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How to Mess Up Like a Dummy Because You're a Dummy, Stop Being a Dummy: An Amy Santiago Report

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Amy knew that her way of thinking and acting wasn’t everyone’s, especially when it came to 1) work and 2) romance. If you were open-minded, accepting, and cool, you might call her “particular.” If you’re Jake Peralta, you’re more likely to go with, “Ha, you’re so weird.”

“Ha, you’re so weird,” said Jake Peralta while Amy glared at him. It was her default expression for Jake. Jake was one of those people who needed to be glared at twenty-four/seven lest he start to think that he was an acceptable human being who behaved the way people should. “You seriously can’t pretend that you didn’t kiss Rosa like ten minutes ago just because it didn’t line up with your perfect ideal of a kiss.”

“Procedure matters,” Amy said. It was the twenty-seventh time she’d told him that today. This was the first time that it didn’t actually have to do with police procedure. “Do you think CPR is kissing?”

“Obviously, duh.”

“Well—it’s not, okay?” She picked up her bottle of beer pointedly and waved it equally pointedly and drank it most pointedly at all because Amy was making a point and Jake needed to see that. “For the rest of us, there’s more to kissing than just lips touching.”

“Yeah, the leg’s gotta pop,” Jake said knowingly. “Dropping some Princess Diaries knowledge, son.”

“Please stop talking.”

“Anne Hathaway’s best role.”

“I regret confiding in you.”

The facts surrounding the conversation that Amy was having with Jake that evening in the sticky, vinyl booth of a 50s style diner that Jake insisted cooked the best meatloaf in the city (“Did I say best?” he’d said when the food actually arrived. “Because I meant cheapest. Just think I should clarify that before you take a bite.”) boiled down, much like the food in said restaurant, to a simple and unappetizing conclusion: Amy had fucked up. Hard.

Before the facts boiled down, the ingredients looked a little like this:

  1. Stephen Zepp had forged nearly $520,000 worth of checks before Amy tracked him down almost singlehandedly, in the style of impressive but fairly selfish police work that the precinct had taken to calling the Peralta Special.
  2. After fifteen minutes of interrogation, Zepp confessed to everything without any fuss at all.
  3. Captain Holt had personally told Amy how good a job she’d done in a tone of voice that expressed quiet pride, a peer’s respect, a mentor’s insight, and a supervisor’s willingness to promote the underling he’s talking to up at least three steps in the ladder.
  4. Rosa had pulled Amy away from Holt after a minute of solid babbling.
  5. Amy had told her thanks, she needed that, she was just really excited.
  6. Rosa had punched Amy in the shoulder, told her that it was nothing.
  7. Rosa told Amy that she did good today.
  8. Amy said thanks.
  9. Rosa and Amy stared at each other for a moment.
  10. Hitchcock and Scully set the toaster on fire.
  11. Everyone in the room ran over to deal with that.
  12. Except Rosa and Amy.
  13. Who were still staring at each other.
  14. Until they weren’t.

“Because you kissed!” Jake said triumphantly. “Because you made sweet, sweet tender mouth love to her while we stopped Scully from sticking his fist into a fire.”

Amy scrunched her nose and waved her hands emphatically in front of her. “No! No, we didn’t! No.

“You’re the one who told me in the first place that you kissed her,” Jake said. “You can’t go takesies-backsies now that you’ve decided it didn’t match some checklist in your weird little brain.”

“I recant my original confession. It was coerced.”

“You grabbed me out of the break room, hissed ‘oh my god, oh my god, I just kissed Rosa,’ and sprinted out of the station.”

Coerced,” Amy hissed.

“Why are you so ashamed of this because this is an awesome thing that happened, seriously, how was it? Did your tongues clash? How about teeth action? Blood? I feel like Diaz would draw blood.”

“We didn’t kiss! There was no tongue clashing! Or teeth! Or blood, ew, Jake.” Amy pressed the heels of her hands into her eyes. “I didn’t even land right.”


“I missed, alright?” Amy snapped.

“Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?” Jake’s expression was somewhere between delight and horror. “I didn’t even know that was an option. How do you miss?”

How to Miss a Kiss

An Amy Santiago Presentation

  1. Harbor a crush, six months minimum.
  2. Really fan the flames until your interactions with the crush are fueled entirely by simmering sexual frustration, anger, and aggressive repression. Go to drinks with the crush. Laugh with the crush. Plot schemes against the crush. Try to destroy their careers and almost support them in their success. Become nemesis. Become allies. Sit in the same squad car and say nothing about the crush’s hair. Or face. Or eyebrow scar. Or the combination thereof.
  3. When you’re just holding it together so that you don’t completely blow the dynamics of the squad room, be left alone together while the adrenaline is surging.
  4. Lunge forward.
  5. Realize at the last minute how much of a mistake this is.
  6. Spasm uncontrollably.
  7. Lick her cheek.


  1.  Lick her cheek.

“You licked her cheek?” Jake sat forward and then sat back and then sat forward again like he couldn’t figure out which posture was the most incredulous. “That’s not missing, Santiago. That’s licking her cheek.

