health plan (because a pedometer contest just isn’t good enough), when Ron passes through, along with one of the biggest cheese-burgers Ben has ever seen (in his defense, Ben hasn’t exactly spent a large portion of his life focusing on the average size of burgers, but Ron’s certainly isn’t normal, and seeing him bite into it makes Ben want to eat a whole chicken.) Leslie apparently feels the same way, and it’s not long before they’re abandoning work for a not-so-quick stop at J.J.’s.
It’s not until they’re there, eating waffles, talking, not working, that Ben discovers that this is more a date than anything else. But by now it’s too late; they’ve already eaten most of they’re meal (in Leslie’s case, most of J.J.’s. waffles. Period), and all the first date jitters have passed (if that makes sense. Ben’s not really sure how date jitters could pass when they didn’t know it was a date.) There seems to be no other option but to pay the bill, wish her good night and pretend it never happened.
But than he kind of fucks it up by asking her on another date, which she accepts.
It was never going to work, this them being friends’ thing. He always liked her just a bit too much.
To keep things private (as Leslie puts it), the second date has them going a restaurant called The Blue Sea (Ben had suggested Jurassic Fork, but apparently Jerry goes there with his family, which really, he should have seen coming.) As far as second dates go (if you could even call the first one a date), he thinks it all goes pretty well. Leslie genuinely laughs at all his jokes, and when he orders something called the Sea Calzone, she only makes fun of him for like ten minutes.
At the end of the night, she’s even the one to say that they should probably keep this thing quiet, as it could possibly complicate life. Ben wholeheartedly agrees.
By the end of the third date, Ben’s pretty sure the only label that would properly fit their relationship is ‘dating’. After spending a Saturday at the zoo (according to Leslie, it was a very special parrots birthday, and they were expected to attend), Ben takes her out to a fancy restaurant where they mess up their order and charge way too much (it turns out they’re not that fancy, just expensive,) and although she gets pretty pissed off, the experience proves quite helpful. Ben learns that when angry, Leslie tends to resort to name-calling (in his case, she just repeats ‘Benjy’ over and over), arguing will only get you a death glare, and when in doubt, give Leslie sweets. It’s not really anything new, but the fact that he's learning this all as her kind-of boyfriend is enough to make the night eventful.
“You’re making me watch Star Wars?” It’s less than a week after the zoo, and Ben’s trying to convince Leslie that staying in and watching a movie is a smart idea for date number four.
“Well it’s not my fault you’ve never seen it, and I don’t know how I feel about dating a girl who’s never seen one of the greatest movies of all time.”
“The greatest, really Ben? That’s a little over the top, don’t you think?”
“Don’t deny the magnitude of Star Wars. It’s-”
“What are you two crazy kids talking about?” Donna inserts in, dumping a pile of papers onto Leslie’s desk.
“Fish,” Leslie quickly blurts out, prompting Donna to raise an eyebrow and leave, murmuring something about her needing more sex.
“You really aren’t that sneaky,” he says after a moment.
“Oh, shut up Benjy.”
(And just for the record, the date is very successful. Leslie ends up loving Star Wars.)
For their fifth date, he takes her to a quiet little restaurant just outside of town, where the service is nice and the lights are dim. They spend the evening talking about plans for the future and beyond, and when Ben comments on how he’s really happy about staying, Leslie smiles at him in this way that makes this all seem so real. Leslie Knope is really his girlfriend, and they’re really out on a romantic date.
Later when Ben takes her home, she tells him that she’s really happy about the way things turned out, right before kissing him and inviting Ben to come in for the night.
Things are pretty much perfect about now. And than tomorrow comes.
Their first public date is what it is. Ben ends up taking her as his date to a company party, where they kind-of-hold-hands and get dirty looks from Chris. It’s okay, though. The rest of the parks department (and Ann) seems happy they’re together, and Leslie has already arranged to go on a double date with Andy and April (“it’s important for us to show them what an adult relationship looks like.”) Towards the end of the night, Ron asks Ben what his intensions with Leslie are, and all Ben can reply is that he really likes her, more than any other girlfriend he’s had, and that he hopes to not screw this thing up.
Ron approves. That’s gotta be a good sign, right?