While Anne Perkins pretended to listen to what felt like the hundredth guy that Leslie had set up for her ramble on about his sock puppet collection, she figured that she might as well give up on dating altogether. Somehow, dating had just never quite worked out for her. Sure, men were drawn in by her exotic beauty, but they were all either selfish jerks or, even worse, once they got to know her, she just never seemed to be enough for them. Every single one of the men she'd dated had moved on without her, leaving her behind.

Anne mentally slapped herself. Stop whining! She thought to herself. Everyone worked really hard to set up all of these dates for you, so that you wouldn't be alone on Valentine's Day the very least you could do is give these guys a chance. So Anne went back to pretending to listen to the merits of making puppets out of tube socks vs. ankle socks.

Tom Haverford decided to check on how Anne was doing, he knew how hard the loneliness hit at events like this, when practically everyone else had paired off and you felt like you were the only one who didn't have someone who loved them. Tom could also see that Anne obviously didn't know how to hide that feeling under a cocky smile or a flashy swagger, she didn't know how to play the field like you weren't looking for anything more. She didn't know that if you shoved the loneliness down deep enough, and pretended that you didn't feel it, sometimes you could trick yourself into believing that you really didn't. Tom had always had a soft spot for Anne, but he pretended that he was just walking over to her because anything was better than just standing on the dance floor listening to Chris's depressing medieval-sounding music.

After standing next to the table, listening to guys talk about lame concerts they'd been to, or their awesome career as a professional juggler, Tom was horrified by how slim the pickings were in Pawnee. It seemed that he was the only guy who had come to this table that wasn't a complete and total loser. He suddenly pitied Anne, here was this attractive, kind, funny woman, and these pathetic losers were the best she had to choose from? It looked like he had been right about dating all along, and his time was much better spent on one-night stands and admiring from afar.

"So, what about that professional juggler? If nothing else, at least he's good with this hands." Tom joked, knowing that it would get a reaction.

"Ew! You're such a pervert!" Anne said with a smile on her face. "He was pretty bad, but at least he was better than that guy who had a thing for his sister." Anne shuddered at the memory.

"What? Ew! That is so disgusting! Wait, he actually TOLD you this?"

"Yeah, he was like 'You're pretty, not as pretty as my sister, but you know the law.' Like he thought that I would sympathize with him and his star-crossed love for his sibling." Even though it was horrible at the moment, it was fun telling the story to Tom. This went on for awhile, Anne telling Tom about all of the Mr. Wrongs she'd dated and Tom laughing and making witty, biting comments about the guys that Anne had pointed out to her. When Tom left, Anne was surprisingly sad to see him go. Sure, he could definitely be perverted, lecherous, eccentric, selfish, and mystifyingly cocky, Tom could always make her feel better, whether it was an inappropriate appreciation of her looks, a snarky comment about Jerry, or one of his ridiculous hats, suits or phrases, Tom could always make her happy.

Sitting by herself at the table that so many creepy guys had come to, Anne thought about what April had told her. Now that she thought about it, maybe all of his swagger was just an act, she thought about how he had reacted when he and his wife had gotten divorced. Even though they had gotten married so young and it had all been to secure her a green card, Tom had seemed to genuinely love his wife and he had looked heartbroken when she left him and went out with Ron. Maybe his womanizing and cockiness was just a way to keep the hurt inside. A defense mechanism to keep women that he might actually fall in love with from thinking that he would be anything other than a funny friend who you couldn't get too close to because he only looked out for himself. Anne mulled it over, and was stunned to find that she didn't care. She liked Tom, and sure, he definitely wasn't the man of her dreams, but she was happy when she was with him. She decided to ask him out, knowing that it probably wouldn't amount to anything, but at least this way, neither one of them would be alone on Valentine's Day.

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