Cold. Ava Larson was fucking cold. The wind stung against her legs as she walked up the steps of the 99th police district in Brooklyn, lunch in one hand and coffee in the other. Her bag was slung over her shoulder haphazardly, and the only thing remotely warm in her whole body was the hand in which she held her drink. California born and raised, Ava had not been ready for the drop in temperature that was waiting for her in New York.
Today was her first official day at work; she had the training from her former position in the San Jose police department, so the only thing she had needed to do before starting was fill out paperwork. So here she was, entering the precinct in a blazer and skirt, pushing her glasses up every few seconds. She waved to the receptionist in the lobby as she crossed to the elevator, finally beginning to warm up due to the heating. As she entered the elevator, she took a deep breath before hitting the button that would take her to her new job.
The doors opened to an open room filled with desks and plenty of people. In one spot sat two older men, tossing popcorn into each other’s mouths. At another a man and a woman, bickering with each other playfully as they smiled. A shorter man gazed at them proudly, which was kind of... weird. But it was whatever. A man that seemed to be purely muscle sat across from him; this was the only face that Ava recognized; it was Sergeant Jeffords, who overlooked and assisted the detectives. Finally, across from the only empty desk, presumably hers, sat a woman dressed in leather with very curly hair. The only other person of note was the woman sitting outside the captain’s office, her feet up on her desk and the sounds of some game emitting from her phone.
After another deep breath for a boost of confidence, Ava walked the short way from the elevator to the small gate that blocked the hallway from the rest of the room. Passing through it, she made her way over to the empty desk, setting down the items in her hands. The curly-haired woman in front of her looked up, raising an eyebrow.
“Can I help you?” She asked, her voice slightly sour as she looked over the unfamiliar woman standing in front of her.
“Is anyone sitting at this desk? I’m new here, and it’s my first day. I’m Ava, by the way. Ava Larson.” Ava responded sheepishly, a little off put by the other woman’s bravado. The two were very contrasting; Ava with blonde, wavy hair and green eyes and her new work partner with curly, dark hair with accompanying brown hues.
“I mean, I guess not.” She said with a shrug, as if she couldn’t care less.
“Thanks.” Ava smiled widely and sat down, pulling her bag into her lap as she booted up her computer. She had brought several things with her to personalize her desk and make it hers. The first was a picture of her mother and herself on the day of her 18th birthday. The were both smiling. She placed it right under her monitor, where she could eye it whenever she was working if she needed. Next was a snowglobe, followed by mint container, piggy bank, and another picture of her and her childhood dog.
“Detective Larson!” A strong voice came from behind her. Spinning around, she found Sergeant Jeffords and Captain Holt walking towards her at a brisk pace.
“We are so sorry that we did not see you come in; we would have immediately introduced you.” The sergeant said with a soft frown. “We were unfortunately distracted with some prior business that just came up.”
“That’s alright. It’s no big deal,” Ava said with a nod as she stood up and shook both of the men’s hands. “It’s a pleasure to be working here anyways, Captain, Sergeant.”
“And we are glad to have you here, Detective,” Holt said with a curt nod. “Everyone, may I have your attention please? Scully, Hitchcock, get your heads out of each other’s asses for at least two minutes, please,” the Captain projected as he glanced around the precinct. “This here is our newest recruit, Detective Ava Larson. She has transferred here from the San Jose Police Department in California. Please take a minute or two to introduce yourself. Dismissed.” Holt turned to shake Ava’s hand once more before returning to his office with Sergeant Jeffords.
“Hello!” The man of the bickering couple appeared at her side, hand outstretched and a wide smile on his face. “My name is Jake Peralta, and if you wanna know one thing, it’s basically I’m like third in command here, so if you wanna be anyone’s friend here, it’s me.” He said with a mischievous grin. “Just kidding. I get paid the same as you. But if you ever wanna make a bet about literally anything, I’m your guy. One time I bet Gina that I couldn’t fit-”
“Jake- Jake!” Jake’s counterpart from earlier scurried up and grabbed his arm, taking a deep breath. “You just met her. She doesn’t need to know about the tomato story yet.”
This caused Ava to raise an eyebrow.
“Ok, babe, but if I don’t tell her, how do I become the one to be her best friend first?” Jake turned back to Ava, pointing his thumb at the woman next to him. “This is my girlfriend, Amy. Or Ames. We smush. All the time.”
