stephen leslie


 History has its eyes on you! by PRlNCESS aka Illse.

A collection of Broadway songs that describe historical events, from elections to revolutions.

Featuring songs from: Something Rotten!, Hamilton, The Book of Mormon, Bloody Andrew Jackson, Les Mis, Assasins, Annie Get Your Gun, Newsies, Fiddler on the Roof, Ragtime, Chicago, Bonnie and Clyde, Allegiance, Hairspray, and Miss Saigon.

Sources for the facts are:  Eric Foner, Give Me Liberty: An American History  and Wikipedia. Painting in album is “Battle outside the Hôtel de Ville” by Jean Victor Schnetz

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Parks and Rec fic - They’ll Always Need Mommy and Daddy.

Some future Ben and Sonia fluff for you all.

Also on ao3.



Ben wasn’t sure what happened. One day he was a 40-year-old man, looking after three beautiful tiny babies and the next he had a head full of grey hair, wrinkles all over his face and his joints constantly ached.

He didn’t mind the ageing part. That was fine. It wasn’t like he and Leslie were slowing down any time soon. She was about to start her second term as President. It kept them both occupied and they still worked hard.

But days like this made him feel old. When his children would come round for a family dinner and game night. He looked at his children, remembering how there used to be a time when he could fit all three of them on his lap at once… but now.

Wesley married his partner, Andrea, four months ago. Stephen was talking about moving to Seattle with his wife, Naomi, for work. And Sonia…

Sonia was pregnant with their first grandchild.

It still hadn’t sunk in. The day stuck in his mind clearly when she called Leslie in the White House and asked for ‘an official meeting’ and told them both. They had all cried in happiness and Leslie and Ben hugged and kissed Sonia for hours after.

He could hear laughter coming from down the hall, and he couldn’t help but grin. Everyone sounded so happy, and as long as they were happy then he was too.

He was in the kitchen, refilling the glasses of wine. They had staff around the White House but they had given them the night off. Neither Leslie or Ben minded, they liked the nights when it was just them and their family and not being called ‘madam or sir.’

The door to the kitchen opened and Ben looked up as Sonia walked in, she gave Ben a soft smile and opened the refrigerator door, peering inside, a hand rubbing her expanded belly absentmindedly.

“What do you want, honey?” Ben asked. “I can bring you anything you need.”

“Just water’s fine,” Sonia said as she pulled a bottle from the refrigerator.

Ben’s eyes travelled to Sonia’s rounded tummy. In a month’s time he would meet his granddaughter, and Sonia would be a mother. Her husband, Nathan, was in the lounge with the others. He was everything he’d hoped for when Sonia bought him home to meet the family eight long years ago. And Ben was sure that he would make a great father too.

Ben then looked up and noted Sonia’s face. The bags under her eyes, the tears glistening around her green orbs. He knew that look.

“Sonny, are you okay?” Ben asked, taking a step towards his daughter.

“I’m fine, “Sonia quickly responded. Ben knew that tone too. It was the same tone Leslie used to use on him when she was pregnant. ‘I’m fine, Ben. I feel great’ she’d say, but she wasn’t. Ben could see through her just like he could see through Sonia right now.

“You look like you’re about to cry,” Ben said. “It’s okay, tell me what’s wrong?”

Sonia’s lower lip wobbled and she sniffed. Ben couldn’t hold back any longer and pulled her into a warm hug, rubbing her back sweetly.

“I’m just so tired, Daddy.”

Ben’s heart panged with sadness. She hadn’t called him ‘Daddy’ for years. She only did it when she was overly tired or upset. And Ben could only assume she was a combination of both.

“It’s okay,” Ben soothed. “It’s hard. I know it is. Do you want to lie down?”

He felt Sonia nod against him, and he pulled her away. Taking her hand, he led her up the staircase and into his and Leslie’s bedroom.

Sonia wiped her eyes as Ben pulled back the covers, he handed her an old shirt of his and a pair of pyjama bottoms that belonged to Leslie and Sonia went into the en suite to change.

A few minutes later, Ben helped Sonia climb into the bed and he wrapped the covers around her. He kissed her head softly and crouched down to her level.

“I love you, Sonia. You’re doing so well. Remember that,” he told her, and Sonia nodded.

“I love you too, Daddy,” she whispered sleepily and closed her eyes, soothed to sleep by Ben stroking the top of her head.

Ben couldn’t help but feel tears in his own eyes. No matter how old his babies would get, they would always need their parents. It didn’t matter that they were having kids of their own. It made Ben feel loved that Sonia had confided in him that she wasn’t feeling okay.

About ten minutes later he finally found the courage to leave Sonia in peace. She hadn’t stirred at all, and Ben thought it would be best to leave her to get the sleep she so desperately needed.

As he made his way back down the stairs he was met by Leslie coming up to find them.

“Hey. Where have you been? We’re going to play charades,” Leslie said. “And have you seen Sonia?”

“She’s asleep upstairs,” Ben said.

“Is she okay?” Leslie asked frantically.

“Ssh, babe. She’s fine. She’s just a little tired and needs a lie down. It’s not easy, you know that,” Ben explained.

