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All of my writing in one easy location.  It's about time I admit that this new addiction isn't going away.

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While You Were Sleeping: Chapter 4

Title: While You Were Sleeping: Chapter 4
Word Count: About 2200 (this chapter)
Rating: PG (this chapter)
Setting: AU season 3 (December 2010)
Summary: Ben Wyatt is living a quiet, routine life until one event turns everything upside-down. Basically, it's the plot of While You Were Sleeping in the Parks-verse

Chapter Four

Even on weekends, Ben rarely sleeps past eight. The habit of getting up as the light starts to creep through his bedroom window is as ingrained as brushing his teeth each night. The morning after Ann's accident, though, it's not his natural clock that wakes him, but a loud and persistent knock at his front door.

He smushes his face into his pillow and blindly reaches out to grope for his phone on the nightstand. When he finds it, he turns his face and blinks bleary-eyed at the time.

It's 8:23 in the morning.

He throws an arm over his face and wills the person at the door to go away. Even though it's late for him, he only slept a little over five hours, and he's long past the point of being able to subsist on so little sleep.

Knock knock knock knock knock!

Seriously? Who in the hell –

What if it's Chris?

The thought jolts through his body like a shot of adrenaline, and it's enough to propel him from bed. He stumbles through the bedroom to the living room to the door; he opens it without a thought to his appearance, and immediately regrets it.

It's not Chris, but Leslie, who stands on his doorstep.

"Hi!" she says brightly. Her eyes scale his form, from his worn gray t-shirt to his bare feet sticking out of the bottom of his plaid pajama pants, and her smile falters just a bit. "Did I wake you?"

"Told you."

The second voice surprises him. Behind Leslie, leaning against the wall, is the same sulky teenager from Ann's hospital room.

"Um …"

"She woke me up too," the teenager grumps.

"The sun was up."


Leslie looks like she wants to argue, but she when she eyes his pajamas again, a hint of guilt creeps into her eyes. "I'm sorry," she says. "We can come back."

Ben feels like he's five steps behind her. "Why are you here?"

"We brought you a Christmas tree!"

Bewildered, Ben stares. "What?"

"I couldn't stop thinking about it last night," Leslie chatters. "How you were going away, but now beautiful Ann is in the hospital, and you're all alone in this apartment without even a Christmas tree. It's sad."

Sad? Is that what he is?

"I have a cat," he offers weakly.

Leslie's eyebrow quirks. "Ann is allergic to cats."

God, it's too early for this.

Ben is spared a response by the arrival of a third party: from the front it appears to be a tree with scuffed old sneakers and two large hands. It lumbers up the stairs, huffing and puffing, and the teenager moves away from the landing to give the tree room. A shaggy head pops out from behind it.

"Where do you want it, boss?"

He should be annoyed, he thinks. Annoyed at being woken up. Annoyed that three virtual strangers showed up at his door unannounced. Annoyed by her presumption that he wants or needs a Christmas tree.

Instead, he feels weirdly touched by this bewildering woman and her devoted band of weirdos.

Because she's right, he thinks. He is sad. Just not for any of the reasons she thinks.

He waves them into the apartment, stepping back out of the way to give the man with the tree plenty of room. He doesn't even really regret it when the man dumps the tree on the floor in the middle of the living room.

"I'll go get the rest of the stuff!" he says, bounding away like an energetic puppy.

"Your apartment looks like an old lady lives here." The teenager eyes the worn brown couch as though aging is a contagion she might catch from it. Her arms are still crossed over her chest; Ben doesn't think he's seen her in a different stance yet.

"I'm sorry," he says. "I didn't catch your name."

"I'm Pearl Satan, daughter of the devil."

"That's April," supplies Leslie, shooting a warning look at the girl. "And the man with the tree is Andy."

Ben looks down at the tree, ignoring the mess of pine needles it left across his carpet. "Where did you find a tree this early anyway?"

"Oh, I always have extras."