“Kissing is just licking the inside of the mouth! I missed!”

“You licked her face!” Jake spread his hands on the table and stared deep into Amy’s eyes. “Are we talking like a delicate cat tongue poking out or a full-on dog slobbering?”

Amy dropped her head in her hands.

“Yeah, that’s dog slobbering,” Jake said. “Awesome. That’s terrible. You’re terrible.”

“Shut up.”

“Just confirm that you are properly ashamed of yourself first.”

Without looking up, Amy chucked her napkin at him. “I’m calling the Vulture back. I’m transferring to Major Crimes so no one ever has to see me again.”

“Hey, hey, hey,” Jake said in his serious adult voice. It was a lot like his serious adult suit in that it fit him very poorly, inspired no confidence, and had clearly been based off Magnum PI. “Don’t talk stupid now. That’s dangerous talk.” And then, “Seriously, stop miming disemboweling yourself with your fork. It’s getting super uncomfortable up in here.”

“You’re uncomfortable? I can never go back to work again.” Amy jabbed her fork back into her slice of apple pie and shoved another bite in her mouth. It tasted like chalk dropped in old apple juice. She remembered why she hadn’t been eating it. “Oh my god, the mouth feel,” she gasped through the bite.

“Everyone needs to stop saying mouth feel,” Jake said. “And no offense, weirdo, but I don’t why you’re freaking out so much. You’ve kissed Rosa like ten times already, and they’ve all been terrible, so you’ll just do what you’ve done before, pretend like they never happened, and everything will settle down.”

“Um, I’ve never kissed Rosa,” Amy said.

Jake beamed proudly. “Exactly. You got this, partner.”

“No, no, Jake, I’m telling you I’ve never kissed Rosa before. Or now. Because this didn’t count as a kiss. I’ve never done this before.”

“Wait, are you joking?” He held up with left hand dramatically, fingers extended. “Let’s count these babies off.”


(“What the hell are you doing?”

“What, you think you’re the only one who can make lists? Let’s list, bitches!”)

  • That time at the Christmas party with the mistletoe (“That doesn’t count! Everyone kissed everyone that night. Gina made out with a meth dealer for like twenty minutes, and she made us all agree that nothing we did that night counted.”)
  • That undercover bust when we were taking down that gang of art smuggling lesbians (“We were in character.”)
  • That super weird night with karaoke and the alcohol and the zoo and the face touching (“We made a pact in the morning to never talk about that night again, Peralta, unless you want to bring up what you did in the lion’s cage before we fished you out.”)
  • The weird cheek kiss you gave her last week (“We were being European!”)
  •  That one with the cheerleading uniforms (“Ew, gross, keep me out of your sex fantasies.”)
  • That one with the cheerleading uniforms because that happened in real life, and don’t say that it was just a cheek kiss so it didn’t count because there were cheerleading uniforms involved and that elevates any level of sexual activity up like four bases (“Stop, stop!”)

“Just stop,” Amy said. “You never stop talking. Just shut up, please.”

Jake snapped his jaw shut with an audible clack. Then after a moment, “So you feel better now, right?”

Amy didn’t have another napkin to throw at him, and the plate seemed like overkill, so she settled for glaring at the table. “You’re misusing the purpose of listing.”


“Listing is supposed to make things clearer.”

“It’s clearly pointed out that you’ve wanted to hardcore French Diaz for like two years, and you’ve been playing a long game of small steps getting you closer and closer to tongue actually in the mouth.”

“It’ll ruin things. Our station works so well together!” Amy said.


“It’s never the same after there’s romance.” She slumped back in her chair and stared at Jake’s meatloaf hopelessly. “There’s, there’s feuding and break room makeouts and weird cop/prisoner roleplay sex that really crosses some important wires in my brain.”

“You’re hurting right now, so I’m not going to follow up on that last point, but know that it hurts me to leave it hanging,” Jake said. “None of those things sound like a downside.”

“Break room makeouts are a downside,” Amy said. “It’ll tank my productivity. Hitchcock will start turning in more arrest reports than I will.”

Jake opened and shut and opened and shut his mouth until he said, “Alright, you really need to clarify something for me before I can go on with the comfort and encouragement through friendship. Are you sad right now because think dating Rosa will make you a worse detective?”

“Not worse,” Amy scoffed. “Just—” She wiggled her hand vaguely. “More distracted. Less focused. If I’m not at one hundred percent, that could blow a huge hole in my career plan.”

“Because you’ll be making out too much,” Jake said like that was unreasonable.

“Sometimes I think about her lips and I need to take a few minutes off, so yes, Jake, I think this is a safe worry to have. Just looking at her is rough enough. I’ve got to get my head back in the game.”

“I’ve lost all sympathy for you.”

“You never had sympathy for me.”

“Sure, I did. I thought cheek licking was the saddest thing ever. And now I still do, but it’s just too sad so it’s not even inspiring or funny anymore.”

“That literally describes your life, Jake.”

Jake nodded and made a noise that sounded roughly like chuh, bruh. “Then be less like me. Seriously, do not go down this path. Your body is much frailer than mine, and you will die of dysentery by week two.”

