Ok, so yes, this was inspired by Teenage Dream. But not the screeching Katy Perry version. The lovely Darren Criss and the Warblers version is the version that was in my head when I wrote this. One-shot fluff. Because we need more and more Leslie and Ben stories out there.
He was grateful for the quiet that had descended over the house once April and Andy ran out of marshmallows. He lay on his bed, knowing that sleep was going to elude him for most of the night. Between her showing up at his door and that moment and THAT PAINTING… he knew it was a lost cause, but still, here he laid, in the dark, at almost midnight, knowing that the alarm would be going off in just a few hours.
His phone started to vibrate and he pulled it off his dresser, smiling at the picture he had covertly snapped of her enthralled with Lil' Sebastian.
"You really hate all of Chris' stupid rules, too?"
He sighed. That one line that slipped out before he make his brain stop it… he knew his answer should be that Chris has his support 100% but it was late and he was tired… of it all.
"Ok then. I have an idea. I'll be there in 20 minutes. Wear all black".
He gave her an incredulous look as they stood on the sidewalk staring at the dark house.
"Yes, really. C'mon. There won't be any real damage and we can totally come over here tomorrow and help him clean up, but just for tonight… won't this make you feel better?"
He could only smile as he looked at her, with her eyes shining brightly, even in the dark. The frustration that had been building for days, weeks… hell, probably since the moment he walked into the Pawnee City Building and the Parks Department… he wasn't sure that THIS would solve all of that, but man, did he agree that it might make him feel a little bit better, at least in the moment. Plus, they were together right now. That's all he really wanted.
"Yeah, but, this… really? I haven't done this since high school!"
"Well, I've never done this… had it DONE to me, but never participated myself but I'm just so… irritated at Chris right now that I feel like I need to do something or I may just have to stab him in the eye with a very sharp pencil tomorrow."
He laughed. "Well, I can't have that kind of bloodshed on my hands. Pop the truck and I'll show you how this is done". She smiled more brightly at him than she ever had as she opened her trunk and dug out the rolls of toilet paper. He took the opportunity to stand right behind her when she asked for pointers on how best to get the toilet paper up in the tree. And when he did that, she took that opportunity to lean back into him ever so slightly, just for a moment, just to enjoy the feel of him that close to her.
An hour later, they were back in front of April and Andy's.
"Feel better?" he asked her in that low voice that she knew he got when he was tired and it was late and when he felt he had had a good day.
She couldn't help but smile at him. That's all she felt she could do these days. "I'm not sure it got rid of all my frustrations but it was fun to do that… with you. You really do have a good arm!"
He laughed. "Thanks." And the silence descended on them. He knew he HAD to get out of this car before he threw the rule book out the window. He sighed as he tucked a stray strand of hair behind her ear and rested his hand on her cheek for just a moment. She leaned into his hand and returned the sigh.
He closed his eyes for a moment, enjoying the feel of his hand on her face. "Goodnight Leslie" he said quietly, staring straight into her eyes.
"Goodnight Ben. See you in a few hours". And he exited the car.
The next morning, he found a large cup of coffee on his desk and an empty roll of toilet paper on his chair. He had to figure this out, get Chris to reconsider, but until then… last night, getting to be a teenager with her, even if it was just for a moment, would be something he would never forget.