Apparently Leslie has an excess of Christmas decorations in all forms, because it takes three trips to the car for them to unload the boxes, during which time Ben brushes his teeth and changes out of his pajamas. He and Andy set up the tree in front of the living room window, and then Leslie gets to work. In just over an hour, his apartment is bedecked in twinkle lights, garland, wreaths, tinsel, and one plastic jack-o-lantern courtesy of April (Leslie eyes it exasperatedly and then tops it with a Santa hat).

"And we have just enough time for breakfast before visiting hours start," says Leslie.

For once, Ben doesn't try to make an excuse. He tells himself it's because Leslie wouldn't take no for an answer anyway, which is probably true.

It has nothing to do with the way she smiles at him as she pulls her purple knit cap over her ears.


Breakfast is interesting, to say the least.

They go to JJ's Diner, a place Ben that frequents occasionally, but where Leslie is apparently a regular. The waitress doesn't even take her order, but instead just comes back with waffles and enough whipped cream to fill a bathtub.

Andy and April (who, it turns out, are newlyweds) spend a majority of the meal playing paper football, the goal of which seems to be to hit Ben in the face as often as possible. April's obvious disdain for everything is most clearly directed at him right now, and it's unnerving. Leslie treats the behavior with fond exasperation, and Andy with outright delight, but it does little to quell the eerie sensation that April might gladly try to run him down with her car just to see his reaction.

When he's struck directly in the eye, Leslie confiscates the paper football.

After their meal, April drives them to the hospital; there's no question as to whether Ben will go, and he doesn't have the nerve to protest.

Ann looks the same as she did yesterday, though Leslie declares she has more color, and god help anyone who dares to argue.

"It's going to be hard to ski with that broken leg," Andy comments innocently.

It's a long day: hours in Ann's hospital room, punctuated by respites in the waiting room and the cafeteria, and no news or progress. Andy and April stick around for a few hours, mostly for Leslie's sake, it seems, and they're a solid (if sometimes annoying) distraction. When they leave, Ben's awkwardness seems to increase tenfold, and he finds himself more frequently leaving Leslie alone in Ann's room. If she finds this odd, she doesn’t mention it.

He leaves Chris another half dozen voicemails. He doesn't hear anything back.

He doesn't leave, as much as he wants to.

When visiting hours end, Leslie leaves without protest, and it's only then that Ben gathers the day was as difficult for her as it was for him. Still, she smiles when she says goodnight to Ann, and as they bundle up and head outside, Leslie talks cheerfully about how much better her friend seemed today.

They walk home from the hospital that night. It hasn't snowed since yesterday evening, and the roads and sidewalks are clear enough that they're not risking life and limb.

It's been a long two days, and even though it feels good to stretch his legs, he can feel the tiredness deep down; knows that he'll sleep like the dead tonight. Beside him, Leslie is still unflagging energy, though, and he can't decide if she's always this way, or if it's a coping mechanism to keep from dwelling on the fact that her best friend is in a coma.

It's a beautiful night. The stars are out, crisp and bright in a way they only are in winter, and houses are dark except for the picturesque glow of Christmas lights outside and trees lit up within. It reminds him of Christmas at home – that inevitable moment when his family is just too much, and he escapes for a few hours just to walk around the neighborhood on his own.

The fact that he's very much not alone adds rather than detracts from the experience.

Leslie, as he's seen over the past twenty-four hours, can talk a mile a minute, but tonight it's calmer, more conversational and less hurried. She points out landmarks from a lifetime of Christmases here, briefly touches on her parents, and more often her coworkers, and it feels like seeing Pawnee for the first time all over again.

Given Leslie's proclivity and passion for her job, he isn't surprised when the conversation naturally flows in that direction, but the wistfulness in her voice is unexpected. Apparently, and unsurprisingly, the government shutdown last summer has had long-reaching effects that have slightly dulled Leslie's unbridled enthusiasm.

"I know that everyone just wants me to be grateful I got to keep my job," she says, "but I've never been one to just sit passively on the sidelines. It's the reason I was asked to leave my fifth grade basketball team."

"I get it," says Ben, because he does. He knows that feeling – that need for action; that need to help. "But sometimes to help, it's necessary to sit on the sidelines, right?"

"It's government. Everything is already bogged down in red tape. If I just sat on the sidelines, nothing would ever happen."

