Better Half

Ann is taking Leslie grocery shopping, because when Leslie goes grocery shopping on her own, she winds up living on Pop-Tarts and frozen mini-cheeseburgers and those Oreo things shaped like tubes that you're supposed to use for straws. She usually doesn't get that far. Nope. She just eats them.

Ann loves Leslie, and that is why she recognizes that she needs to save her. Tough love, baby.

"This is fruit," Leslie says, pointing at a four-pack of the least fruity fruit cups known to man.

"In strawberry-flavored gel," Ann retorts, running a finger over the words spelling out that harrowing message.

"I know! Yum, right?"

"Leslie," Ann says warningly.

Leslie pouts and grabs some peaches in 100% natural syrup instead, tossing them into the cart.

Ann beams. "Good girl."

"Tyrant," Leslie grumbles. She's already starting to look bright-eyed behind the frown, though.

"Aw, grumpy Leslie," Ann teases, nudging her.

"I'm never going to eat these," Leslie says, staring down at the fruit cups like they're chicken feet or human fingers or something. "So really, it's a big waste of time and money for everybody involved, not to mention-"

"Nope," Ann says. "Not listening."

"Jerry likes fruit cups."

"That," Ann says, "is too bad, but you're still getting them."

"I think it's very nice," says the woman stacking jars of pickles farther down the aisle, casting a smile their way, "that your better half keeps such a good eye on you."

Leslie seems mollified by this. "You know what, you're right! She does. She's the best better half."

"No, she's not," Ann says quickly. "No, I'm not. We're just friends."

"Best friends," Leslie reminds her.

"Best friends," Ann agrees.

"Oh!" Leslie says, awareness dawning. "You think we're lesbians." After a pause that's just the tiniest bit too long, she adds, "We're not."

"Nope," Ann says.

"My mistake," the woman says amicably, and goes back to work.

"She is my better half, though!" Leslie throws over her shoulder as they move on to the next aisle.

"Mixed messages," Ann murmurs. "Not really helping."

"Lesbians," Leslie muses. "Why do people always think that?- Oh! You've got a tiny bit of foam left from your cappuccino. It's like - like- right about here-" She gives up pointing it out on her own face, and reaches for Ann's instead. She brushes the corner of Ann's mouth, gently and slowly. "But seriously. Us? Lesbians? Where is that even coming from?"

"No idea," Ann says wryly.