"No, I agree," the captain says, in the voice that means he wishes he didn't. "We'll have to put some people in the club."
Peralta's head shoots up like a feral meerkat.
"Captain," he says, with a look of unholy glee, and ugh. Amy can tell what's coming, and part of the reason she's so annoyed is because it's always Peralta who gets to bond with the captain over these things, because he's a guy.
Once, when she was at the end of a long day and annoyed because Peralta had stolen a collar right from under her nose and Gina had played some horrible catchy song by those eleven-year-old English hipster urchins with all the hair, on repeat, all day, Amy found herself wondering if the reason the captain likes Peralta so much better than her is because -- well, despite being a pretty terrible person, Peralta isn't exactly hard on the eyes, and the captain does swing that way, after all --
And then she was totally horrified at herself for being so cynical and unprofessional and probably homophobic, even inside her own head, and she even spent a day being especially nice to Peralta to make up for it.
And by especially nice, she means she intervened when Hitchcock was going to superglue Peralta's stapler to the wall out of sheer boredom, and she refrained from spite-eating the chocolate glazed in the box of donuts like she usually would. Jake Peralta loves chocolate glazed. Amy wishes she did not know things like that about Jake Peralta, but she also knows that he can burp a surprising amount of the libretto to Oklahoma!, because being in a precinct with someone is a lot like living in their armpit. It kind of smells and you end up knowing way, way more than you need to about them.
Okay, she stole that metaphor off Diaz.
Diaz used a slightly different body part.
Anyway, right now Amy is having a moment of wishing heartily that she was a man (not too uncommon) so that she could go undercover and pretend to be gay with her actually-gay commanding officer (admittedly, a first).
But the captain just stares at Peralta with his flintiest non-expression, while Peralta's grin becomes fixed, and then pained, and then starts to sag like a slice of damp pizza.
"Or right, yes, I guess I could--" and he looks around the room, sizing people up. "Sarge?" he suggests, but he doesn't sound enthused. Amy isn't sure why; she's pretty sure Gay Terry (a variant on Criminal Terry that tends to pop up when the sergeant has been watching too many episodes of The Wire) could get laid with just a snap of his fingers in any gay bar in town. Undercover Gay Peralta should be so lucky.
"I don't think so," the sergeant says firmly.
Boyle is pretty much vibrating with puppyish energy, waiting for Peralta to make his way down the list of men in the precinct; Boyle's probably ranked somewhere above Scully, at least. Actually, Amy thinks, Boyle would do a pretty convincing undercover gay guy. He'd just have to start talking about his food blog while wearing his usual expression of eagerness mixed with low expectations. He'd definitely be better at it than Peralta.
"Santiago," the captain says, glancing at her. "I'd like you to be involved in this one."
Peralta makes a wounded noise.
"Me?" Amy feels aglow. "I mean, yes, sir. I can absolutely be gay, sir. Not that it's a choice. I mean -- not that I have any problems pretending, even though I'm not. Gay."
"Way to be an ally, Santiago," drawls Diaz.
Amy strikes out wildly for something appropriate to say. "Well, I had those sex dreams about Mila Kunis, but I looked it up on the internet and that is normal. That is a normal heterosexual thing to do."
"Uh, no, I'm pretty sure that's a normal I WANT TO BANG ANOTHER GIRL thing to do," says Peralta, because he's the worst.
Diaz frowns. "I think having sex dreams about Mila Kunis means you're a psycho ballet dancer."
"I did not need reminding of that movie, Diaz!" the sergeant shouts. "I was having nightmares for weeks, damn. They had no right ruining my enjoyment of Tchaikovsky's masterpiece like that."
"Yeah, that movie sucked," says Diaz. "I thought she was gonna go full-on killing spree or something. But then she didn't."
As usual, the captain manages to ignore all the parts of the conversation irrelevant to the matter at hand. When Amy is captain of her own precinct, she is going to master exactly that air of authority and impatience. She's already started practicing it in front of the mirror while she's blow-drying her hair.
"Good," he says, already heading for the sanctuary of his office. "I'll leave you and Diaz to work out the details."
Because -- yeah, that's right. If the point of going in together is that they can pull one another out of a tight spot by pretending to be, you know, together, there's only one person who could be Amy's partner on this case.
Amy looks around the precinct. Unhelpfully the only non-Diaz pair of X chromosomes she sees is Gina, not a police detective in any way Gina, who purses her lips and makes irritating kissy noises in Amy's direction. Amy tries to imagine Gina in a gay club. Gina dancing in a gay club. Her brain gives a little internal whimper.
"Sure, whatever," says Diaz. She slouches even further into today's leather jacket. "Women hit on me all the time. I know how to handle it."
Of course they do.
"Why wouldn't they?" Boyle says loyally.
Diaz stares at him. "Are you saying I look like a lesbian?"