"I'm just saying, a little caution doesn't hurt."

"And you know this from all your experience working in government?"

"My one experience, yeah."

Next to him, he can practically hear Leslie putting the pieces together in her head, and the moment it clicks, she stops dead in her tracks. Slowly, Ben turns to face her, fisting his hands tightly in his pockets.

"You're Benjy Wyatt."


"My best friend is dating Ben Wyatt, the former mayor of Partridge, Minnesota."

At her words, Ben feels the usual anxious churn of his stomach. "Uh huh."

"I can't believe Ann didn't tell me that. She knows it's relevant to my interests."

"I don't like to talk about it."

"Why not?"

"Oh, I don't know," sighs Ben, attempting to sound more self-deprecating than bitter. He's not sure he's pulling it off. "Maybe it's the fact that I bankrupted an entire town. Or that my family still barely talks to me. Or that I basically ruined my whole life when I was eighteen."

He stops. That last one definitely sounded bitter.

"At least you tried something," says Leslie. "I mean, obviously it went horribly, horribly wrong, but you were trying to make your town a better place. That's what counts."

Ben glances over at her. She's staring at him, her eyes wide and bright, and he's struck by the sudden realization that she's being totally genuine. There's no hint of teasing, no malevolent undertone, no pity. Just sincerity.

"Maybe you have a point," he concedes. "But you're probably the only person who sees it that way."

"Come on," says Leslie, nudging his arm with her shoulder. "You're too hard on yourself. It's not like you did it maliciously. Like you were embezzling from the raccoon relocation fund or something."

"Did that happen here?"

"Maybe. The point is, you accomplished something at eighteen that most people don't manage until they're three times that age, if ever. You can't live in regret, Ben. I mean, look at me. My department is running on fumes because they cut our budget to shreds. They wouldn't approve my plan to raise money by bringing back the harvest festival. Hell, we couldn't even do our tree lighting ceremony this year. But do you think I'm giving up?"

It's impossible not to smile. "No."

"Of course not," says Leslie. "I'm planning my proposal for bringing back the winter carnival even as we speak. You just have to keep trying."

"Is that what you were working on last night at the hospital?" asks Ben. "Your proposal?"
Leslie nods. "I'm presenting it right after the new year."

"I could help," he offers without thinking. "Look over the budget projections or something." Leslie stops in her tracks, and Ben feels the heat rise in the back of his neck. He swallows, and forces himself not to take it back. "You know … if you want."


He nods. "Sure."

"That would be amazing! You could come by the office tomorrow … Or, no, that's Christmas Eve. Oh! But Andy and April are having a party tomorrow night. You can stop by if you want. I can give you my budget binders."


Leslie smiles at him again. Her whole face lights up as she does so. Under the street lights, her cheeks pink from the cold, it's hard to deny how beautiful she is. He ducks his head, almost shyly, and when he glances back at Leslie, her smile falters just a bit.

"We should probably keep going," she says. "Before we freeze."

He nods, and falls back into step alongside her.

Strangely, he can barely feel the cold.

While You Were Sleeping: Chapter 3

Title: While You Were Sleeping: Chapter 3
Word Count: About 2900 (this chapter)
Rating: PG
(this chapter)
Setting: AU season 3 (December 2010)
Ben Wyatt is living a quiet, routine life until one event turns everything upside-down. Basically, it's the plot of While You Were Sleeping in the Parks-verse
A/n: Sorry this one took so long! I'm hoping to get at least one more chapter posted before Christmas. Fingers crossed. As always, I owe angelica_rules a million thank yous for reading through this chapter and giving me feedback. By the time this is all over, I am going to owe her the moon or something equally large and absurd. This would not be happening without you, Funda!

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While You Were Sleeping: Chapter 2

Title: While You Were Sleeping: Chapter 2
Word Count: About 2900 (this chapter)
Rating: PG
(this chapter)
Setting: AU season 3 (December 2010)
Ben Wyatt is living a quiet, routine life until one event turns everything upside-down. Basically, it's the plot of While You Were Sleeping in the Parks-verse.
A/n: Another big thank you to angelica_rules for reading this chapter and giving me feedback. And thank you to everyone who commented on the first chapter. I can't tell you how much the feedback is appreciated.

