Tammy's office phone rang, a shrill interruption to her otherwise delightful day of firing people.
"Don't talk to Leslie."
She sighed. Ron's first attempt to contact her after their huge fight consisted of a phone call telling her not to talk to Leslie? As though Tammy's first thought was going to be to talk to Leslie Knope? Ridiculous.
Tammy was about to respond when the phone beeped in her ear. "Hang on. I've got call waiting." She switched lines. "Tammy Swanson."
Leslie Knope's voice came over in its usual bright, enthusiastic tone. "Hi Tammy. Listen, I was hoping we could talk if you aren't too busy right now."
"I'm sorry Leslie, but I've got Ron on the other line telling me not to talk to you." Tammy smiled at the absurdity of it all.
"Wait what? Why? What did he say? Hold on." Leslie's line disconnected. She was probably going to walk across the department to talk to Ron in person.
With the push of a few buttons, Tammy returned to Ron. "Leslie called. Wanted to talk. I told her you said not to. Is that all you wanted from me?"
"No, but she's coming over here right now, so I'll talk to you later. Can I come over after work?"
"To my apartment? Um…sure, if you really want to." Tammy gave him her address. Ron grunted in some sort of agreement or understanding and hung up the phone.
Tammy sat at her desk and stared at her bowl of paperclips. What a strange day this was turning into. As mad as she still was at Ron, hearing from him was nice. She missed him. It was utterly absurd that she could be so angry at the man, but melt at the sound of his voice. Just one more reason why love was stupid. She was going to have to remember how much she loved him and how much she wanted and needed him in her life when he came over that night. Otherwise, she was just going to get mad and hurt again, which would likely lead to Tammy ripping out Ron's mustache. Or doing something equally twisted to hurt him.
Ron awoke suddenly looking at an unfamiliar ceiling. As he became more aware of his surroundings, the night before came flooding back, and he smiled. An aggressive buzzing nearby alerted him to the reason for his sudden waking. His cell phone was ringing.
"Hello?" he said groggily.
"Ron, where are you? Hospital? Prison? Are you okay?" Leslie Knope sounded frantic.
"Leslie, why are you calling so early?"
"Early? Ron, it's after ten!"
He sat up in bed and realized she was correct. "Oh. I went to sleep really late. Sorry. I'll be in as soon as I can."
"That's fine, Ron. But what happened last night? Where are you?"
"I'm at Tammy's."
"So? How did it go?"
With a sly grin, he responded, "It went great, if I do say so myself." Beside him in bed, Tammy pulled the sheet over her naked form and giggled.
"You talked?" Leslie asked.
"And other stuff."
"Oh gross. I don't wanna hear about your weird sex stuff, Ron. How many times do I have to tell you?"
Ron rolled his eyes. "Goodbye, Leslie."
"So you're coming into work later?"
"As soon as I find my pants."
"Oh my god." Leslie hung up the phone.
Ron threw his phone back onto the side table and turned to gaze at Tammy. There she lay, in all her naked glory. Never in the world was there a more beautiful sight. She looked at him expectantly, eyebrows raised, with a curious smile. With a masculine sort of noise issuing from his mouth, Ron reached over and pulled her toward him. She squealed but was soon silenced when Ron's mouth covered hers.
They made out for a while. When they broke for air, Tammy pulled herself away from him and sat up. "Hang on a second, Ron."
"What did I do now?"
She laughed. "Nothing, baby. I just want to clear a couple of things up. So we're fine?"
"I think we pretty much covered it last night."
"I'm just trying to clarify."
"Yes, we're fine. It's what we do now. We're Ron and Tammy. And we're fine and normal and happy."
Tammy smiled widely. "Well if that's true, then we really have to stop these late nights during the week. We're both over an hour late to work. We can't very well have a nice, normal relationship if everything other than our sex life starts to slip out of our concern."
Ron nodded. "Duly noted. Is that all?"
"Yes…" she responded cautiously. He had a strange look in her eyes.
"Good." Ron lunged forward and continued where they left off.
Tammy's cackle echoed throughout her building. The few people who were home at 10:30 really hoped the crazy lady in 9C would go back to where she came from. She had been gone for one whole glorious, quiet, peaceful month, and now two weeks with her around was really starting to wear on people. Little did they know, she would be gone sooner than they thought.
Ron parked his car in front of a large apartment complex on the other side of Pawnee. It looked surprisingly nice, probably because it was so close to Eagleton. He took the elevator up to the ninth floor feeling nervous. It was as if he hadn't seen Tammy in years. He didn't know what kind of mood she was going to be in. She seemed pleasant enough on the phone that morning, but that was no real indicator for how she was really feeling. Ron just prayed he wouldn't screw this up.
