Summary: Leslie wants a pet, and her timing is bad.
Notes: Takes place after Live Ammo, aka that time Leslie brings home the entirety of the animal shelter.
Well, if Leslie's utter, absurd insanity affords him one thing, it's this: Ben is almost certain he never wants to have a pet. Ever.
Which is unfortunate, because the night after all the mess with the animal shelter, the Parks budget, and the employee records finally comes to a mostly satisfying close, Leslie scooches up to him, tucks her head under his chin with a sigh, and says, "I want a dog."
"No." The word is almost out of his mouth before he has time to think it.
"No?" Leslie asks absently. It becomes obvious a moment later that she hadn't heard him at all, because after that, she tenses up. "No?"
"Leslie, there was a pig running around in the space where I live and eat. A pig. And that's not to mention the cats and dogs running around everywhere. I understand why you did it, but - seriously?"
He can tell Leslie's frowning even before she turns around and meets his eyes. Her face has stubborn written all over it in imaginary bright red sharpie. "I thought you liked dogs."
"Before now, yes! Yes, I did! And I still do, but I really, really don't want one. Can't you just, I don't know, mooch off Champion? Because it's not happening. No. There is no way I am letting you steamroll this one after the mess I witnessed today. No pets. It's not happening."
Somehow the fact that she's kissing him takes him by surprise. Not bad surprise, of course, and it doesn't take him long to recover. His hand goes behind her neck in an instant and he tangles up his fingers in her hair while he brings her in just a bit closer. Close enough that her breasts are kind of pressing against his chest through her thin t-shirt and turning him way on. Which isn't a surprise. Leslie's threading her hands through his hair too because they both are kind of ridiculous about each other's hair; he pulls away for just a split second to try and catch his breath and she gives him an impish little grin.
God he is so in love with Leslie Knope. His lips are on hers all over again and one of her hands is slowly making its way to his shoulders, and then his back - she always manages to hit that spot right at the curve of his spine that always makes him arch closer towards her - and then finally gropes his butt (also not a surprise).
Somehow, it takes it until then to catch on. He wrenches himself away from her lips (though admittedly not her hands) and scowls. "I'm not going to change my mind if you seduce me."
"I wasn't!" she says quickly. "I was just - your face. Your face was talking and I wanted to kiss it."
"Yeah! Mostly. It was at least 60% your face, at least," Leslie admits, a bit guiltily, but then her face goes stubborn again and he has to hide a grin. "But 40% of it, yeah, because you know what? Dogs are great, and pets are great too. And if it takes seducing you for me to get one, then that's what I'm going to do."
"Why, Councilwoman Knope, that is an incredibly immoral course of action."
"I - Ben - oh my God - hold on, are you counter-seducing me?"
"I'm just saying, a woman of office -"
"You totally are and you just lost every morality point you had."
Ben kisses her on her face. He thinks he should argue with Leslie just before they go to sleep more often. He hasn't forgotten that it was her arguments, in those early days, that drew him to her in the first place. It ends up slower, sweeter than the last kiss, less fueled by argument and more fueled by how much he just can't keep himself from wanting to kiss her.
"Love you," he mumbles, leaning his forehead against hers. "Gorgeous."
"No. No dog."
Leslie sighs. "Please?"
Who is he kidding? He can't resist her. "...Maybe," he acquiesces. Just slightly. "But not right now."
"No, of course not. Later, after the campaign and everything, that's what I meant."
Ben's eyes pop open. "You did?"
"...Yes? What did you think? We don't have the time or the ability to take care of a dog right now. Of course not right now." Ben knows the relief on his face has to be obvious because Leslie starts to grin again. "What made you think I meant right now, silly?"
"Well, you just brought home an entire animal shelter on sudden impulse. I don't think it was that far of a stretch."
Leslie opens her mouth in a tiny 'o' shape. Ben kisses her forehead, chuckling.
"Sorry," Leslie says. "But that was just a temporary measure."
"I know. I think I'd like getting a dog though, as long as I've had time to recover from your little 'temporary measure.' Say, a couple of years." Ben can't help grinning at her a little. It's not the first time either of them have hinted at the idea that they'd still be together, that far off, but with every mention it's a more and more certain thing.
"O Sexy Elf King, Councilwoman Knope accepts your proposal," Leslie replies, mock-serious. Ben hopes for the briefest moment that his train of thought doesn't show on his face (no proposal, no ring, not yet, Ben Wyatt, not yet, no). It doesn't matter, because she's leaning in to kiss him again anyway.
Her hand, which at some point slipped away, is back on his butt again. Ben laughs against her lips because she might as well just glue it there already. She's stuck with him anyway.
After all, they're getting a dog in a couple years. You can't just back out of a promise to get a dog. You can't.
( Originally posted at http://lizzledpink.dreamwidth.org/19655.h