“I—what—I’m not going to question that.” Amy put her head back on the table, the smell of old syrup and off brand ketchup filling her lungs as the plastic stuck to her face. “I messed up.”

“Objectively, yeah. You should have licked her mouth.”

“We were friends, and I messed it up. And now we’re not going to be friends. We’re going to be polite coworkers who almost kissed that one time.”

Jake’s hand rested on the back of Amy’s head. It was weirdly comforting, more so than being patted like a dog should have been. “Oh Amy,” he said gently, “you’re polite coworkers who almost kissed multiple times.”

Amy’s responding groan lasted about two minutes. When she fell silent, he asked, “Are you done?”

Amy’s responding groan lasted another two minutes.

“It’s really not that bad,” he said as Amy flopped around on the bench, in an interpretive dance of awkward pain that would have made Gina proud.

The Top Ten Reasons That It Was That Bad

10. Gina probably knew already. Gina had probably already told everyone.
9. Holt was probably very disappointed in her. Not for the girl-kissing-girl thing, no, and that was a big relief, but he probably frowned (or mentally frowned and remained physically stoic) at the idea of office fraternization.
8. Amy licked Rosa’s cheek.
7. The look on pure shock on Rosa’s face as Amy drew back and considered the horror of what she had done.
6. Oh god, they were still working the jewel heist together. They’d have to work together tomorrow.
5. Rosa would standing with her arms crossed and looking very disappointed with her lips turned downwards like two sad pillows of incredibly softness—get yourself together, Amy.
4.  The level of sexual tension inside Amy was getting seriously weird.
3. Rosa would look so intense and frightening but also kissable and nice-boob-having, and Amy would still be distracted at work, and she’d never become the first youngest bisexual Cuban chief of police.
2. Amy could just see Rosa’s disapproval now.
1. Literally.
1. Because she is currently staring at Rosa.
1. Who is staring back.
1. Arms crossed, mouth turned downwards.
1. As Jake slides his cell into his pocket and said, “Yeah, thought you two should work this out.”
1. And Rosa says, “Leave.”
1. And Jake leaves.
1. And now Rosa is sliding into Amy’s side of the booth.
1. And
1. And
1. And
1. “Stop listing,” Rosa says.
1. “I’m not listing,” Amy replies.
1. “I can see you listing. Your eyes get weird.”
1. “I’m not—”

Rosa put her hand over Amy’s mouth. “Stop.” And her hand was warm against Amy’s mouth, and her palm was calloused, and Amy could smell her, and she smelled really good.

And then, “Oh my god,” Amy said, muffled by Rosa’s hand. “I just licked you again.”

“Yeah,” Rosa replied. “You do that.”

“On the palm on your hand.” Or to be more phonetically accurate, “Om da paym off your had,” since muffling, still a thing.

“Yeah,” Rosa said again. “You keep missing.”

There was a long silence.

“I mean you should lick me in my mouth,” Rosa said.

“Oh,” Amy said.

There was another long silence.

“I’m gonna take my hand off your mouth,” Rosa said, “and then I’m gonna kiss you. That cool?” And then, “You just licked my palm again. Is that a yes?”

“I can’t stop!” Amy said, but she didn’t have time to make any more excuses because now Rosa’s lips were on Amy’s lips, and it was exactly like being smothered by two pillows of incredibly softness but with a little bit more teeth and a lot of tongue, like a real serious amount of tongue all up in Amy’s business. And then hands, yay, hands, scooping Amy up and pulling closer, and Amy wasn’t sure because she was beginning to lose track of all non-erogenous parts of her body, but she was pretty sure that when Rosa thrust her thigh between Amy’s legs, at least one of Amy’s feet popped up.

So this was a real kiss, basically.

“Awesome, awesome, really cool, guys,” Jake said somewhere in the background. “But this is waaaaaaaaay more lesbian foreplay then’s legal in this family establishment and we’re definitely getting kicked out so you guys finish up and I’m gonna block the manager with my body.”

After another minute, he added, “Seriously guys, I know you need to breathe.”

When Rosa pulled back, there was a string of saliva still linking them together, and Amy thought a few things in rapid succession:

  1. That’s disgusting.
  2. Looking at it makes Amy want to have the kind of sex that requires half an hour of stretching, three weeks of negotiations, and a first-aid kit on stand-by.
  3. This is not going to help her become captain.

“Stop listing,” Rosa said, her hand still fisted in Amy’s hair.

“I like listing.”

“Then here’s a list. Come back to my apartment. Bone.”

“Is there another step?”


“Awesome. This is a terrible idea. I want to bite your thighs.”

“You guys are so cute,” Jake said, as he held back an elderly yet muscular woman who was shouting about appropriate levels of moaning in a public restaurant.

“Work’s going to be weird tomorrow,” Amy said.

Rosa shrugged. “Work’s always weird.” Which was uncomfortably true. Rosa tugged Amy’s hair. “Come on. I wanna hardcore do you on my living room floor.”

And Amy decided right then and there not to worry about work tomorrow.

Besides, let’s be real. Amy will make captain no matter what.