He knocked on the door and Tammy opened it within seconds. His heart skipped a beat. She looked fantastic. Her hair was pulled up into a messy up-do and she wore a sweatshirt, zipped down to reveal her ample cleavage. He doubted she was wearing a shirt under that. She wore tight lounge pants and bare feet. She had very nice feet, Ron couldn't help but note to himself. Really, Tammy had nice everything.
Tammy stood there in the doorway while he stared at her. She couldn't quite understand why he wasn't saying or doing anything. After an awkward amount of silence, she asked, "Do you want to come in?"
Ron cleared his throat and nodded, and he followed her into the apartment. It was small and quite bare. He didn't like it. It felt cold, like a waiting room. "Did you just move in?"
"I've been here six years."
"Oh. Well there's just not a lot in here. No pictures or anything."
Tammy sat in a black leather armchair and pointed Ron to the matching sofa. She shrugged, replying, "I don't need a whole lot. I left most of the stuff I liked with you when we got divorced the first time. It's hard for me to have a lot around here that reminds me of you."
Ron looked around and felt very uncomfortable. "You need a coffee table."
"I've got the ottoman. It's fine."
"No, you need a coffee table. I just got a shipment of walnut. I'll make you one."
Tammy smiled. "Thank you. That would be nice."
Another awkward silence, which Tammy eventually broke. "This is weird. Polite and civil and weird. Did you come here for a reason, Ron?"
"Yes, obviously. We need to talk about last night. And a lot of other stuff. Can we…do that?"
She rolled her eyes. "Sure. Go ahead, Ron, let's talk about how you blame me for everything that has ever gone wrong in our relationship. Let's talk about how it's my fault that you've been alone and miserable for the last ten years. And go ahead and blame me for everything else bad in the world." Tammy's voice was wrought with sarcasm.
He looked at her carefully. "Are you mad? Because you aren't trying to kill me."
"Oh I'm beyond mad. And I'm not going to try to kill you. I don't do that anymore, remember?" It was true. She was so far past the point of simply being angry at him. She could barely keep from screaming and crying. How could he just sit there when her heart was breaking? All the effort she had gone to for him, and he was just going to throw it away.
"I don't blame you for everything. I used to, sure, but you made me see that it isn't all your fault. You've always been manipulative and sneaky, but I always knew who you were. You didn't hide parts of yourself from me. I wasn't honest about myself to you. Duke Silver is a part of me that I didn't share with you, and that's not what couples should do."
Tammy blinked at him in disbelief. "Are you…apologizing to me?"
"Yes, Tammy. I'm sorry I didn't tell you sooner, and I'm sorry I hid it from you. And I'm sorry that something so stupid is pulling us apart."
She glared. "The fact that I no longer trust you isn't stupid, Ron."
"Well what the hell do you want me to do? Go back in time and fix it? If so, then I think you should take the first trip to the past because your list is longer than mine!" Ron was starting to get agitated. His voice was getting louder and harder, but he tried to keep it at bay.
This was all getting to be a bit much for Tammy. She stood up and started shouting, "So this is it? You're going to bring up everything I've ever done wrong until we both die, bitter and angry? I wanted us to start over. I wanted to give us a chance because I love you and I want to be with you, but if you can't get over the past, just leave. Just leave me now before I invest anymore time or energy on you. I can't spend the rest of my life making up for mistakes I've made."
"Are you breaking up with me?" he asked, slightly stunned at her outburst.
Tammy had tears streaming down her face but she laughed a little. "Are you kidding? When have I ever broken up with you? Don't you get it, Ron? I can't end this. I never could. You filed for divorce, twice. You broke up with me. You stay away from me. But I always track you down. I always convince you to get back with me. I have yet to find a stable relationship that wasn't with you. You've tried to be happy without me. I can't do it. I've gone to all this trouble to try to change because no matter what I do, you are the one who leaves me. I just didn't want you to leave me anymore."
Ron was dumbstruck. There was a lot of emotion pouring out of the woman in front of him. She was sobbing and shaking, and he didn't know what to do. "Don't you hate me? Just a little bit?"
"I wish I could hate you like you hated me for so long. But I can't do it! I can't…I can't…" Her words were coming in hitched sobs now.