“Jake.” Amy said sternly before elbowing him softly. “Why don’t you go figure out what we’re doing for lunch today?” the dark haired woman pushed him off and sighed in relief. “Sorry. He’s a bit...much sometimes. But he’s a great guy. You’ll grow to love him.” Amy stuck out her hand. “Amy Santiago. You don’t have to call me detective or anything. Just call me Amy or Santiago. Same with Jake. It’s no biggie.”
Ava shook Amy’s hand as the two smiled at each other, nodding softly. “Thank you. I noticed you have an extensive collection of binders on your desk, and a little sign that says, ‘I’m reading Fahrenheit 451. First, I’d love to hear how you organize your paperwork and files- back in San Jose, I used hanging folders, but it was always tedious to find something because I’d have to open drawer A, B, or C, and then find the appropriate subsection, and it was a mess. Second, I’d love to discuss Fahrenheit with you sometime. It’s my favorite book!”
Amy froze in front of her. It was a little terrifying for the first few minutes before she squealed softly and began to bounce up and down. “Oh. My. God. We are going to be best friends. We’re going to be an amazing duo. I will let you know when I’m free next so we can discuss organization and books. How about lunch?- Oh wait, never mind. I’m having lunch with Jake. I would bring you, but he’s a little weird about that stuff. Not a big binder-head like us. But I’ll let you know. I promise! It was so nice to meet you!” Amy gave her a quick hug before hurrying off to her desk. Ava could see her begin to talk excitedly to Jake.
She was about to sit down and ask her deskmate for her name when the two men who had been throwing popcorn into each other’s mouth earlier approached.
“Hi. We’re Hitchcock and Scully,” the taller and rounder of the two said with a wave.
“I’m Hitchcock. He’s Scully.” The other finished.
Scully nodded with a soft smile. “You see, we came to inform you that all newbies are required to buy the two oldest detectives lunch every day for their first month. And we’re the two oldest detectives, so…..”
“We like meatball subs, hot dogs from the stand on the corner across the street, and pizza for lunch.” Hitchcock once again completed the thought before he was hit in the forehead with a roll of tape.
“She doesn’t have to buy you guys lunch, dumbasses. Now go back to doing nothing.” Her deskmate practically growled from behind her. The two frowned in defeat and walked away, returning to their desks and slumping in their chairs. They were both asleep within the next thirty seconds.
Finally free from her coworkers introducing themselves, Ava sat back down in her chair, resting her head in her hand as she looked over to the woman across from her, who after she finished yelling at Hitchcock and Scully, had returned to her work. Something stirred inside Ava before she spoke. The woman was attractive- long, curly hair, perfect lips, a toned body, dark eyes, and she was undeniably badass. That was more than attractive.
Ava quickly shook away that thought- there was no way she was going to let herself find any of her coworkers attractive in any way, shape, or form. That would only cause problems. Straightening herself up, she smiled and raised an eyebrow.
“So. You never told me your name.” She said, her grin still wide as ever. “I told you mine before I told anyone else. So basically, that means we-”
“Diaz. Rosa Diaz.” A glare was shot her way before fingers began to type once more, brown eyes back on the screen.
“Well, Rosa, now that we’re deskmates, tell me about yourself. I’d love to get acquainted, since we’ll be spending so much time together.” Ava had ignored the once again sour attitude of the woman across from her, and was still grinning.
“Look, Rapunzel. This isn’t a Disney movie. We’re coworkers, not-” she paused, raising her voice an octave, “super best friends,” her voice returned to it’s normal vocal range, “I’m Rosa Diaz. You can call me Diaz. I work here. I have a motorcycle. That’s all you need to know. We’re not friends. You haven’t earned my trust. So leave. Me. Alone.” Rosa sent Ava one last icy glare before returning to her work.
Ava Larson saw herself as a positive person, even in the face of adversity. So when Rosa responded so negatively, she nodded, mumbled a quick, “I’m sorry,” and stood up, making her way to the break room. She dropped her coffee from before into the trash on the way there. She needed something fresh.
By the end of the day, Ava had been able to make the acquaintance of both Charles and Gina, the only two people she hadn’t met earlier. Gina had assured her that she was the best source of any sort of gossip in the precinct, but a moment later turned around and told her that she had more power than anyone else in the precinct. It was, to say the least, intimidating.
Charles had happily talked to her for ten minutes after gifting her with a homemade stew- Ava wasn’t sure she was going to eat it; there was what seemed to be a goat hoof floating around. She still accepted it gratefully and asked him about what other things he cooked.
At the end of the day, she was already beginning to feel acclimated to her new surroundings- save for the unfavorable exchange between her and Diaz earlier. But Ava was determined to befriend her- even if it was a small friendship. She was going to be friends with Rosa Diaz no matter what.