Boyle goes red. "No! I. No. I mean why wouldn't anyone, I mean look at you, I mean," and then he starts laughing in a high-pitched kind of way.
Santiago takes pity; she doesn't have a lot of patience for the Diaz-baits-Boyle show at the best of times, let alone the Boyle-pines-creepily spinoff.
"So have you ever, you know. Said yes? Done...anything?"
"Eh," Diaz says, which isn't no, Amy notices. "I'm ninety percent into dudes."
"What's the ten percent?" Amy can't help asking.
Diaz gives her one of those long, flat looks that could be a prelude to almost anything because Amy can't read her for shit, ugh, some detective she is.
"Eva Green as that one Bond chick," Diaz says finally.
Which, okay, sure, that's kind of very specific, but Amy can't fault her taste.
"Good choice," Peralta says, suddenly right behind Amy's shoulder like a freaking ninja annoyance. He seems to have recovered from the pain of not being picked for the case, and is looking between Amy and Diaz with something that only just manages not to be a leer.
"So what's your backstory gonna be? How did you meet? Where did you first do the four-boob nasty? You'd better work out some details. I'll help."
"Nah, it'll be better if we go in separately," Diaz says.
Amy feels a stab of indignation. Is she not good enough for Lesbian Rosa?
I mean, sure, Diaz could probably kill it in a gay club. Or any club. She's definitely hot, with her mass of hair and her high boots and her I-don't-give-a-shit attitude, and she's got the best lips that Amy has ever seen. Not that Amy has ever spent an hour jealously daydreaming about all the dark red lipsticks she could pull off if she had those lips, or staring like a weirdo as Diaz drinks beer straight from the bottle --
Maybe Peralta had a point about Mila Kunis.
It does make sense, when Diaz explains her reasoning. They're trying to catch someone who's been spiking drinks in this club with a particularly nasty little substance; maybe more than one someone, given that both men and women have reported being drugged. The captain wants to know where the drug is coming from, but first they need to work out who's buying it and who's using it. If they go in as a couple they'll have to stick together, whereas as single agents they can engage more people in conversation, and keep an eye on more of the club's goings-on. They can always change over to pretending to be a couple -- "Or an ex-couple," Diaz says with a lazy wave of her fingers, "whatever" -- if anything goes wrong and one of them needs an excuse to act protective, or get the other one out of the club in a hurry.
Amy frets for three whole hours about what to wear, which is -- okay, forty-five minutes longer than she's ever worried about an actual date.
"Jesus, Santiago, chill," says Diaz, when Amy calls her in a hopeful panic. "There's no such thing as a lesbian dress code. Just wear whatever the hell you'd usually wear for a night out."
Amy turns sideways and inspects her best lacy bra and undies in the mirror. Is Agent Provocateur gay? Maybe it's bisexual.
There's a deeply judgmental silence over the phone when she tries this theory out on Diaz.
"Who the hell is going to care about your underwear?" Diaz says finally.
Just for that, Amy googles eva green james bond and finds inspiration in the first page of image results. She's got a filthy tease of a purple dress in her closet that she hasn't worn since college, she pulls her hair into a sleek side ponytail, and she engages in grim battle with an ancient kohl pencil until her eyes look, if not smoky, at least dark.
When she turns up at the precinct to get her briefing and her earbud, she has the satisfaction of seeing Diaz do an honest-to-God double take at the sight of her. Because it's Diaz, it's pretty subtle, but Amy feels like a million bucks and tosses her hair back over her shoulder like a real sex kitten. Is 'kitten' sexist? It feels like it probably is.
Peralta, who can always be relied upon for a complete absence of subtlety, shoves his fingers in his mouth and whistles, then looks her up and down with frank admiration. Which is irritating, of course -- what, he can't pull out that sort of look when she solves a case? -- but also makes Amy stand a little taller in her foot-cramping, bitchy heels.
"Santi-ah-go" he says. "Natalie Portman can go shit in a pond."
"Wow, Peralta. Compliments like that, you must be beating the girls off with a stick."
Peralta winks at her. "Only the gay ones," he says, like it's a punchline. Then, "Wait."
Amy turns away so he can't see her mouth twitch. "Let's do this."
Diaz looks -- like Diaz. Tight jeans. Hair. Maybe she's wearing a bit more makeup than usual, but that's it. She grabs her leather jacket off her desk and says, "Yeah."
Half an hour later, Amy is remembering why she hates clubbing. It's loud, which she supposes is good because nobody's going to hear her muttering to herself if she has to communicate via her earbud and wire, but it also makes her feel tired as soon as she's spent two minutes near the speakers. The club's clientele is probably biased two to one in favour of men, and there are a lot of women with short hair and flannel shirts rolled up to their elbows, but there are also plenty of women glammed up in the same fashion as Amy.
The bartender has really good biceps and a friendly smile, and he pings even Amy's piss-weak gaydar like a bag full of rainbows.
"Ginger ale?" Amy says, waving a fiver.