He couldn't take it anymore. This was just way too much. He crossed the room and put his arms around her, holding her tight. She tried to fight him off, kicking and scratching, but Ron Swanson was very experienced with this type of behavior. He pinned her arms at her sides and lifted her in the air so her feet couldn't swing back and kick him where it would really hurt. She was screaming and crying, but Ron didn't relent. Eventually she cried herself into exhaustion and stopped resisting.
"Are you done now?" he asked.
Tammy nodded, sniffing back the residual tears.
Ron carried her to the sofa and lay down, holding her close to him. He spoke softly as he wiped her tears away with the handkerchief he always kept in his pocket. "This all got a little out of hand. I love you and I really want this to work. I don't want to leave you. I never want to leave you. The only reason I do is to preserve my own sanity and life. But that's not going to be a problem this time. I don't want to go back to hating you and blaming you for everything. We're starting fresh, right now. Sure, we have history, but we aren't going to reopen old issues. We're gonna be together forever. Ron and Tammy, like it's supposed to be."
She looked deep into his bright blue eyes. They sparkled with total adoration and faith. "Really, baby?"
"Really. Listen, I went to Leslie's house in the middle of the night and woke her up because I was so sure I had totally screwed up our relationship last night. I don't wanna lose you. I want us to spend the rest of our lives together."
"I love you, Ron Swanson." Tammy smiled and kissed him softly.
"I love you, too. But I really hate this apartment. Can you please move back into the house so I don't have to come here anymore?"
She laughed. "I thought you were gonna make me a coffee table?"
"And I will. For our place."
Tammy had nothing more to say. She expertly divested Ron and herself of their clothing, beginning what ended up being a very long and extremely satisfying evening.
Ron and Tammy moved in together as soon as she could get out of her lease. They argued no more than any other couple but made up twice as well and twice as often. All in all, they were deliciously happy.
Six months later, they were married. For the third time. A justice of the peace came to their home and married them on the thirteenth anniversary of their first wedding. Due to their fragmented relationships with their families (Ron's brothers had all slept with Tammy at one point or another, and Ron once dated Tammy's sister out of spite, and Ron's mother couldn't be in the same room with Tammy without trying to kill her), the only guests were the entire Parks Department along with Ben Wyatt and Chris Traeger. Leslie was matron of honor because no one else would do it, and Ben was best man because he was the only male Ron knew who didn't make him want to punch them in the face on a regular basis. The ceremony was traditional and beautiful. Duke Silver played the reception and Tammy sang. A good time was had by all.
They honeymooned at Ron's cabin in the woods. After three days of nonstop love-making, Ron had a question for his wife.
"We have a lot of sex."
She laughed. "Yes we do. Are you complaining?"
"No, never. But I was just wondering: why have you never gotten pregnant? Because I don't know about you, but I don't always use protection in the heat of the moment."
"So you want to know if I'm either too old to get pregnant or else had my tubes tied?"
"I didn't really think it through that far, but yeah, I guess so."
Tammy smiled. It was a wonder that after so many years of this behavior that they never had this conversation before. "The answer is that I am not too old, and I have not had my tubes tied. I'm just very, very careful. Don't worry about it, baby."
Ron considered a moment. "So you could get pregnant if you wanted to?"
"Well if we wanted to, yeah. But you don't want kids, so it isn't a problem. Can we just pick up where we left off?" she asked, lunging at him.
He dodged her. "Do you want kids?"
She just rolled her eyes. "My god, why are we even talking about this? You don't like children and have never ever wanted them."
"But I want to know if you want kids."
Ron shrugged. He really wasn't sure why he wanted to know. It was true; he never wanted children. But maybe if Tammy was the mother, he could be a good father. After all, they were very happily married. Maybe they could be parents.
Tammy knew she wasn't going to get a response from him. "I don't know if I really want kids. I never wanted to be a single mom, and until now, that's all I was ever going to be. But I don't know, Ron. If you wanted to try, I think we could do a good job raising a kid."
"I think I want to try."
She smiled widely, not realizing until this moment how much she really did want to have babies with Ron. "Well alright then. Starting now, no birth control. If it happens, it happens. But if my family is anything to go by, I think I'm very fertile."
And boy was she right. Exactly ten months later, Tammy gave birth to twins: Jack Henry Swanson after Ron's father and grandfather, and Julia Leslie Swanson, after Tammy's grandmother and the woman who made Ron and Tammy's relationship possible.
As Ron sat in the hospital room, watching his wife and children sleep, he had no idea that a person could be so happy and full of love. They were all so beautiful.
So contrary to what everyone in the world might have ever thought, Ron and Tammy got their happy ending. And no one got assaulted or went to jail.