Leslie looked back up the stairs and gnawed at her bottom lip. “Are you sure she’s alright? I should go and see her.”

“Later,” Ben said, taking Leslie’s hand and leading her back downstairs. “She needs some sleep right now.”

Leslie sighed and leaned against Ben’s shoulder as they got to the bottom step. “I still can’t believe she’s pregnant.”

“I know.”

“Our babies are all grown up,” Leslie mumbled. “They won’t need us anymore soon.”

Ben grinned. “I wouldn’t be so sure. They’ll always need their Mommy and Daddy.”


Empire of the Sun (1987)

Director - Steven Spielberg, Cinematography - Allen Daviau

“It’s at the beginning and end of war that we have to watch out. In between, it’s like a country club.”

In rereading Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own (1929) for the first time in some years, I was astonished at the sense of effort, of pains taken, of dogged tentativeness, in the tone of that essay. And I recognized that tone. I had heard it often enough, in myself and other women. It is the tone of a woman determined not to appear angry, who is willing herself to be calm, detached, and even charming in a roomful of men where things have been said which are attacks on her very integrity. Virginia Woolf is addressing an audience of woman, but she is acutely conscious–as she always was–over being overheard by men: by Morgan and Lytton and Maynard Keynes and for that matter by her father, Leslie Stephen. She drew the language out into an exacerbated thread in her determination to have her own sensibility yet protect it from those masculine presences.
—  Adrienne Rich, Arts of the Possible: Essays and Conversations

“It combines ice skating and roller derby. We’ll call it Ice Derby,” Sonia said, finishing her monologue and biting a piece of her calzone off her fork. Sonia and Ben were at their favorite calzone place in Eagleton. While the Knope Wyatts spent most of their time together, it had been a monthly ritual to have one on one meals. For Leslie and Stephen, this was usually an ice cream eating competition, for Ben and Westley, it meant discussing Game of Thrones over salad and for Leslie and Sonia, waffles and girl talk.

“That sounds incredibly dangerous,” Ben said, smiling at his daughter, “It’s definitely something I would have set up in Ice Town.” The subject of Ice Town no longer embarrassed the junior Senator, especially when he chatted about it with Sonia, who shared his enthusiasm for accounting and budgeting. She would then claim that she could have done it and he didn’t doubt that. 

“Um, dad, can I ask you something?” Sonia said, placing down her fork on her plate. Ben nodded.

“If it’s about interning at that firm, I told Barney you had to finish high school first,” Ben said. 

“It’s not that, it’s just, um.” Sonia paused, wishing she had brought this up with her mom at their last mother-daughter hang out, but that had ended with Leslie and Sonia yelling at each other about Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. “When you were 16, how did, you,” Sonia’s cheeks went red and her words spilled out in a rush, “How do I make a 16 year old boy like me?”

“Oh. Um.” Ben coughed on the sip of water he had just drunk. “You like a boy and you’re asking. Soso, I, I don’t know how, no one knows how to make anyone like anyone, but you have your mom’s binder on safe sex, not that I’m encouraging.”

“Oh my God, dad, I am not asking about,” Sonia lowered her voice and hid her face from a waiter passing by their table. “I am not asking about THAT. At all. I was just trying to ask a question and I don’t even want to, well, maybe one day, but that’s not what I want to talk about.”

“Good.” Ben sighed, “Sorry, go on, there’s a boy, he’s 16, and he likes you. That’s great, Sunny. Who is he? If you want to tell me, I’m cool.” Ben said, leaning casually back in his seat. Sonia rolled her eyes.

“He doesn’t like me. I like him, a lot.”

“How could anyone not like you, Sunny bear?”

“I mean, he might like me, we’re friends, we hang out all the time and he said I looked hot in my lacrosse uniform.”

“I’m not sure I like where this is going.”

“Yeah, I regret telling you that part,” Sonia said, really wishing she hadn’t brought up the topic, but deciding to push ahead. “If you were 16 and your friend said she like liked you, or whatever, would you like freak out?”

“I did. Only I was 18 and it was called Ice Town,” Ben said. Sonia giggled at this and seemed to feel less embarrassed. “Sunny, I can’t tell you what to do, but if you tell some boy you like him and his reaction is anything mean, I will have your mother punch him in the face.”

“Thanks, dad.”

“Any time, Sunshine.”
Leslie Knope pens a letter to young women after Trump win: 'We screwed this up'
"We elected a giant farting T. rex who does not like you, or care about you."

While journalists like Megyn Kelly are urging citizens to give President-elect Donald Trump a chance, and comedians like Ellen DeGeneres and Stephen Colbert are calling for solidarity and respect, one TV favorite has come back with a big ol’ KNOPE.

“I acknowledge that Donald Trump is the president,” writes Parks and Recreation’s Leslie Knope (or, rather, a member of the show’s writing staff) in an open letter for Vox. “I understand, intellectually, that he won the election. But I do not accept that our country has descended into the hatred-swirled slop pile that he lives in. I reject out of hand the notion that we have thrown up our hands and succumbed to racism, xenophobia, misogyny, and crypto-fascism … Today, and tomorrow, and every day until the next election, I reject and fight that story.”