"Sure," the bartender says, looking her up and down in the most depressingly sexless way Amy has ever encountered. He's like the anti-Peralta. "You preggers, then, love?"
Amy is distracted for a second, visions of turkey basters dancing through her head, but it's not like she's totally new at undercover work in environments where you're expected to drink alcohol. She makes what she hopes is a frustrated face. "I'm on antibiotics."
"Ah," he says sympathetically.
"For an infected toenail," Amy goes on, before he can assume anything about STIs.
"Ew," says Peralta in her ear. Even through the club noise Amy can hear a dull crunching sound, which is probably Peralta's standard bag of stakeout pretzels.
"Bite me," Amy mutters into her cleavage.
She watches with a sharp eye as the bartender prepares her drink, then takes her glass and stakes out a barstool, glancing around the club. It's not large, and the bar is on a slightly raised mezzanine thing, so she can see a good portion of it from here.
Diaz is on the dancefloor, leather jacket discarded who knows where. Her hair is even wilder than usual, whirling and spilling over the spaghetti straps of her red top as she throws her head back and dances, not entirely in time with the music. Not that anyone around her cares.
It's weird hearing Diaz's voice in her ear, just as bored and flat as ever, when she's staring at Diaz -- gyrating. She didn't even see her mouth move.
"If it's the bartender, he didn't do anything to mine," Amy says.
"Hey," says someone, gliding into Amy's personal space.
"Uh." Amy coughs on a sip of ginger ale. "Hi."
Someone is a woman with seriously cool hair, buzzed short on one side of her head and sleekly platinum on the other. She's a lot better at applying makeup than Amy is, Amy thinks gloomily.
"Dana," the woman says, gesturing to herself with her glass.
"Kate," says Amy. She likes Kate, as far as undercover names go. Easy to remember. Fits in everywhere.
"Haven't seen you here before, Kate," says Dana. When she takes a sip of her drink, there's a flash of metal.
"You have, uh. A tongue stud," says Amy stupidly.
Dana extends her tongue in a mocking flicker, like a lizard or something. "That's right. You into that?"
Within Amy's field of vision, a man is slouched against the bar, his tensed shoulders and hard eyes setting off all of Amy's detective senses. She might not have much gaydar, but she knows what criminal looks like.
"I. No." Amy says, craning her neck a bit. Was that a pillbox, or just a cigarette lighter? "I'm not into. That."
"I bet I could change your mind," Dana purrs, moving closer. Crap, now Amy can barely see anything but the expert flick of the woman's eyeliner. "You have no idea how good I could make you feel."
Amy wants to shoot something. "Look, I'm sorry --"
"You alright, babe?"
And Diaz is there, wrapping an arm around Amy's neck and gazing down at her, all dancefloor sweat and dark eyes. Amy manages, with heroic effort, not to betray her surprise. She leans into Diaz's body and smiles.
"Just fine," she says, with a breathless fondness that she might have copied from a old movie. Or maybe from Mrs Gillespie, the sweet and demented old thing who calls the precinct every other day to report the theft of stuff that she's already forgotten selling for booze money. Whatever.
Dana blanches, which probably means Diaz -- Rosa, Amy decides, if they're going the couple route -- is glaring at her. There's nothing good about being on the wrong end of one of Rosa's glares.
"I told you, you should come and dance," Rosa says.
"You know I'm a terrible dancer, sweetie."
In her ear, Peralta makes a vomiting sound. Amy ignores it.
"Yeah," Rosa says, with insulting swiftness. "You're lucky you've got other talents," and then her impossible lips are on Amy's, sticky with gloss, and wow, okay, that is her actual tongue in Amy's mouth.
Amy's had a lot of shitty kisses in her life. She usually counts herself lucky if the guy is somewhere between the two extremes of slobber and robot. This is -- this is a really good kiss, Jesus Christ. Rosa tastes like spearmint gum and aniseed, and she's really going for it, sucking gently on Amy's tongue and making these incredibly pornographic noises that Amy would have to be made of concrete not to find hot as all getout.
In a flash of dark glee Amy remembers that Peralta has to listen to this, and she can either be embarrassed about it or she can try and shove the embarrassment off onto him.
She starts making some noises of her own, and lifts a hand to tangle in Rosa's amazing hair.
When they break apart, Dana is gone. The bartender catches Amy's eye and makes a show of furious, tiny applause. Amy's heart seems to have migrated up into her throat, and her lips feel fuzzy.
"Ripped jeans, green shirt, bad blond stubble," she says, low. "You see him anywhere?"
Rosa's hand is still stroking up and down Amy's arm, absent, as Rosa scans the club.
"Men's bathroom," she says sharply. "Just went in."
"There's probably a window," Amy says, sliding off her stool.
Rosa nods. "I'll take the outside. Cut him off."
Amy hoists up her Eva Green dress, digs in her purse for her gun, and starts to run.