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While You Were Sleeping: Chapter 1

Title: While You Were Sleeping: Chapter 1

Pairing: Leslie/Ben
Word Count: About 2000
Rating: PG-13
Setting: AU season 3
Summary: Ben Wyatt is living a quiet, routine life until one event turns everything upside-down. Basically, it's the plot of While You Were Sleeping in the Parks-verse.

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While You Were Sleeping: Prologue

Title: While You Were Sleeping: Prologue

Pairing: Leslie/Ben
Word Count: About 300
Rating: G
Setting: AU season 3
Summary: Ben Wyatt is living a quiet, routine life until one event turns everything upside-down. Basically, it's the plot of While You Were Sleeping in the Parks-verse.
Author's Notes: I owe a huge thank you to angelica_rules, who has been encouraging me to write this for a year now, and was kind enough to read and give me feedback on these first few chapters. I don't know what I'd do without you! I also owe a big thank you to Roda, who helped me brainstorm this fic many moons ago. This definitely wouldn't have happened without your help!

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As I mentioned on tumblr last week, I have an idea for one final crazy fandom-related craft project, and I'd love to surprise as many people as possible. It's going to take me awhile to craft these, but hopefully it will turn out to be a worthwhile project. This is Parks-adjacent, but more fandom-based, so I'm going to TENTATIVELY offer participation in two ways. If I run out of time, I may have to go for the less-involved option.

SO ...

If you are interested in being included in the project, but don't actually want to give out your address/get something from me in the mail, please leave a comment that states the following:

Option 1
The username you prefer (tumblr or LJ)

(DISCLAIMER: This option could potentially go to hell if I am biting off more than I can chew, but I really am hopeful that I'll be able to pull this off.)

If you are interested in being included AND you want to actually get a surprise craft in the mail from me, please leave a comment that states the following:

Option 2
The username you prefer (tumblr or LJ)
Favorite color
Favorite Parks quote

I'm going to leave the sign-up open probably through August because I have about 3 other projects to finish this month before I start this.


Fic: Not That Sneaky: The Sequel (4/?)

Title: Not That Sneaky: The Sequel (4/?)
Pairing: Ben/Leslie, Ann/Chris (this part)
Rating: R
Word Count: About 1700 (this part)
Setting: Sometime after Jerry's Retirement (this part)
Summary: A sequel to this fic. In other words, five more times Ben and Leslie were caught/interrupted during sex.
A/n: Man, I cannot believe I haven't posted fic since January. So why not jump back into things with some smut?

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Title: It Was Leslie Knope, With the Candlestick, In the Snakehole Lounge
Pairings: Janet Snakehole/Burt Macklin, Ben/Leslie, Ann/Chris
Word Count: 5600
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Burt Macklin is about the crack the biggest case of his life.
A/n: My fic for the Leslie's Birthday Exchange! saucydiva requested a Spy AU, and probably got more than she bargained for. This project is actually two parts: a Clue version of Parks and Rec, and a story to go along with it. The first section of this fic sets up the background, and then there are six alternate endings. I also put a picture of the game at the end of the fic. Thank you to shornt for letting me pick her brain. I also owe ashisfriendly my first born child for reading this over and letting me bounce ideas off of her. I hope you enjoy this!!

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If the accused was ... Leslie KnopeCollapse )

If the accused was ... Ben WyattCollapse )

If the accused was ,,, Ann PerkinsCollapse )

If the accused was ... Chris TraegerCollapse )

If the accused was ... Donna MeagleCollapse )

If the accused was ... Ron SwansonCollapse )

GameCollapse )

Fic: Snow Day (1/2)

Title: Snow Day (1/2)
Pairing: Ben/Leslie
Word Count: 2300
Rating: PG-13
Setting: Season 4, after "Citizen Knope"
A/n: shornt gave me a few different prompts, and I meant to write on one of them, but then some other things she asked for started to creep in. This could really be a one-shot, but I decided to fill another request in the second part and continue this story. Part 2 should be up soon!

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